As discussed in Part 1, replacing your fuse box with circuit breakers will give your home’s electrical system greater reliability, power, and safety. Part 2 will discuss important considerations for this project. Hire an experienced licensed electrician to get the best results.
Every electrical upgrade will present some challenges. Occasionally, fuse boxes are “grandfathered”, meaning that some components of the electrical system not up to current code do not have to be replaced if they are left intact. However, replacing a portion of a grandfathered electrical system may require redoing the entire system to comply with current codes. As a result, project costs may skyrocket.
Wiring and Insulation
Making the transition to breakers from fuses may mean having to also replace wiring and insulation. There is a tendency for upgrades to expand, increasing expenses. However, replacing outdated equipment will allow your home’s electrical system to better serve modern demands in terms of power and decrease the risk of electrical fire.
If you want to install a larger electrical panel, find out the size of your home’s incoming electrical service first. If it’s only 60-amp and you plan to install a 200-amp panel, your utility company must upgrade your service. The wiring entering your home will need to be changed, as the new circuit breakers will not match the current fuse sizes.
Main Disconnect Switch
The main disconnect switch should be inspected as well. Will it be necessary to replace the fuses or are they in good shape? If the main fuses are in good condition, the supplies and installation will be straightforward, so upgrading will cost $500 to $1,500. However, if the main disconnect fuses require replacement, along with a considerable portion of the current system, the costs will be markedly more.
Breakers and Panels
It is important to match the circuit breakers with the existing fuses. For example, do not try installing a 30-amp breaker where a 10-amp fuse is housed. Not only is this very hazardous, it will very likely cause damage.
It would be wise to install a 200-amp panel to meet future electrical demands. The number of electrical appliances and devices in most homes is steadily increasing every year.
Electrical Peace of Mind
Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs. For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.