1 fuse getting hot, was corroded, fuse out, how do I fix?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by mnalep, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. mnalep

    mnalep Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Redford, Michigan
    So I had a fuse getting hot. I think water got behind fuse box over the summer. I caulked to hole from the outside that was in the brick. Six months later the fuse felt hot. I saw corrosion in the fuse. I put in a new fuse, but that did not resolve. Then I saw the copper strip behind the fuse looked brown. I tried to 'clean' it with emory cloth - no help, plus a small round thing behnd the copper strip started to fall apart as I sanded. (I thought it may be an insulator of some sort?)Fuse made a crackle noise and sparked upon insertion, so I left it out. Well, I've left that fuse out for now.

    The other fuses seem fine, not heat, no flickering lights.

    If I pay someone to put in a new breaker box, what could that cost?

    Is it something I could safely do myself, and what are safety precautions? (I've done switches and outlets and installed ceinling fans - but the box seems more intimidating and I'm not sure how to test for current there).

    I also saw someone advertising an old box e replaced on craigslist that looks the same. Could I just swap out the 'fuse cartridge' from his to mine?


    fuse socket on right vs on left that heated up. This is before I tried sanding that copper strip with emory cloth, and that round piece (I am guessing it is an insulator broke from me sanding in there).
    IMG_20151219_115605.jpg

    new fuse on left, old corroded fuse on right shows brown on the inside. Also the back 'tip' had some balck 'burns' on it: IMG_20151219_115425.jpg

    socket holder (upper right) after I tried to sand it, and the inner circle thing behind the 'browning' copper strip broke up. You can still seed the gray colored circular
    ?insulator? (or whatever that is) behind the copper strip in the fuse socket on the left:

    IMG_20151229_134938.jpg

    More of the fuse box, showing the ''cartridge/plugs" for the 6 fuses that I thought might be replaceable if I get another box found for sale on craigslist:
    IMG_20151219_115442.jpg

    The whole box:
    IMG_20151229_135806.jpg

    And the boxes labeling:

    IMG_20151229_134428.jpg


    Thanks for your advice,
    Matt
     
  2. mnalep

    mnalep Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Redford, Michigan
    Fuse box for sale on Craigslist looks like mine: I was wondering if it would be easy to sawp out that holder that has the sockets for the 6 fuses? Can I just pull the 'main' that is above the 6 fuses to cut electricity to the 'fuses holder'?


    fuse box for sale on craigslist.jpg
     
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  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I am not an electrician. I would guess $1000 to $2000 with some amount of upgrading as part of the process. Just a guess. Good move. I would look at an independent electrician. Don't be afraid to leave a message. An independent will probably not have an office staff.

    Yes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    If you ever want to do some remodeling in the house, you will need a bigger panel. For example, when remodeling a kitchen, it requires two independent 20A circuits for just the counters, not counting what may be needed for the stove, frig, etc. A bathroom also need its own 20A circuit that is GFCI protected. I think you get the idea. Paying money to repair what you have is a patch, and that may be fine, but seems like money poorly spent, assuming you can afford an upgrade.
     
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    If you ever want to do some remodeling in the house, you will need a bigger panel. For example, when remodeling a kitchen, it requires two independent 20A circuits for just the counters, not counting what may be needed for the stove, frig, etc. A bathroom also need its own 20A circuit that is GFCI protected. I think you get the idea. Paying money to repair what you have is a patch, and that may be fine, but seems like money poorly spent, assuming you can afford an upgrade.
     
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    NONE of your pictures show HOW the fuse module is mounted in the box, therefore it is impossible to tell you whether you could just replace it with another one.
     
  8. mnalep

    mnalep Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Redford, Michigan
    Hi hj,

    I had neighbor's friend take the cover off the box, and it looks as if there may be 4 screws in each corner that hold the fuse module on the panel. He tightened down some screws, and now the fuse is not overheating. But I think it is a little loose due to that felt 'washer' that broke down that had sat behind the copper strip inside the one fuse socket. So if the fuse moves a little, it hums. Does not overhaat anymore, and no longer any flickering lights. So it's OK for now. (You can see the top right fuse is missing a round 'fiber washer'. That ;fiber washer' is still visible in the in the top left fuse socket. I think that missing fiber washer is why that upper right fuse has a bit of 'play' in it?)
    IMG_20151230_113211 with arrows .jpg

    My picture did not come out as clear as I had hoped. but I drew four red arrows pointing to where I think these screws are that hold the fuse module on. What do you think?

    I am going to meet a guy who is selling a similar box this week (the exact same one I believe as mine) so I will be able to handle it and even look at the backside of it and get better pictures.

    I also notice some rust on the screws where the service wires come in from the meter. I guess this rust is not affecting my house electricity, as all my home circuits seem to be working ok. Here is that picture with two red arrows pointing at the rust...

    IMG_20151230_113230 with arrows .jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  9. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Occupation:
    Licensed Electrical Contractor
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Unless money is extremely tight NOW is the time to upgrade to a 200A service. Don't mess around trying to band-aid the old fuse box.
     
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