Electrical Questions? Ask an Electrician Online.
Hello give me a couple moments to review your situation
In general I think you are due for a service upgrade ..
If the situation is blowing the fuse .. then that indicates that there is a frault in the circuit in the house
but you say it dioes not blow the fuse .. just the fuse is not making good contact ,, and power comes back on if you twist the fuse a bit .. that tells me that there is possibly some fatigue in the fuse socket
are these glass fuses ,, or are they harg plastic . possibly collored plastic fuses ?
does that closer fuse blow when the cord is plugged in .. or when some device is plugged into the cord ? what is the amperage rating printed on these fuses ?
I do not see an obvious fire hazard here .. the problem is the fuse not making good contact .. as long as the fuse is the coiorrect amperage . then there seems to be no fire hazard ..
These are 30 amp glass fuses and the current to that outlet is active and the fuse will blow for no apparent reason but upon twisting the fuse more in the fuse panel the power comes back on.
How do I know if my fuse amps are correct? I use 30 amp fuses for everything and 60 amp shotgun fuses. I don't know if I am overloading my circuit.
OK . from my experience the 30 amp fuse is oversized .. if you could tell what size wire was used for the circuit , then you could size the fuse correctly .. if # XXXXX wire use a 20 amp fuse .. if #14 wiire use a 15 amp fuse .. it is very unlikely that the builder used #10 wire , which would be required if using those 30 amp fuses .. NOW we are talking about a fire hazard .. the wire is not protected as it should be and could overheat, breaking down the insulation and possibly causing a fire ..
What is the rated wattage of the heaters that you are pluggiing in ?? if more than 200 watts on a 20 amp fuse , you are pushing the limits of the circuit .. if these heaters are actually blowing a 30 amp fuse , you have probably been lucky
in my experience the wiring is more likely #14 which would be 15 amps .. which wouid allow a heater rated at about 1200 watts
and these fuses are all glass .. right ,, no white or red or blue plastic?
At this point I would recommend that you have an electrician come in and evaluate the electrical system .. you might find someone to do it for minimal cost .. or a fee estimate type thing ,.. that way you would have some hands-on expertise as to just what the wire is and what the fuses are .. I can chat with you about it and give you my opinion about the system .. but I cannot see it or feel it ..
And since you are apprehensive about not knowing just what you have .. and are reaching out to get answers , I think having someone there would be more comfort to you ..
In my opinion and from my experience , older electrical systems like yours used # XXXXX wire and less often # XXXXX wire .. most of the fuse panels that I see like yours are fitted with 15 amp fuse and sometimes with 2o amp fuses .. if you try a 15 or 20 .. you may find that it fits better and will not go off on you as it has been doing
By overload , I mean that the wire that is most likely in your circuits is designed for transmissi=on of 15 or maybe 20 amps .. you have a 30 amp fuse in the panel .. so that fuse will allow 30 amps before it trips .. that is twice as much amperage as the wire is rated for .. that condition is termed overloaded .. like putting 2 tons of sand in a 1 ton truck .. eventually something is going to snap ..
If you would like me to explain more .. or something is not clear .. or you have other thoughts, concerns, issues ,.. please continue here until you are satisfied with the discussion and with what you should do to help your situation .. OK ?
YES ,, 30 years ago I could handle a lot more that I can now .. your electrical system is similar .. and who knows who or when those fuses got changed to 30 amp .. typically someone had a problem with blowing fuses and just put in a larger fuse to get around the problem .. or maybe it was like that when you got there .. hard for me to tell .. but not surprising to me that it happened ..
I still would advise you to have an electrician evaluate the system for you .. like an inspection .. he would be able to determine the wire size and the proper fuses to use .. and advise you if there are an other obvious problems ..
you have a joyous holiday ..
OK .. I basically see what you have .. did the electrician check and tighten all the screw terminals in the panel??
I am assuming that the electrician found that the wire for the circuits is rated for 20 amps , because the replaced your 30 amp fuses with 20 amp fuses .. That was my initial analysis of your electrical service ,, those circuits blow a 20 amp fuse , then they are overloaded and the wire in a hazardous condition ..
The hot water tank should be on two 30 amp fuses , and #10 wire , with no outlets on that circuit ..
If your dryer is a 220 volt dryer, then that should be on two 30 amp fuses, with no other outlets on that circuit ..
an electric stove should be on two 50 amp fuses with no other outlets on that circuit ..
EVERYTHING else , all the room outlets, and small kitchen appliances , and lights , should be on a single 145 or 20 amp fuse , depending on the wire size used in the circuit ..
The main, two fuse , pullout would typically be fitted with two 60 amp barrel fuses . this should be for the main power to the house and no other attachments ..
the best suggestion I can give you is to have an electrician do a service upgrade for you .. you have just toooo much stuff connected to your electrical panel and the wires are in a hazardous condition ..
OK .. find an electrician that will give you a free estimate .. or ask him for an inspection of your electrical service .. then get a written estimate or report with details ,, wire sizes, fuse sizes .. and cost to upgrade to 100 amp service, including line item details of the proposed work ,,
the report should be a couple hours and be less than $100 .. the service up grade would be more in the $500 range ..
for now , you should split the house receptacles and lights off of the circuits that are supplying the water heater and the dryer ..the house receptacles and lights should be wired to empty fuse spaces and protected with the appropriate fuses .. 15 or 20 amp .. the electrician put in 20's , so I am guessing that would be appropriate ..
thoughts .. concerns ??