Originally Posted By: jmyers
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That really depends on the circumstances.
If you are re-wiring the house, the electrician would be required to upgrade any of his installations to todays standards. If he is just replacing, he can replace them with like parts.
I recommend to my clients that they have an electrician install grounding means where it is needed, such as the ground rod and grounding wire at the panel and grounding receptacles where ever they will be needed. Some appliances utilize that third prong to make them safer than the two prong counterpart.
When it comes to the older fused panels, I recommend they be replaced with main breaker style panels. I do so not because breakers are safer but because several insurance companies will not insure a home when the fused panels are present. Fuses as a general rule are safer and will "blow" before a breaker would trip. Typically though is what happens is the homeowner or occupants oversize the fuses when a circuit keeps "blowing" making it unsafe. I have seen tinfoil and pennies used when fuses have blown so the circuit could continue to be used.
Finally, to confuse matters even more, here in PA the Codes Enforcement Officer has the last word on what needs to be upgraded and typically that does include the electrical system. If your area works in the same manner, they will require you to perform certain upgrades before the house can be sold and the buyer occupies the house.
If you are looking for some guidance on what should be upgraded, it would be wise to follow these guidelines for the reasons of safety.
Main Breaker panel
Ground rod and ground wire present
GFCI protection in area's which it is currently required (kitchen counters, bathrooms, exterior, garage and receptacles at or below grade level)
Upgrade two prong receptacle when the appliance utilizes the third prong for grounding.
Hope this helps.
A & N Inspections, Inc.