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1947 Bungelo House Wiring Questions

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  • 1947 Bungelo House Wiring Questions

    Hey guys, I have a few questions for you. I have an older home that mostly has K&T wireing (I replaced the wiring in the bathroom, attic, & back bedroom with romex). I have a fuse box that holds 4 round glass fuses & has a main & range pull fuses. I also have an addition that has a seperate 2 switch breaker. My question is, I have aprox. 14 outlets in the house & 3 celing fans with lights that seem to be running off of 1 20amp fuse. I say this because I can pull the other 3 fuses & nothing turns off. Now, this fuse does not blow except for if I run an air conditioner & microwave at the same time. This setup does not seem right to me. What about to you guys.

    I am thinking about replacing all of the K&T wires with romex by fishing them through my attic (Going through my crawlspace would be eaisier, but I just have a bad feeling about doing it that way). Can I use the exsisting fuse box utilizing all 4 fuses for this, or should I get a breaker box? I would have to have the service reran, because the fuse box is currently inside of a kitchen cabnit. What would you guys suggest?

  • #2
    Re: 1947 Bungelo House Wiring Questions


    Welcome to the Rigid forum. I see no one has responded to your question yet, so I'll jump in and at least push this back to the top of thread.

    First off I'm NOT an electrician so let's not mistake my advice as being from a seasoned pro. But that said, I've owned three homes and am now finalizing the reno on my future house which was built in 1887. I've also done a bit of wiring and am somewhat familiar with electricity, appliance needs, basic NEC code requirements and probably most importantly... when to hire a professional electrician for the job.

    First thing I've always done is take a look at the electrical service and the wiring and whenever necessary (most always), update the service. You've got to understand that a house built in 1947 most likely has an electrical system to meet the needs of the time. In most cases, that was maybe an electric range, lighting, possible furnace fan, a radio or two, electric iron, toaster, and maybe even one of those futuristic television thing-aba-bobs; but, not much else! Your service may be only 60 amps (or less) while many modern homes will be at least 200 amps.

    In your case (by your description), I think that needs to be a major priority. The house sounds like it's current electrical service is way under supplied and in danger of being overloaded. You definitely need to get your service entry up to today's code level and that means a new circuit breaker load panel with new service in from the pole, new meter box, proper grounds, etc.

    Then and only then would I set about analyzing and updating the house wiring. You will need a qualified electrician, no doubt about it! And, I really wouldn't wait too long.

    Hopefully one of the forum's many electricians will jump in here and give you some specifics; but if not, you really need to get some local advice from a real, qualified electrician.

    I hope this helps,



    • #3
      Re: 1947 Bungelo House Wiring Questions

      I completely agree with CWS, get a 100 amp service upgrade done. Here in Wisconsin it is not allowed to transfer ownership of a residential property with less than a 100 amp service anymore. It would just be for the best for you. Without seeing how the house and service are situated it is about impossible to give you any other advice about the service than that. To be honest, fuses are actually quite effective at what they do, the problem is that what you have there is an antique, and not quite up to snuff with todays technology.

      As far as the one fuse, you say it is 3 ceiling fans and 14 recepticles on 1 20 amp fuse. Do all 14 recepticles have something plugged into them? If not, it really isn't carrying all that much of a load at all.

      Myself I would be mostly concerned with doing what you are doing, get the knob and tube out of there and have a new 100 amp service slapped on the house. I would get the service done first, as it is likely they will be relocating the panel to another spot, and you will be pulling wire to the wrong place if you do it ahead of time.