04:38PM | 04/17/07
Member Since: 04/16/07
2 lifetime posts
I need to check a cartridge fuse in my old style fuse box. Books have stated to turn off the main power before pulling the fuse block out. Does this mean that I have to call the power company to do this? I do not have a main shut-off breaker. It is a GE 100 amp box with four fuse blocks and eight screw in fuses. Is it dangerous to just pull out the fuse block?


09:46PM | 04/17/07
Member Since: 01/09/07
197 lifetime posts
It's extremely unlikely (and almost certainly illegal) to have any box, even an antiquated one, without a main power shut-off. (That's one of the main purposes of the box, after all.)

Check those 4 fuse blocks -- probably one of them IS the main shut-off. The other 3 are fuses for major appliances, probably 220V ones. It will probably be the one with the biggest cartridge fuses in it. Like 60A or 100A fuses, while the others are probably 30A fuses. (It may be hard to read the rating on them -- they have probably been there without any changes for years.)


03:27AM | 04/18/07
Member Since: 04/16/07
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for responding! I did some more research and have attached a picture of the box. The top pull out block has "service disconnect" stamped on it. The next 2 blocks have "service disconnect PC-A and PC-B. You are right the bottom 3 blocks are stove,oil burner, and dryer. The top has nothing and the 2 screw fuses do not do anything to the house when fuse is removed.

In the upper left corner there is a small on/off swith for each block. If I wanted to remove the dryer block to change a fuse, do I slide the top block and PC-A/dryer switch to "off" and then pull out the dryer fuse block?

Thanks again for responding!!!!!!!!!


07:42AM | 04/18/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1916 lifetime posts
The code allows up to 6 disconnects on a service.

"230.71 Maximum Number of Disconnects

(A) General The service disconnecting means for each service permitted by 230.2, or for

each set of service-entrance conductors permitted by 230.40, Exception Nos. 1, 3, 4, or 5,

shall consist of not more than six switches or sets of circuit breakers, or a combination of

not more than six switches and sets of circuit breakers, mounted in a single enclosure, in

a group of separate enclosures, or in or on a switchboard. There shall be not more than

six sets of disconnects per service grouped in any one location. For the purpose of this

section, disconnecting means used solely for power monitoring equipment, transient

voltage surge suppressors, or the control circuit of the ground-fault protection system or

power-operable service disconnecting means, installed as part of the listed equipment,

shall not be considered a service disconnecting means."

Older panels had Split Busses. But this is still allowed in the code. Now days it is more often applied to multiple panels for 400 amp service or mutliple disconnects in one panel for multiple tenent buildings.

A Split Bus panel is one that does not have a main disconnect. Rather one disconnect/overload is used to supply a in internal bus for the 120 loads and other disconnects/overloads for the larger 240 loads.

I have not seen a fuse panel like yours.

The 7th from the right is a style tht is more common.

The pullout on the left is for all of the 120 load connected to the 8 fuses bock (of which only 6 are used) on the bottom.

The rigth pullout is used for the stove. There is no common disconnect.

Not sure what the 4 fues in a row are for. It has been 40 years since I looked at one. Possibly for WH and Dryer and off "main" disconnect.

I have no idea how yours is arranged.

But there is no problem pulling out or replacing a block with the power on.

However, it prevent arching the current should be zero or low.

In your case that just means to turn off or unplug the dyer first.


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