Fuse Panel Sub Panel

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qwaven
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Fuse Panel Sub Panel

Post by qwaven » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:41 pm

Hi all,

Wondering if anyone might have some thoughts. I've been looking into adding a sub panel to my existing old fuse panel (100A) at least to tie things over for the time being.

I've been able to locate a spot in the fuse panel to feed 2 hot (240v) off of a larger fuse. This should be fine.

What I am unclear about is how the "bonding" of the ground and neutral operate within a fuse panel. Would this be the same as if it were a breaker panel? I imagine the answer is yes, but also would like to clarify mostly because of the next question.

My issue is that I do not have anywhere to attach the neutral from the sub panel. All the neutral screws are for smaller wire. I've seen screw down lugs that you can get that would fit the correct wire size but I'm not really clear if I can just add them to a panel similar to a grounding bar.

Also note my system has an additional shutoff panel (also old) which contains 2 large fuses.

So it would go something like this:

Pole --> my house --> shut off (yes its before the meter) --> meter --> fuse panel

Hoping someone might have an answer. :)

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Aaron
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Re: Fuse Panel Sub Panel

Post by Aaron » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:23 am

You say you have a fuse panel and you're talking about fuses, so it sounds like you literally have a fuse panel. Often people still call their circuit breaker panels "fuse boxes" when that's literally incorrect.

If you have a shutoff at the meter, that is likely your service entrance panel, where neutral and ground are bonded together, and the fuse panel you're referring to is technically a sub-panel from that.

So you really would want to wire a sub-panel from your service panel, not your fuse panel. But then you may as well replace the fuse panel with a circuit breaker panel and migrate all your circuits over.

qwaven
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Re: Fuse Panel Sub Panel

Post by qwaven » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:52 am

Hi Aaron,

Thanks for your reply. I don't believe that is correct because if I were to wire something into the first switch I would get "free" electricity as it would by pass the meter completely since it sits before my meter. I also do not see any ground wire coming into my fuse panel. I could be wrong there as its not terribly easy to see. Best I can tell there are 2 hots, and a neutral coming into the panel.

That's why I was hoping to just add a larger lug to my fuse panel so I could connect up the neutral properly. I'm not clear if this would be ok to do.

Something like the attached. I was hoping to connect it somehow to the existing neutral bar. Or if the panel is the bonded panel would there be any reason I couldn't just add another neutral bar some where else?

Anyway to actually confirm the bonding 100%?

Thoughts?

Cheers!
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qwaven
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Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:36 pm

Re: Fuse Panel Sub Panel

Post by qwaven » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:55 am

ok on the topic of ground/bonding. I found this picture which is basically exactly what I have (even the shut off looks the same) except I have a meter in between the two boxes shown which would connect in where the metal conduit is.

I forgot about the conduit connecting it all which would be why I cannot locate a ground wire. It being metal conduit is the ground. Similar to as pictured I also have ground wire connected to a water pipe from the shut off.

https://inspectapedia.com/electric/0547s.jpg

So what I am left with is my question about the neutral. Is there any reason I cannot add something like what I posted above in order to provide a place to attach my neutral? (assuming I keep it separate from ground)

Cheers!

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emtnut
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Re: Fuse Panel Sub Panel

Post by emtnut » Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:29 am

qwaven wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:52 am
Hi Aaron,

Thanks for your reply. I don't believe that is correct because if I were to wire something into the first switch I would get "free" electricity as it would by pass the meter completely since it sits before my meter. I also do not see any ground wire coming into my fuse panel. I could be wrong there as its not terribly easy to see. Best I can tell there are 2 hots, and a neutral coming into the panel.

That's why I was hoping to just add a larger lug to my fuse panel so I could connect up the neutral properly. I'm not clear if this would be ok to do.

Something like the attached. I was hoping to connect it somehow to the existing neutral bar. Or if the panel is the bonded panel would there be any reason I couldn't just add another neutral bar some where else?

Anyway to actually confirm the bonding 100%?
Your main fuse box is a sub-panel, and it's OK to wire a sub-panel to it.

The neutral lug you posted is fine to use, but they are manufacturer specific. Not sure if it will fit properly, and/or be listed to use for your panel.
If you have the room, you can add another neutral bar.
Make sure this fuse box has the neutrals and grounds separated.

I agree with Aaron on updating this panel thou. Since your working on it anyways, why not update to a breaker panel. Will make future work much easier for you as well.
~~ Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford :mrgreen: ~~

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Aaron
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Re: Fuse Panel Sub Panel

Post by Aaron » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:59 pm

It's possible your main cutoff is located to the right or left of the meter, but I would guess service is wired to the meter first, then through the cutoff switch, to your fuse panel. That switch is there for you to operate, right?

The reason being is that hydro/utility workers just pull out the meter from the socket and that cuts off power too. The actual meter itself is the property of the utility/hydro company, but the meter socket, conduit, weather-head (if aerial service) belongs to the customer.

qwaven
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Re: Fuse Panel Sub Panel

Post by qwaven » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:28 am

Thanks for your reply emtnut,
(sorry for the delay, I thought I had already submitted this)

There is not a lot of room to work in the panel so I'm not sure about adding another bar, but I will also explore this.

I'm not keen on getting into replacing the "main" panel just yet. It's technically working fine and replacing it is going to be quite a bit larger of a job. I imagine the hydro company would require moving the meter outside/updating everything from that point to code. I'd also like to increase the service capacity in at that time which again would require updating the conduit coming into the house...etc If I can get a sub going for now that should tie things over to allow me to do some of the other projects on hand. Maybe re visit the electrical again in the near future.

Cheers!

qwaven
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Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:36 pm

Re: Fuse Panel Sub Panel

Post by qwaven » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:42 am

Hi Aaron,

Originally in my area a lot more of the electrical was owned by the hydro company, were talking when fuse panels were in. :) That includes the wires coming down the conduit on the side of my house right in until it reached the meter which is also right beside my fuse panel. The cut off used to have a hydro tag/lock thing to prevent me from opening it and tampering with the connections. However more recently there was an issue with one of the hots coming in and the hydro company came out to fix it. At this time they also decided to no longer own anything past the fuse points on the power coming in before it reaches the conduit. So this has left a system which does not really make a lot of sense compared to how its done these days. If I were to start replacing the panel or service in, its likely hydro would require this to be ripped out and corrected.

Cheers!

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Aaron
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Re: Fuse Panel Sub Panel

Post by Aaron » Sat Nov 02, 2019 3:19 am

Ah that makes some sense with the historical background, thanks. It's interesting your hydro would be able to "divest" plant infrastructure to theIr customers. Typically they are just responsible for their stuff and that burden remains indefinite until either you or the hydro decides to modernize. If you initiate it, you bear the burden. If they initiate, they bear the burden.

Should you modernize your electrical, it's a pretty dramatic change. Today they run 200 amp feeders. You'd likely need a whole new weatherhead, conduit, meter socket, and main panel. The circuit breaker panel would be huge compared to what you likely have now, and it would have ground/neutral terminals with bonds to outside grounding electrode rods.

qwaven
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Re: Fuse Panel Sub Panel

Post by qwaven » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:27 am

Yeah I'm really not sure how they got away with moving the ownership to me. I'm not really sure there is anything I can do about it. My understanding is that since they did their fixing on the lines leading to my house the feeders would be providing 200A service now as the meter ironically also states 200A capable. In any case hydro did confirm that if I were to upgrade that those two pieces would be their responsibility. The conduit I have currently would be way to under sized to use. It likely would become quite a task to get everything in and to code. My fuse panel is actually reasonably large for fuse panel standards. Its got 20 regular fuse spots and 2 240v spots.

Also just to follow up on the shut off. I did confirm again and as soon as you pull the lever the meter shuts off (along with the rest of the house) so its def first. :)

Anyway thanks all for the help/advise.

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Aaron
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Re: Fuse Panel Sub Panel

Post by Aaron » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:04 am

Well you would have to open up the meter box and see exactly how it's wired. Because when you shut off your main, the meter will stop anyway because you're no longer drawing any power at all. :lol:

Unless your meter is digital? If the LCD numbers all disappear and the display goes blank then you're probably right.

Anyway, yeah, it would definitely not be a cheap upgrade.

qwaven
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Re: Fuse Panel Sub Panel

Post by qwaven » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:18 am

Yeah the meter is digital. :)

Cheers!

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Aaron
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Re: Fuse Panel Sub Panel

Post by Aaron » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:18 pm

Well I stand corrected then! :lol:

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