05:06PM | 03/02/04
Member Since: 03/01/04
1 lifetime posts
I just bought a condo in an older high rise apartment/condo conversion, built in late 1950's. This condo has a fuse box in the kitchen containing a few 15 & 20 amp fuses. As well, all of the wall outlets throughout the unit have the older receptacles with just the 2 prongs, not the 3, nor are there any receptacles with the GFCI. I have several questions about changing this. I would greatly appreciate any insight into this. Unfortunately I know very little about electrical work.

1. Can I change out the fuse box with a circuit breaker?

2. If so, does this require any sort of rewiring of the wiring within the walls extending to all of the outlets?

3. Can I simply change all of the 2 prong outlets to the more updated 3 prong (grounded?) outlets?

4. Would this require any sort of rewiring of the electrical work?

5. In the bathroom I need to install the GFCI receptacle (change from old 2 prong) is it is simple as removing the old and adding the new?

Would this be a huge project and am I overlooking anything I should consider?




05:34AM | 03/03/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hello dbnum2,

I'm not an electrician but I've worked around old wiring and farm wiring in the past, so this is just my opinion.

1. Hire a professional electrician to change your fusebox to a new service panel. There may well be hot wires in that panel which cannot be turned off (at least not locally); an electrician will know how to handle this. This will also likely need to be inspected by local authority.

2. WIring withing the walls. Something that might well need to be done at the same time, to add ground wiring (for safety). Probably another job for a pro.

3. Simply changing 2-prong to 3-prong outlets. Don't do it. The 3rd prong is for ground and is a safety feature. If there's no 'ground' behind that 3rd prong, all you'll have is a misleading facade (and, no doubt, a code violation).

4. Yes if you want the wiring updated for grounding.

5. GFCI. This could well be worth a look! GFCI can protect you even WITHOUT the ground, and it's something you can do yourself--even on old wiring. It offers tremendous safety benefits. HOWEVER, I have installed numerous GFCIs and they're not necessarily as easy at they look. They take a LOT of room in the box; some boxes may not be large enough. If there are incoming and outgoing wires in the box, You'll need to know which side is "load" (downstream outlets) and which is "line" (to the panel). If there's just one incoming wire, this is a straightforward connection--but again, those GFCIs may not fit very well in the box.

In general, there's a lot to know about wiring and I don't pretend to know the 1/2 of it. You might take a look at the possibility of the GFCI, but other than that I suggest learning more about wiring--and hiring a pro when you need one.


-k2 in CO


05:39AM | 03/05/04
Member Since: 02/21/04
138 lifetime posts
Changing old 2 prong receptacles with a GFI is an accepted practice. You don't have to add a ground wire, but if you could it would be better.


02:38PM | 03/05/04
Member Since: 08/30/02
19 lifetime posts
k2, I salute you. Your post was excellent.

Dbnum2, I will follow suit and advise you to get estimates from atleast three EC's, but the bottom line is, you should let a pro tackle this project, it's to involved for a first time DIYer.

Is there a problem with the wiring, or do you just feel it should be updated?



02:43PM | 03/05/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Thanks Roger! You just made my day :)


01:57AM | 03/06/04
Member Since: 08/30/02
19 lifetime posts
You're welcome



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