First Fuse Panel Inspection, Help Needed

This is my first fuse panel box inspection. Anything specifically that I should be recommending here such as panel replacement? Any help would be appreciated on how to direct my client.

The green fuses are for 30 amp, so they need awg #10 cu wire or #8 aluminum.

Thanks Jim. I wasn’t clear, please see below.

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Any fused panel is a candidate for a complete replacement.

Note this panel has 12 circuits. In some cases 12 fuses means 6 circuits, but not here.

Replacement brings a huge cost, and requires installation of troublesome and expensive AFCI devices. Worse yet, the new boxes are generally bigger which means cutting into the wall. Eaton’s “Flex Center Solution” makes “new panel guts”, a retrofit kit that can go into an old box. But again the AFCI requirement means fewer circuits than before.

This panel can be made much safer by replacing all those 30’s with the right fuses based on the entering wire size. Most likely 20’s but possibly 15’s. Use listed “mini-breakers”.


With mini-breakers and checking all the screws for tightness, this panel could serve for many more years.

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So it’s different than then traditional breakers where a 10 gauge would be used for 30 amp?

Larry, 30 amps would be #10 copper, 8 aluminum.

The NEC does not require AFCI protect to be added if a panel is changed out.

What I’m saying is, usually there are not that many 30 amp fuses in a cabinet. So the homeowner probably put 30 amp fuses in where 20 amp where needed. Look at the wires and it’s 12 cu awg for 20 amp fuse and 10 al awg for 20 amp aluminum.


At least the double taps are the same size wires :wink:

Just the way the factory made them.

Forgive my ignorance but Is this double tapping OK, I don’t see how they could get power to the other side if they didn’t?

OK I gotcha, thanks for clarifying.

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I wouldn’t take the time or liability to suggest anything other than it served its purpose as initially manufactured and intended… decades ago. Complete replacement and upgrade recommended. Seek the services of several qualified and licensed electricians to determine best options and costs.


Another problem, in addition to the over-fusing issue, Insurance companies in my neck of the woods would require that the panel be upgraded to breakers.

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Same in my area. I always advise my client of this so they don’t get a big $$$urprise after they move in and an insurance adjuster stops by.

So to summarize, don’t even open the panel.

Observed this dwelling has a fused distribution panel.

These are frequently found to have been modified to keep pace with modern electrical demands, leading to safety hazards.

I recommend upgrading to a modern breaker panel and replacing the service entrance cable.

Note also that some insurance companies may not insure or may charge a premium for fused distribution panels.

I would open it. You may see something you understand or you may not. But you can still make the comment you listed. AND you may find a whopper glaring at you.

Example, I take off the cabinet covers for a gas furnace. I do not understand everything inside, but I still note obvious deficiencies.


Thanks for the help guys, much appreciated.