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wwernsman
Circuit breaker

Our house has the old fashion fuse box. :(
It hasn't caused any problems, but we would like to update it to raise the value of our home and I will feel safer with a breaker box.:) How hard would it be for my husband, who is not all that skilled to put one in. He did put a new digital thermostat in and now would like to know if it is possible to do our own box. Any ideas or suggestions that would be helpful to us? Besides calling an electrcian...way too expensive.:D

BigWalt
Re: Circuit breaker
wwernsman wrote:

Our house has the old fashion fuse box. :(
It hasn't caused any problems, but we would like to update it to raise the value of our home and I will feel safer with a breaker box.:) How hard would it be for my husband, who is not all that skilled to put one in. He did put a new digital thermostat in and now would like to know if it is possible to do our own box. Any ideas or suggestions that would be helpful to us? Besides calling an electrcian...way too expensive.:D

Both of you must....Walk away from it.

Installing breaker box is no where near digital thermostat installation.
You got live wires, you must determine correct amperage breaker rating, identifying type of wires and on top of that it must be approved to code.

One more thing, I don't think anybody on internet can give you step by step instruction for replacing electrical breaker box.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Circuit breaker

Replacing the fuse box with a breaker box is going to add nothing to the value of your house if you don't update the service. To update the service the power company may have to run a new drop and may even have to replace the transformer. The meter base must be pulled, which in some areas may only be done by a licensed electrician. When the electric is updated you may run into a code requirement to rewire the house. And lastly if you do it wrong and your house burns down your insurance company may not cover the damage.
Jack

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Circuit breaker
asc2078 wrote:

Disclaimer: Those rules may not apply in Fayette County. Their electric company is a Sears DieHard.
(Smile Jack:rolleyes:)

DB

Boy are you behind the times, we switched to Interstate batteries a long time ago so we don't have to use gas driving to Columbus.:D
Jack

renowarrior
Re: Circuit breaker
asc2078 wrote:

One thing I can tell you for sure, unless it is done bootleg, your local electric company has to be involved in the power changeover to that new electrical panel. Even if you DIY, they will not make the change over without the job being done under an electrical permit and the local electrical inspector signing off on the job before they reconnect.

Indeed. And for good reason - get one thing wrong and you or your home may meet a very unpleasant demise. Going DIY on this is a good way to get a Darwin award. Don't do it!

electricianhelper
Re: Circuit breaker
wwernsman wrote:

Our house has the old fashion fuse box. :(
It hasn't caused any problems, but we would like to update it to raise the value of our home and I will feel safer with a breaker box.:) How hard would it be for my husband, who is not all that skilled to put one in. He did put a new digital thermostat in and now would like to know if it is possible to do our own box. Any ideas or suggestions that would be helpful to us? Besides calling an electrcian...way too expensive.:D

Well first off, it all depends what area you live in. On that note, you may want to refer to the NEC 2008 edition (National Electric Code Book). Here it tells you what you can and can't do for services, panels, and the such. For the most part, electricians will give FREE ESTIMATES!! But to update a breaker panel, first you need to call your local power company to pull the meter outside your house. By saying this, it ensures the power will be disconnected and no one can turn it back onto until they have been notified. But for them to shut it off and turn it back on, there is a fee so be forwarned! To install a breaker panel, it's not that difficult. After the power has been shut off to your house, pull ALL the fuses out of the fuse box. Then take the face plate (or cover plate) off. Take a label maker a label each wire to which dwelling of the house it goes to. Pull the wires out, and take out the box. Mount the new breaker box up and start installing the wires to breakers. NOTE: 15 amp is 14 AWG and 20 amp is 12 AWG. It tells you on the outer sheething what type of wire it is. Pop in the breakers into the panel. The main breaker (usually a 100 AMP breaker), is wired up to your power lines coming inward. Pop the knockouts off the cover for the number of breakers you have and then screw the cover on. Make sure all breakers are off and then call the power company back. Have them turn the power back on then wait an hour or so and turn your MAIN breaker on. Afterwards, turn the other breakers on and there you go!! If you need additional help, you can always email me or contact a local electricial contractor.

canuk
Re: Circuit breaker
Quote:

[COLOR=#0000ff]How hard would it be for my husband, who is not all that skilled to put one in. He did put a new digital thermostat in and now would like to know if it is possible to do our own box.[/COLOR]

To be honest unless you are an experienced DIYer with electrical then I wouldn't recommend trying this based on your description of the skill level.

There are a number of considerations to be accounted for before doing the actual work.
.......to name a few .......

Things that have been previously mentioned like the existing service to the home , if the meter box and mast are acceptable , the feed wires from the meter box to the breaker panel and of course the permit and if you are even allowed to do this.
You also need to plan the breaker panel to have enough breaker spaces to accomodate existing and futre needs and will it fit the space the current fuse panel is at.

The description electricianhelper gives is pretty good .... however ..... once the power utility comes out to disconnect the service you will be without electricity until you finish and they decide to come back.

There are times when the utility folks come out they may ( depending how nice they feel that day and if the electrician has any influence ) stay around or come back the same day if an electrician is doing the work...... I can pretty much assure you they likely won't hang around if you are doing the work yourself.

So depending how quick you can do the work properly and safely will determine how long you will be without electricity.

Just a thought. :)

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Circuit breaker
electricianhelper wrote:

Well first off, it all depends what area you live in. On that note, you may want to refer to the NEC 2008 edition (National Electric Code Book). Here it tells you what you can and can't do for services, panels, and the such. For the most part, electricians will give FREE ESTIMATES!! But to update a breaker panel, first you need to call your local power company to pull the meter outside your house. By saying this, it ensures the power will be disconnected and no one can turn it back onto until they have been notified. But for them to shut it off and turn it back on, there is a fee so be forwarned! To install a breaker panel, it's not that difficult. After the power has been shut off to your house, pull ALL the fuses out of the fuse box. Then take the face plate (or cover plate) off. Take a label maker a label each wire to which dwelling of the house it goes to. Pull the wires out, and take out the box. Mount the new breaker box up and start installing the wires to breakers. NOTE: 15 amp is 14 AWG and 20 amp is 12 AWG. It tells you on the outer sheething what type of wire it is. Pop in the breakers into the panel. The main breaker (usually a 100 AMP breaker), is wired up to your power lines coming inward. Pop the knockouts off the cover for the number of breakers you have and then screw the cover on. Make sure all breakers are off and then call the power company back. Have them turn the power back on then wait an hour or so and turn your MAIN breaker on. Afterwards, turn the other breakers on and there you go!! If you need additional help, you can always email me or contact a local electricial contractor.

Here are a few things he left out.

1. In many jurisdiction and electrical inspection are required before the electric company will reinstall the meter.

2. In some jurisdictions once the meter is removed the house must be brought up to current code before it can be reinstalled, and that means all wiring.

3. An old house with a fuse box may have wiring that does not have the size on the jacket or may be unreadable.

4. If the main lines are aluminum, which is quite common, rather than copper the proper connectors and anti-oxidation paste must be used.

Jack

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