jspears_gw

I need help understanding an old fuse box

jspears
14 years ago

I have an old fuse box that blew a fuse and I am not sure how to replace it. It has a row of 4 edison screw type fuses. The middle 2 are red and say "time delay fuse 20Amp." The outter two are clear. Abbove this row of 4 fuses are two carriages side by side. The one on the left says "Main" and the one on the right says "Range." On both carriages it says "When fully in reverse for OFF."

On the panel door it says its a murray manufacturing corporation fuse box.

I am not sure how to get into the carriages as there is no main switch. So do I just unscrew the fuses below to kill power to the carriages? Or do I need to reverse them if thats what the writing means? Since there is no main switch do I need to make sure everything in the apartment is off before I unscrew the fuses? Or should I look for another fuse box that might have the switch?

Thank you for any help or advice you can give.

Jim

Comments (42)

  • jspears
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Here is a photo of the fuse box:

    http://jimspearsfusebox.tripod.com/help/index.album?i=0amp;s=1

    Here is a link that might be useful:

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  • brickeyee
    14 years ago

    You do not need to turn off the main to change a branch circuit fuse.
    Unscrew the blown fuse and screw in a new fuse of the EXACT SAME TYPE.

  • Ron Natalie
    14 years ago

    Unscrew the blown fuse and screw in a new fuse of the EXACT SAME TYPE.

    Actually, I'd think carefully about what the PROPER fuse should be. Unless you've got fusestat's, it's quite possible that someone put a larger fuse in there at some point in the intervening years. Any screw-in type fuse over 15A should be suspect :-)

  • bus_driver
    14 years ago

    I subscribe to the wisdom found at 1 Thessalonians 5:21. Once I found that a homeowner had been told that he should install the TypeS adapters and he did so. His thinking was that if 15 amps was good, 30 amps was twice as good. All his wiring was 14 gauge. I removed the 30 amp adapters with a Trico tool and installed the correct ones.

  • mikie_gw
    14 years ago

    Heck my dad just busts out that plastic and adds a drop or two of solder to fix those sprung plug fusetrons links.

  • brickeyee
    14 years ago

    "Actually, I'd think carefully about what the PROPER fuse should be. "

    For someone asking how to even change an edison fuse, determining the correct circuit ampacity is probably a real stretch.

  • DavidR
    14 years ago

    I will change an Edison base fuse with the power on, but I recommend that non-electrical types open the main first. That way it's just about impossible to get hurt.

  • Ron Natalie
    14 years ago

    Of course, pulling and replacing the main is about as dangerous as replacing the branch circuit fuse hot.

  • greg_h
    14 years ago

    Just out of curiousity, what is the danger in switching out an Edison base fuse with the power on?
    Is it just that your finger might slip into the hole and contact the live components, or is it something else that I can't even guess at?

  • brickeyee
    14 years ago

    Both sodes of teh scrw socket in an Edison fuse are hot as soon as the fuse makes contact with them.

    The design is actualy pretty good though. The base contct will not touch until the metal shell is covered pretty well.
    You could work at it and touch something hot, but the biggest problem is the surprise when the fuse makes contact and instantly 'blows'.

  • rayfu
    13 years ago

    I need one of those blocks. I have one of these old fuse boxes too, except mine is missing the "RANGE" block that goes into the right slot in that picture. It's made by Turnbull, and I can't find it anywhere.

  • garyrt_yahoo_com
    13 years ago

    How do you know if the blocks are upside down?
    The writing appears to be same either way.

  • normel
    13 years ago

    One way the contacts are made so the range or panel is "on". the other way the contacts are not made , so the range or panel is "off".

  • garyrt51
    13 years ago

    But, you can't know by just looking at the block, right?

  • brickeyee
    13 years ago

    All the ones I have are pretty clear about when they are upside down.

  • bus_driver
    13 years ago

    Some of the fuse blocks have a notch in the side that that permits reading the marking on the side of the contact base. The word "OFF" will appear in the notch when the pullout block is reversed. That word is covered when the block is in the "ON" position. For those who still have this style panel, it is vitally important that the block be pushed firmly all the way in when the panel is supplying power. A loosely installed block will soon result in a completely ruined panel.

  • garyrt51
    13 years ago

    I was just looking at the picure of the fuse box in the original posting.
    By the picture, it would appear that you could not tell if the block was inserted for " on " or " off ".
    What am I missing ??
    Thanks

  • garyrt51
    13 years ago

    Maybe this is the answer, if the block is inserted for "off", it will not go all the way in.
    If insterted all the way, it would indicate it is "on".
    So, if the block is all the way in, it is on.

  • Ron Natalie
    13 years ago

    If you don't pull the main, it's hard to get the penny in there :-)

  • brickeyee
    7 years ago

    If you pull out the blocks (they normally contain a pair of cartridge fuses) be sure to pull them fully out quickly.

    This is not the time to be tentative, just pull them out.

    The same goes for plugging them back in in the 'ON' positin.

    Push them in quickly and firmly.

    Going slowly can allow an arc to establish and damage the blades and sockets making the actual connection.

    The same thing goes with screwing in Edison base fuses.
    You need to look at an inserted fuse and when the new one gets near the same height finish the last turn as quickly as you can.

  • robertz6
    7 years ago

    I have an older 100 amp fuse service in my early '60's ranch. Have asked a question or two on this forum.

    I've noticed the two books on 'wiring' I've got have very little info devoted to fuses. Ninety percent is devoted to breakers even though books are ten or twenty years old.

    Anyone have a recommendation on a book for fuses and boxes?
    Such as why the box has both fuses and plastic square plugs with fuses inside? And should total of fuses equal the 100 amps, or be greater; and if so how much?
    And some info on tracing flow to outlets, and devices needed.

  • brickeyee
    7 years ago

    Fuse panels have not been used much for over 50 years.

    If you have them it is likely time to upgrade to breakers.

    I used to do a changeover every Saturday for many years.

    In Virginia you can do it without the POCO standing there (unload and pull the meter) and then use jumpers from the old meter base to the new meter base and shorting bars in the new base.
    Plug the meter back into the old base and power is back on.

    If you plan carefully power is off for about 5 minutes (or less).

    After inspection the POCO returns and replaces the feed to the meter if required (and on their nickel, including weather head and drop to the meter base.).

  • norman1964
    6 years ago

    Here are details about the Murry Fuse Box. The box has a rating...somewhere...you'll see 100amps (likely). But, when you "pull" "main" by the handle (pull it hard and fast to remove it), you'll likely see two cartegrige fuses, both 60 amp, on the other side of the handle (and what's in your hand). (For a real max of 120 amps). So, clearly they should have been 50amp (lol). They occasionally burn out....IF you pull the "range" handle, then you'll also see two cartegrige fuses...You might also have an "auxilary" fuse box, which runs along side the fuse box wired to posts in the Murry box. The range and the main, are both "240". The fuses you see are 120 circuits (or half of a 240 circuit). You should be wearing rubber gloves when you play in the fusebox. Realize this...that fuse box might be 50 years old. There are no problems...but eventually, you've got multiple house circuts running through each fuse. The last Murry box I saw like your's the water heater (240), ran off two fuses, and each of these shared other house circuits....this is called "overloaded". If I were you....I'd just replace the entire thing with a new 100 amp circuit breaker box. You might also notice that there is rust in the box...There is likely no way to really add another wire to the ground bar, without breaking the ground bar due to corrosion. This box wires neutral and green wires all to the ground bar. I would do the same with the replacement new circuit breaker box, but you also need to turn a screw to make this happen in your new box......It sounds like you should not be replacing the box yourself. If/when you opt to do this, find someone who knows what they are doing.
    fyi: 1 and 3 are one side of 240, and 2 and 4 are the other side....i'd keep this the same in the new box as well.

  • nlog
    5 years ago

    It sounds like my Mom has the same type of box. A 20 amp plug fuse was blown and a family member replaced it with a 30 amp. Before the fuse blew, reading from left to right the fuses were 20, 20, 30, 20. ***How can I tell if those are the right amps for each? I replaced the 30 with a 20. I remember my dad telling me to always make sure "you put in what you take out". I'm wondering if any other fuses have been replaced with the wrong size. Is there a way I can check that or do I need an electrician?

  • Vith
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Does the wiring leaving the fuse box have any indicators of what it is? If they are all 14-2 then you need 15 amp plugs, if they are all 12-2 then you need 20 amp plugs. If there are both 12-2 and 14-2 then you would have to take the panel cover off and see which plug they go to and use the correct amp fuse. (There will be a some larger wires for other main appliances if applicable like range, water heater, furnace, those arent what you are looking for)

    The 14 and 12 means gauge aka thickness of the wire. The smaller the number the thicker the wire. The thicker the wire the more amperage it can take without heating up to a dangerous heat. The purpose of a fuse/breaker is to stop current when the load gets higher than what the wire can handle. When people put 20 amp fuses where 15 amp is needed they make a fire hazard, but people do it because the line is overloaded and the fuse keeps popping and they get annoyed.

  • nlog
    5 years ago

    Vith, I will look at the wires when I go by today. Thx

  • nlog
    5 years ago

    I don't know what kind so I took pics. Compared one wire to my finger. (The top pic turned sideways.)


  • Vith
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Normally there is writing on the wires, but since they are painted, I wouldnt have a clue from pics. I wonder if the paint chips off so you can see what it is. Looks like a mix of romex and braided, romex being newer.

  • Doc Zirkle
    2 years ago

    OUR fuse blew,and we found out it was boorigged..the "fuse sokket" was shot..a pice of old fuse aluminun/copper that allows it to.screw nto scokket was all broken off inside of sokket.someone had manages to "rig" one forcibly nto the sokket mess and it appare tly worked for Long TIME..my dad now owns for the 11th year and this is first time it wemt bad..this is to.outbuildn where i do all our work(he disable vet,not able help me figga this one out now) so me being knonit all figga easy..i get old sokket out..found anouthe old.box,took sokket from it..NOT SAME..original has cloth piece n bottom WITH A BUILT N METAL PIECE with hole n bottom for to hold wire ..the thout i fixd it piece has no cloth and metal piece SCREW ONTO BOTTOM which seem like cudda work..but no..too long..sooo i mangle the original further,took cloth put in newer one tryd to "rig it into slot..nothn..NOW I HAV NO IDEA WHERE TO BUY A SOCKET..ALL OLD COUNTRU STORE'S SRE LONG GONE..NOONE CAN HELPNME..I KNO WHAT I NEED..JUST NOT KNO WJERE TO FIND...OH..AND I JAD POWER IN HALF BUILDN OUTLETS..UNTIL MY DAD CONVINCE ME TO PULL "SOCKET" OUT AND DO ALL TJAT..WHY WUD MY HALF POWER FROM OTHER E FUSES DISAPPEAR OVER ME TAKN THAT SOCCKET OUT..IS IT BECAUSE THAT PIECE OF METAL BUILT IN THAT INWAS TALKN ABOIT IS SOME KIND OF JUMPER...IT HAS THE TWO BLAK PULL OUT BOXES LIKE SOMEOME MENTION ABOVE..THOSE FUSES WERE FINE..SO I FIGGA IT HAS TO BE SOMETGING TO DO WITH THE SOCKET BEIMG OUT..I SORRY O SOUND LIKE IDIOT..THIS.IS MY FIRST ATTEMTP..I USUSALY CAN FIX.ANYTHING..BUT ALSO HAVE ALWAYS HAD POP TO.HELP ME AND WITHOUT HIS OLD ADVICE..I ON MY OWN..I HAVE TO HAVE FIXED N WEEK..MOWN SEASON HERE..PLEASE PLEASE HELP WITH SOME WORDS OF HELp IF YA CAN...i always listen to my elders and i know there is one out there thats lafdn at me now shaking hishead..knows exact problem

  • Doc Zirkle
    2 years ago

    http://jimspearsfusebox.tripod.com/help/index.album?i=0&s=1. this is what box looks like..wish i had one witbout fuses in it rite now

  • DavidR
    2 years ago

    I wish I could tell you how to fix it, but sorry to say, you're in over your head. The situation is dangerous. The panel will have to be replaced. Get an electrician out there ASAP. Until then, shut off the power to your outbuilding.

  • Ron Natalie
    2 years ago

    Further as I suggested years earlier in th is thread, I can almost bet the 20A screw in fuses are the wrong size.

    This is a good time to have an electrician clean this up with a modern panel.

  • HU-828370612
    3 months ago

    I have a fuse that keeps blowing every time I put one in need help finding out why I am getting new fuse box soon but need electricity now

  • mtvhike
    3 months ago

    Does some action on your part cause the fuse to blow (like plugging in a hair dryer or an air conditioner)? If not, when the fuse blows, check all your appliances and other circuits and see which ones are "out". If there are no high-current things plugged in, then you need an electrician, because that shouldn't happen EVER.


    On a different note, if I were moving into a house which had this kind of fuse box, I would replace all the fuses with 15A ones. If one or more start blowing on their own, then you may have the same problem as the previous poster, unless you can trace its circuit to a water heater or some other type of high-current device.


    Probably the most common cause of this problem is people putting in window air conditioners and plugging them into a circuit which doesn't have enough capacity.

  • david pauly
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Can I tap on to the 110's to get the 220 for my welder

  • mtvhike
    3 months ago

    I assume you're joking!

  • Tyler O'Connell
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    I recently purchased a 107-year-old house with a Murray 74-4F (a similar fuse box as described above with two 60A main fuses and two 50A range fuses).


    While vacuuming the main bedroom, my partner turned on the lights and seemingly blew a fuse. I then replaced both the corresponding plug and cartridge fuses to no avail. For good measure, I tried swapping the new plug and main fuses into the other main circuit and was able to confirm the issue is not with the fuses but instead the circuit itself.


    Any idea what a vacuum and light bulb could have done to the circuit and what needs to be done to repair it? I'm trying to keep this electrical on its last legs until I can upgrade the whole thing.

  • Gabriel Jimmerson
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago



    top right does not have any fuses, top left has fuses but are unreadable. just moved in have no clue about the top boxes I’ve figured out the color screw ins. I need ac unit but new outlet not strong enough. Any suggestions besides professional please.

  • Ron Natalie
    2 months ago

    You might call Bill Jeter and ask him to explain it. When you say the top left has no fuses, do you mean the holder has a place for them but they are absent or that it doesn't have a place for them?


    The one with fuses probably drives some large load: stove or something like that.


    What kind of AC are we talking about, what does it need for power?

  • HU-83461957
    2 months ago

    Any one good with Murray fuse boxes? Need help identifying what fuse holder to purchase for my grandmas box to get power back up to her upstairs

  • kudzu9
    2 months ago

    HU-

    I suggest that you start a new thread with your question rather than piggybacking on a topic that started 14 years ago. You also may be more likely to get a helpful answer if you give more details about the fuse box.