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100 Amp Older Panel


Michael Carson
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Take a look at this panel and tell me if there is anymore I can say about this panel. In the report I typed "the main panel is an older 100amp panel with fuses, there are fuses of different amps installed. There is double tapping off multiple fuses and main pull out, suggest electrician evalaute panel/electrical system to include sub panels and repair/replace as needed". There was also a bunch of reverse polarity outlets, etc. Home seller gets their own electrician who says that it is a 100amp panel and there is nothing wrong with it. Soooo, buyer is having their own electrician look at it and it now becomes dueling electricians. Please take a look at the panel and tell me your thoughts. Be kind on my report writing. Looking back at it, I can change some things.

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Originally posted by Michael Carson

Take a look at this panel and tell me if there is anymore I can say about this panel. In the report I typed "the main panel is an older 100amp panel with fuses, there are fuses of different amps installed.

Is that normal or abnormal? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? If it's a bad thing, why is it a bad thing?

There is double tapping off multiple fuses and main pull out,

Is that normal or abnormal? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? If it's a bad thing, why is it a bad thing?

suggest electrician evalaute panel/electrical system to include sub panels and repair/replace as needed".

Who should I suggest that to? I'm kidding. I understand that you, Michael Carson, are doing the suggesting, but that's not what you wrote. When you use pidgin English, people are apt to misunderstand your meaning.

There was also a bunch of reverse polarity outlets, etc. Home seller gets their own electrician who says that it is a 100amp panel and there is nothing wrong with it. Soooo, buyer is having their own electrician look at it and it now becomes dueling electricians. Please take a look at the panel and tell me your thoughts. Be kind on my report writing.

Oops. Too late. Sorry.

Looking back at it, I can change some things.

Poor report writing is the root of the problem in these cases. Whenever a seller, contractor, agent or buyer calls me with information that seemingly contradicts my report it's my fault because I failed to communicate the problem clearly enough.

As for the technical stuff in the panel, there are also improper neutral connections and at least one oversized fuse. In most cases, when you see multiple taps in older fuse boxes, it means that the house has outgrown the panel.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Neal Lewis

I hope you let them know that their homeowner's insurance company could have a problem with it.

I did tell them that they may have a problem with insurance. The buyer has a problem with panels with fuses anyway. I went over the panel with the buyer including the overfusing, etc. verbally my explanation in the report left alot to be desired.

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Hi Michael,

FWIW, fuses are more reliable than breakers.

I agree with Jim though; it's necessary to clearly explain what an issue is and why it's potentially detrimental to the house before you make your recommendations. You need to explain it in a way that the reader will understand. Terms like reversed polarity and double-tapping mean nothing to most people, unless they're electricians, so you should explain the issue in layman's terms.

Keep in mind that fuse panels are almost always more than 40 years old and most professional electricians consider components that are over 40 years old to be obsolete. A truly competent and professional electrician will almost always recommend full replacement of an old fuse panel, unless of course they're being paid to say the exact opposite with no chance of assuming liablity for it in which case they'll be more than happy to defend a seller's decision to keep a fuse box.

That's one crowded rat's nest of a panelboard and the fact that there are at least two sub-panels on the right side of that puppy means that the number of circuits in the house has obviously outgrown the original panel. The clients should understand that if they'll ever want to do any remodeling, and it becomes necessary to add additional circuits, any competent and truly professional electrician isn't going to want to work with that mess

In a case like this, the term "obsolete" to describe the service equipment is pretty useful; even an electrician hired by the seller would have a hard time arguing with that.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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