Homemade 240 volt

I was kidding with the ‘homemade’ part. for all I know this is quite typical I just have not run into many boxes of screw in fuses. So this little box under the house in the crawlspace appears to have a 14 guage feed. and two 15 amp fuses…two 240 branches coming out. one runs a little baseboard heater right below. could not tell where the other went. so we have two 15 amp , 240 volt branches? is that wimpy to be powered by a 14 guage input? im just quite unfamiliar here…what do i look for when i run into a box like this.
grandpa mike in MN

(1)Lets see obsolete box
(2) twin taps on feed wire
(3) Line going out from the twin tap is not protected at this disconnect and also can not be isolated by shutting of the switch .
White wires used as a hot should be Taped Black .

As Roy mentioned there are many visible problems. You would only be able to tell if the #14 AWG feeder is overloaded by determining what size OCPD is ahead of it. If it’s 15 amps then overloading might not be an issue. You still have to the other stuff to deal with.

Baseboard heaters are typically 250 watts per foot. You could have 5’ of heaters on a 15 amp circuit and be fine load-wise. That does not correct the other problems.

Thanks for the really superb input. all beneficial to me.
Roy…Im straining my eyeballs trying to see what you mean that line out ‘is not protected and can not be isolated’…please elaborate?
many thanks
mike in MN

Line in Comes to the top of the disconnect 240 Blk and wht .
It has another pair Blk and wht that goes I know not where but they are obviously feeding some thing .
The only way to shut of that power is to find where the feed to this disconnect is controlled from
With what I see I expect there is lots of other concerns in this home that needs a qualified person to replace and repair as needed Immediately .
Cover Your ***** so you are never the fall guy .
Write Hard talk soft miss nothing … Roy

I don’t get it. still listening…I’ll gladly sound dumb here to avoid sounding dumb in the clients home. I can not see what you do and Im not arguing because you have far more experience…just trying to get it. In fact I’m starting to wonder if the leads on the bottom, by what appears to be a ground bar…are both delivering hot. having done extensive DIY wiring in my old house I have experienced this unpleasant surprise setup before (ie hot coming down both sides of one romex wire) . Otherwise how would we get 240 out the top. I’m sure this is something I am missing…your patience is appreciated.
mike in MN

here is another view

Looks to me like a Copper Knife blade is coming from a tinned silver plate this has a rusty screw holding a Black wire and A wht wire this is the same on Both . I expect one wire on each is feeding the disconnect switch .
The second wire from each rusty screw is constantly hot and is feeding some where else . Send me your phone number and I will phone to try and help explain it to you . Roycooke@sympatico.ca

The UP position should be the ON of the disconnect. This would make the load on the top I believe. The label is too small to read.

It appears the service line (power) is coming in at top. Those 2 wires are terminating at same screw(s) with 2 other wires that are feeding something. When the disconnect switch is in off position the 2 wires feeding unknown object are still live (hot).

The only wires that should be terminating at “top” are the ones feeding disconnect from service panel.

Everything else should terminate at opposite side of hot bar (bottom). The circuit would pass through the fuses and be protected.

Here’s what I see:

1-You have a cable coming into the top terminating on the line side of the disconnect. (white (L),then black ® conductor)
2-You have a second cable entering from the bottom also connected to the line side of the disconnect (double tap). (black (L), then white ® conductor)
3-You have a third cable that enters the top which is spliced to conductors going to the bottom or load side of the disconnect.

If you remove the bottom cable (with the double tap on the line side) then the installation is OK. Judging from the label and the knife blades the switch is installed correctly.

The load should come from after the fuses they are what gives protection .
It is a knife blade switch and if it is fed from the bottom then the fuses would always be hot BaD Bad bad

all of this input is great, my eyes hurt from squinting trying to see it all. i still wonder if both white and black wire are delivering hot on the bottom and neutral …well shucks we got a ground, would this not work? this would provide both fused protection and isolation for a double tap 240 on top. …right? what do you say…we know its not ‘right’ but would it work? beddie bye time in MN…input welcome. roy thanks for invite if im still flabbergasted tomorrow i will be sending number, would be cool to meet you either way
mike in MN

ah yes roy you managed to slip in one more highly relevant point before i made it to the sack so thats right too…well ill have to sleep on this


Look forward to talking to you I have free calling to all of USA and Canada… TTYL… Roy

The white wire at bottom is not neutral, it’s hot and should be marked with black tape to indicate it is.

No, wrong.

Unless they’ve fused the neutral there is no neutral in this setup. Did you measure the voltage with a meter to determine if this is 120 volts or 240 volts?

WOW! fused nuetraal brings back memories .
I think it has been over 50 years since I saw one of them…
. it was in my Wifes dads place .
The only home I ever saw with** Real Cinder blocks**
…wish I had a picture . Roy

Nice call Roy. Took me a couple of seconds to see the white needing tape and the double taps. Dam eyes are going on me.
I understand now about one of the double taped Branch circuits still electrified even if the handle is down.Nice.:slight_smile: