FUNCTIONALLY OBSOLETE FUSE BOX
On occasion during my home inspections i come across an early 1900’s home that still has its original electrical system in place. I do scratch my head when i see this still in service because it is over 100 years old and i figure the occupants are probably tired of replacing fuses when they blow.
An electrical fuse is made up of a piece of metal that melts when overheated. A circuit breaker has an internal switch mechanism that is tripped when an unsafe surge of electricity occurs. Fuses tend to be quicker to interrupt the flow of power, but must be replaced after they melt, while circuit breakers can usually simply be reset.
Fuse box’s are considered functionally obsolete and are no longer installed in newer homes, fuse box’s are typically installed in older homes that where built pre 1960. Upgrading the fuse box to a modern day circuit breaker type electrical panel is a highly recommended upgrade for your home. You should have your entire electrical system further evaluated by a qualified licensed electrical professional because with fuse box’s comes antiquated electrical wiring which is also considered obsolete and should be replaced.
The electrical system is an important system to inspect when buying homes built in the early 1900’s even if they where remodeled. I have seen a few flipped homes that still have antiquated wiring still in service connected to newer wire in attics or crawlspaces.
GET YOUR HOME INSPECTED
Hey John, Such an amazing blog post 🙂
Thank you Zaman, I just realized your comment was in my pending folder sorry for delayed response.
Fuse boxes were not designed to deal with today’s electrical loads they are considered functionally obsolete and so replacing them with modern circuit breakers in the case of a total loss is a reasonable assumption.
Great point, I always use the same phrase (functionally obsolete) when reporting these conditions and I always recommend my clients contact a licensed electrician to upgrade the system.
Breakers and lose wires can cause overheating. If you do not move quickly to address the problem, it will snowball into a major concern, and you may end up spending a ton of money on expensive repairs.
Great advice thank you, I always recommend my clients upgrade this type of obsolete system.