Old ass fuse box in my garage

Bought a house this summer and this is the fuse box in my garage. I was not thinking the other day and ran my old table saw and an electric heater on the same circuit and popped one of the glass fuses. I replaced the blue 15 amp fuse that was visually blown but the outlet and entire circuit that I wanted to use was still dead. I pulled the main and range boxes and tested the continuity of the shotgun shell looking fuses and they all worked fine. I then took my tick tracer and saw that the red 20 amp glass fuse had no power to it, but the other three blue ones were fine. The red 20 amp fuse doesn't look blown like the one I replaced did.
I'm confused. I'm a low volt guy so I know a little, but not a lot about higher voltages.
1. What's going on here?
2. Can I pull these glass fuses and main/range boxes without walking back to my house and killing the power to my shop, or will I get zapped? I'm not super scared of 120, but I'd like to avoid it if possible.
3. The guy before me left a more modern used panel in the garage, seems like he intended to switch it out and never got to it. I have a buddy who is a licensed electrician but lives about an hour away, is this something I could safely swap out with some facetime help from my buddy?

  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >the red 20 amp glass fuse had no power to it
    Can still be bad even if it looks good. Its pretty simple shit. If there is power going to the fuse, but none coming out, it's a bad fuse, otherwise its further downstream.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I'm a professional architectural engineer, specializing in elec design, as well as former electrician and this is the answer. just put a multi on either end of the fuse to rule it out. do not use a voltage detector or tracer. It will pick up anything near an electric field, and they are unreliable.

      2. please do no work on this until you kill the power to it... theoretically you should be able to just pull the fuse. But this shit looks jank, and old, and you're already having problems.
      Be safe not dead.

      3. As far as you swapping out the panel - I'm hesitant to say yes if you don't understand how fuses work. No offense. Sub feeds get tricky, don't know where you're at but it could require a permit. and by the looks of that old ass feeder no licensed electrician in their right mind would land that shit back on a new panel. So maybe just do it anyway so you can learn and get him to make final connections and inspect?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I know what you mean about tracers, I did get a consistent and repeatable outcome with the fuses, all the blue 15's gave a solid beep but the red 20 was dead as a doornail.

        Yeah, I think I'll continue to kill the power from the main before doing anything though, it's not worth not taking the time to be safe to avoid a short walk.

        No offense taken, I don't mind admitting when I don't know something, and it's not worth burning down my shop to save a few bucks. I don't have the money now, and I don't know when/if my friend will take a two hour round trip for me, so I'll leave the panel as is for now. Appreciate the advice.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          They are basically lightbulb sockets and exactly as dangerous to replace hot as a lightbulb, except they're not hot. My parents still have these and I've been changing them since I was 8. To test the red fuse it would be common to just swap a blue, as mentioned it they're not always obvious sho much like automotive you can just swap a known good one to check- nobody had fancy multimeter to overthink shit with. These give me nostalgia, they were simple, effective and punished you for being stupid- like you didn't need to scream "you can't do that" on an international edamame exchange about putting a blue in for a red temporarily because pulling 20amps would pop that shit forever and cost you 15 cents. Still even I'd shut that power down and spend the half hour to drop a breaker box sub panel in. There is literally no reason to keep feeding that thing, and you might even be able to recoup 45 cents by selling the old fuses to my dad.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        1. 20A fuse blew. They don't always look burnt.
        2. Yes, you can unscrew and replace them without killing the main from inside.
        3. That panel is pretty simple to swap out since it's a sub-panel. Turn the power off to it inside the house, verify it's dead with a meter, then swap it out.

        >I'm a professional architectural engineer, specializing in elec design, as well as former electrician
        You're a dipshit and a pussy.
        >Sub feeds get tricky
        Actually, sub feeds are pretty simple
        >could require a permit
        You technically need a permit for lots of stuff but only an asshole would pull one for this.
        >by the looks of that old ass feeder no licensed electrician in their right mind would land that shit back on a new panel
        Of course they would. Nobody is pulling a new feed just to replace a panel.

        I know what you mean about tracers, I did get a consistent and repeatable outcome with the fuses, all the blue 15's gave a solid beep but the red 20 was dead as a doornail.

        Yeah, I think I'll continue to kill the power from the main before doing anything though, it's not worth not taking the time to be safe to avoid a short walk.

        No offense taken, I don't mind admitting when I don't know something, and it's not worth burning down my shop to save a few bucks. I don't have the money now, and I don't know when/if my friend will take a two hour round trip for me, so I'll leave the panel as is for now. Appreciate the advice.

        Tic tracers or voltage detectors are unreliable. Don't trust your life or safety to one of these cheap pieces of shit. Get a meter and check the voltage.

        Just replace the box with a sub panel and put a shut off switch ahead of it in the line.
        You might have to install a grounding rod but then you won't burn down your garage

        >You might have to install a grounding rod
        Golly I wonder what that big green wire in the panel is for?

        Op here, 20amp fuse fixed my issue. I'll end up changing out this panel sooner than later.

        Don't listen to these pussies, you are plenty capable of swapping out this panel.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          To be up to code, each independent building is supposed to be grounded independently

          A grounding wire being present is NOT the same as the panel being properly grounded

          You talk a lot of shit for someone who has no idea how to properly do anything

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >ground wires don't mean its grounded
            >hurr durr gonna pull a permit pull a new feed and a ground rod for a simple ten minute panel swap

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            If I swapped it out and didn't get it inspected/permitted is it possible that an insurance company could deny my claim if I ever had any issue?

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              If you can manage it the smart play is add a second service.

              I did before building my shop and it's glorious to be able to power anything I care to like large welders and compressors. If you get a BEV in future you'll already have power available.

              Cost per month isn't shit and I didn't have to disturb my home service panel which is about maxxed anyway. If I ever need to work on one with power out I have the other.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      pulling out main fuses will keep you from getting zapped without killing power at the main house panel, as long as you aren't touching the lugs or wires upstream of the main/range fuses thatcome in from the top. Sometimes the little round fuses just need to be tightened counterclockwise slightly. They aren't blown, but they loosen just enough to break the circuit sometimes.

      Thanks fellas, I have a new fuse 20amp fuse I can put in tomorrow, I'll give it a shot and see if that clears up the issue. Didn't know about counterclockwise tightening them, my main mentor was really strict about making sure wires were landed really tightly on terminals, so my usual practice is to wrench down on electrical connections pretty well. I'll try backing off the fuses slightly if the new fuse doesn't do the trick.

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    pulling out main fuses will keep you from getting zapped without killing power at the main house panel, as long as you aren't touching the lugs or wires upstream of the main/range fuses thatcome in from the top. Sometimes the little round fuses just need to be tightened counterclockwise slightly. They aren't blown, but they loosen just enough to break the circuit sometimes.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      [...]
      Thanks fellas, I have a new fuse 20amp fuse I can put in tomorrow, I'll give it a shot and see if that clears up the issue. Didn't know about counterclockwise tightening them, my main mentor was really strict about making sure wires were landed really tightly on terminals, so my usual practice is to wrench down on electrical connections pretty well. I'll try backing off the fuses slightly if the new fuse doesn't do the trick.

      Meant to say tighten clockwise

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If that were my place I'd switch that whole panel out. Fuses aren't super safe and more importantly they're annoying as fuck since you can't just reset them like a breaker. Only bullshit I see is the feed for the panel is cloth and crappy, and the wires aren't long, so even if you wanted to be lazy and re use it, it'll be a bitch trying to get those short as wires to reach the new main lugs, if you even can. Besides that it looks really easy to swap.

    Get your electrician buddy over and have him take a look at it. Buy him dinner and a case of beers. When you're dealing with cloth wires I wouldn't recommend an inexperienced homeowner to mess with it. don't bother with a permit. It'll just waste time money.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Fuses aren't super safe
      my neighbor was an electrician
      he upgraded almost all the panels in the neighborhood
      said everyone wanted breakers
      his own house had fuses
      he explained that the slight delay when a breaker trips will melt the insulation on the whole circuit if there is a dead short
      fuses trip instantly

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        This is a meme. Fuses take time to trip just like breakers, because they have to get hot enough to melt the thin wire inside.

        The real reason home fuses are unsafe is because all the different amperages are interchangable. An idiotic homeowner will keep blowing a 15A fuse and replace it with a 30A fuse to keep it from blowing again. This isn't so easy to do with breakers, and you can just flip them to reset.

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Just replace the box with a sub panel and put a shut off switch ahead of it in the line.
    You might have to install a grounding rod but then you won't burn down your garage

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >won't burn down your garage
      Maybe hy wants to, huh? Don't assume combustion intent, you racist terrorist insurrectionist cishomophobe antisemite!

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Oh hey an electrical house fire thread

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    How many dogs has that thing electrocuted?

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Op here, 20amp fuse fixed my issue. I'll end up changing out this panel sooner than later.

  8. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Unscrew fuse insert penny screw bad fuse back in

  9. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I had the same problem with some 30A plug fuses in my garage trying to use my plasma cutter and air compressor. I had another shutoff switch between the panel and the house, so I didn't have to shut the whole garage off, but yeah you probably want to flip the house breaker. I bypassed mine and just wired the line directly to the shut off.
    Since you own the place and I don't own mine, just remove that entire panel and replace it with more modern breaker with a higher rating that's still suitable for the circuit.

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