I came across this board and it caught my attention and hopefully I can get some good information. I’m a fellow inspector, just in a different field (bridge inspection). I’ve seen lots of wiring but more on an industrial side. I’m not too much familiar with home wiring. This question is regarding my own personal household.
My house was built in 1956. All the wiring is original, including the fuse box in the utility room. All the circuits are 20 amps. The dryer is on a 240v leg, stove is on its own fuses, and the hot water heater is on its own fuse. I don’t have pictures of this box as I forgot to get them when I opened it up.
Outside @ the meter there is a SquareD Qo box right next to the meter can. It’s a 200 amp main, with one 100 amp breaker on it. (Pics to follow).
This 100 amp main feeds the a/c unit in the attic. In the attic there is a small double breaker box where the power gets distributed.
Back to the outside SquareD box: Underneath the 200 amp main someone has ‘tapped’ into and ran 3 wires (240v) through the wall to the existing fuse box 100amp main fuses. From there power gets distributed.
I assume since the a/c was added years before we moved in (I’m guessing around 1994 since the a/c has the date stamped on it) that the SquareD box was added to accomodate the a/c unit.
Here’s a quick view of the box.
I called an electrician. He basically told me the cheapest way out of this mess is to simply strip the inside fuse box out, splice all the wires and run them through the wall to the above pictured breaker box that is outside next to the meter can. If I’m looking at this right there is room for 16 circuits? The 100 amp that is there will stay, two will go for the stove, two for the hot water heater, and two for the dryer, and one dedicated to the generator. This does not leave enough room for my household circuits.
He reassured this would not be a problem. I think it will.
I really don’t understand why I can’t have an electrician simply make the above pictured box “dead” and leave it on the wall (So I don’t have to repaint the side of the house), run the wires from the meter through the other side of the wall to a new breaker box inside the utility room.
I suggested that with a new breaker box and he said around $1600+! It’s less work to simply swap boxes and move the one 100 amp wire from the outside box to the inside box VS splice over 20 circuits and move them outside.
He basically said the meter can would have to be changed, weather head changed, and a ton of other stuff changed around. This does not sound right.
Can anyone offer me any experienced advice–it would be deeeeeply appreciated.