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Wiring and Fuse Box questions


I'm looking into buying an old house. It was built in 1951 and has been completely redone in the inside. New hardwood floors, new paint, new carpet, new appliances, new siding, new deck, new counters and cabinets. However it does have an old fuse box, which I'm assuming is being used (I didn't see another box anyway). I'm not sure how to tell the quality of the wiring in the house. I can't imagine they wouldn't have replaced it when they did everything else. My question is how do I tell if the wiring is good? How easy is it to get a breaker box in to replace the fuses? I want the wiring to be good because I will have some electronics in the house (a couple of Xbox360s, HDTV, some stereos and computers and the like). Any suggestions or tips?


Re: Wiring and Fuse Box questions

Are you blowing fuses? If not the wiring is fine.

I deal with 1st time homeowners all the time and when they see a fuse box they automatically think it has to be replaced - it doesn't - a 60-amp service is very often all that you'll ever need.

Re: Wiring and Fuse Box questions

Of course it's no guarantee but if the current owners put so much other work into it, they likely determined it wasn't necessary to update the electric or they ran new wire where needed. If what you saw IS actually a live fusebox as opposed to a circuit breaker panel then I doubt this is a recent update... that would just be silly.

A 1951 house could have been wired using the older style romex which should still be safe if it was run properly in the first place. What type of wire is running into the fusebox? If it is something older that romex (cloth wrapped wire) or if it is brittle or damaged romex then it may need to be replaced sooner than later.

If it IS actually a fusebox you saw, I would prefer to have that replaced with modern circuit breakers. That doesn't necessarily mean that the house wiring needs to be replaced. But in most cases that's not a DIY job and will require coordination with your power company.

Re: Wiring and Fuse Box questions

I can not see the home from here but it “sounds” like you may be looking at an eye candy type flip home where a bunch of time was spent on the way the place looks.

I would suggest that you work with your realtor and have a comprehensive report done by a reputable home inspection company on all your mechanical systems as well as the electrical system, windows, insulation, plumbing etc.

Regarding the electrical........ It would be helpful if you could post some photos of the service coming into the home and maybe of electrical in the kitchen and a typical room.

If you do not have a site to host photos you can email the photos to me at: rabbit (@)electricalknowledge (dot) com . I can host them there or on another site.

Re: Wiring and Fuse Box questions

It very well could be a visual flip. I'll get another look and some pictures of the box Friday when I go see it again. If I test the outlets and the ground wire is connected, is that a good sign that the wiring is ok? typically older houses didn't have grounds correct?

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Wiring and Fuse Box questions

hire an inspector, better yet hire a licensed electrician to do an inspection and prepare a written report for you. make your purchase offer contingent on getting and approving this inspection report.

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