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Thread: Fuse box wiring

  1. #1
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    Default Fuse box wiring

    Just looked at a fuse box with 14 gauge wire running to 20 amp fuses. House was built in 1973. Was this acceptable back when the house was built?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    People routinely install a larger fuse in the sockets.
    I see over-fused panels all the time, often with the largest fuse they can find.


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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Huffman View Post
    Just looked at a fuse box with 14 gauge wire running to 20 amp fuses. House was built in 1973. Was this acceptable back when the house was built?
    Looking at my 1965 NEC, 14 gauge for 15 amp, 12 gauge for 20 amp.

    I suspect this is true for all versions of the NEC. I seem to recall Jerry Peck has a copy of the 1901 NEC.

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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Huffman View Post
    Just looked at a fuse box with 14 gauge wire running to 20 amp fuses. House was built in 1973. Was this acceptable back when the house was built?
    What was the circuit for?

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    I didn't look back into my 1897 NEC, however, my 1905 NEC requires not smaller than #14 B&S (the predecessor to AWG sizing of conductors) for lighting circuits and references not greater than 660 watts (a watt rating instead of an ampere rating, with a 120 v 660 watt circuit equaling a 5.5 ampere rating).

    Between my 1905 NEC and my 1925 NEC (with my 1928 and 1931 NECs being essentially the same as 1925 with slight wording changes) changes were made. 1925/28/31 specified lighting and appliance circuits being #14 and being not greater than 15 ampere, i.e., 'protected by not greater than 15 ampere fuses and circuit breakers'.

    At some point after the 1931 NEC, improvements in materials and manufacturing allowed circuit ampacity in residences to increase with larger sized conductors (i.e. #12 and later #10) and higher rated fuses and circuit breakers for the larger and higher ampacity rated conductors.

    I used to have a 1915 or 1918 NEC years ago and loaned it someone, and as I all too frequently did back then ... I forgot who I loaned it to. Shame on me, but I eventually learned to stop loaning code books out ... I guess I was a slow learner in that respect.

    Jerry Peck
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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Hey Jerry,

    Can I borrow your 1897 code?



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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Hey Jerry,

    Can I borrow your 1897 code?

    Gunnar,

    Sure, I'll drop it in the mail this afternoon ... wait ... no way man!



    Jerry Peck
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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Gunnar,

    I also have a book ,copyrighted and printed in 1896, which has the 1897 NEC before it was adopted as:

    Rules and Requirements
    of the
    Underwriters' Association
    of the
    Middle Department
    For The Installation Of
    Wiring and Apparatus
    For
    Light, Heat, and Power
    Adopted August 31, 1897
    Superseding All Previous Rules

    (that is the name of what is recognized as 'the first National Electrical Code')

    Some of the wording in the Rules and Requirements in the book are slightly different than the adopted 1897 NEC as the Rules and Requirements in it are from before the final meetings in which the Rules and Requirements were finalized and adopted as 'Superseding All Previous Rules'

    Jerry Peck
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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    It looks like you can download it here: https://archive.org/details/00701897/mode/2up

    I guess I don't need to borrow it after all Jerry.

    I wonder what else they have?

    I also located this from 1881, but it's really not much use. Thanks to the Mike Holt forum: https://www.electrical-contractor.net/NFPA/1881nec.pdf

    Interestingly enough, in the 1897, it looks like a #12 wire with rubber insulation is good for 17 amps whereas a #12 weatherproof wire is good for 23 amps.

    It also has values for #16 and #18 wires.

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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Before the 1897 Rules and Requirements was adopted and basically recognized as 'the' 'national' electrical code, the same Middle Department Inspections of the Underwriters' had various editions going back to when the Middle Department Inspection was formed in 1883.

    As you found on Mike Holt's site, New York (and likely Chicago and LA) had their own 'codes' (and kept their own building codes to possibly even today, with amendments to the NEC for electrical).

    The interesting aspect of the Middle Department of the Underwriters' is that they were not a "city" code. Which may be why it is now recognized as "the" (and is so named) first National Electrical Code.

    I've talked with someone who has an even older book (1892) with earlier Rules and Requirements in it, and the wording and requirements change as progress in electrical changes, along with safety thinking.

    One thing I found interesting in the 1897 NEC is that metal conduits are not required, but ... where used ... are required to be grounded. They recognized that hazard from day one.

    I had an attorney once tell me that metal conduit in a 1947 house wasn't required to be grounded as that was before grounding was required for circuits - he was half right ... ground for circuits was not required in 1947 ... but (from 'day one') when metal conduit is used, it was required to be grounded. That 'metal conduit was not required to be grounded' was the basis of his case for his client who remodeled a very large old house and did not ground the metal conduit used throughout the house.

    He didn't appreciate me providing the court with a copy of the 1897 code with the requirement back then (as well as the 1947 NEC and the current NEC requiring the same).

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    As you found on Mike Holt's site, New York (and likely Chicago and LA) had their own 'codes' (and kept their own building codes to possibly even today, with amendments to the NEC for electrical).


    Yes, California modifies all of the building codes to match the various political issues here in the state and then L.A. does some more modification. I believe S.F. does as well (at least, they used to).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    He didn't appreciate me providing the court with a copy of the 1897 code with the requirement back then (as well as the 1947 NEC and the current NEC requiring the same).
    Huh... And you'd think that the knowledge he gained would have made him ecstatic.

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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    It looks like you can download it here: https://archive.org/details/00701897/mode/2up.
    The internet Archive (other names are used as well) can be an awfully handy place to locate out-of-copyright material. UNFORTUNATELY, it is also notorious among authors for having condoned Intellectual Property violations until someone reached out with a takedown order regarding each pirated text; a fine game of guacamole, or in English whack-a-mole. Call it what you will, that model of "public service" still makes me green around the gills.


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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    My opinion is that as soon as a code, standard, or document ... of any kind ... is adopted by ... any, yes, any ... government or governmental agency or department (local, state, federal, doesn't matter), that code, standard, document is thereby "public domain" as it is used for and or by the public and or as a guide for public use of whatever the code, standard, or document addresses.

    The only exceptions being for national security, and building codes are not "national security".

    Jerry Peck
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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    My opinion is that as soon as a code, standard, or document ... of any kind ... is adopted by any ... government or governmental agency or department that code, standard, document is thereby "public domain" as it is used for and or by the public and or as a guide for public use of whatever the code, standard, or document addresses.
    Jerry, first of all, adopted codes are not what I was talking about with regard to IA/Online Library/whatev engaging in piracy. I and other individual authors have found our in-print works made available by these outfits to people with no qualms about circumventing our rights as creators. That practice is what I was warning our colleagues about. It is easy to assume that because some work from 1915 is posted quite legally, therefore works still protected under copyright law must also have been legally posted and made downloadable: perhaps posted with the permission of the author or publisher, perhaps posted after payment of suitable fees. But unfortunately, this is not the case.

    As for standards that are adopted by any government entity automatically entering the public domain, losing all copyright protection, we may differ; I side with the standards-publishing bodies such as NFPA. Yes, the public has a right of access in the case of any standard that is incorporated into law, but it's not an unlimited right such as would be the case if it were published and owned by the government. Otherwise, the government would essentially have exercised some equivalent to eminent domain on these works.

    It is fair that i have access to NFPA standards, maybe even to ASTM or UL ones, but it also is fair that if I want to download and print them to make them more handy, or if I want to search through a standard for words or phrases electronically, I have to pay for those extended privileges. I don't need them in order to be able to find out what rules the law has adopted.


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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    It is fair that i have access to NFPA standards, maybe even to ASTM or UL ones, but it also is fair that if I want to download and print them to make them more handy, or if I want to search through a standard for words or phrases electronically, I have to pay for those extended privileges. I don't need them in order to be able to find out what rules the law has adopted.
    I disagree with your last part - if a code, standard, or document is adopted and the public is required to abide by it, such as buikding codes, standards, etc, then the public should absolutely have the right to not only access it,, but to print it, be able to search it, i.e., be able to ensure, in every way, that they (the public) can find and understand each and every aspect if what they (the public) are expected meet.

    Private authors cresting and selling their own work is a completely different ball game ... unless and until a Private author has their work adopted by a government and is applied to the public ... then the work should be free access, in every way, to the public. Whether or not the government paid for, took, or was given the private work does not/should not have any effect on the public's access to what governs them.

    Jerry Peck
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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I disagree with your last part - if a code, standard, or document is adopted and the public is required to abide by it, such as building codes, standards, etc, then the public should absolutely have the right to not only access it,, but to print it, be able to search it, i.e., be able to ensure, in every way, that they (the public) can find and understand each and every aspect if what they (the public) are expected meet.

    Private authors cresting and selling their own work is a completely different ball game ... unless and until a Private author has their work adopted by a government and is applied to the public ... then the work should be free access, in every way, to the public. Whether or not the government paid for, took, or was given the private work does not/should not have any effect on the public's access to what governs them.
    Jerry, we're going to end up disagreeing on what rights members of the public gain when government entities adopt--or perhaps even republish--copyrighted works. The ultimate question in my mind is what public good or harm results from voiding creators' rights.

    Suppose, to take an extreme case, that some filibustering creature chooses to read a work you've copyrighted into the Congressional Record. This is a public document. There is a public good, at least an arguable one, to letting members of the public read your bodice-ripper from the Congressional Record, to discover for themselves how that elected person chooses to spend their and other elected officials' time in the chamber. But to download it? To search it for a count of how many times you used the phrase, I mean frase, "foetid fulminations"? I don't see the public good in this.

    Suppose we say that in enforcing the OSH Act, DOL refers repeatedly to NFPA 70E for electrical safety. All the staff time, all the stakeholder energy, all the public input that went into the document is preserved as something from which NFPA can make some money to cover these expenses--so long as 70E isn't formally enforced, just mentioned as an example of how one might protect workers.

    Now take NFPA 70B, electrical maintenance. It's a guidance document, so perhaps it cannot be adopted by a government agency for enforcement. Safe! But in a year or two it will have been converted into a standard. This takes time and effort, and what public good is there in telling NFPA that while people still will be able to read it free, still be able to create related works without license fees (within suitable limits), NFPA will also have to give up any revenue from the unique ability to sell printed or printable or searchable e-copies?

    I myself like being able to search any and all codes, but I am not willing to suffer the harm of shifting the standard-making bodies yet further in the direction of relying on those stakeholders with plenty of money. This I see as a public ill. That's my position as a homeowner, as a private inspector, as a contractor and consultant, and as a writer. Free access would be convenient to me in each role. Unless free access degrades the product.

    The electorate, if we believe those whom we elect, is not willing to pay taxes to hire public servants to create standards when suitable ones can be found in stakeholder-sourced documents. So there's our quandary. Do we want those who promulgate publicly adoptable standards to be able to support the enterprise by selling their products, or do we want to rely on more self-serving entities to make the rules that suit them, and invite the government to take them with no more recompense than getting just the rules they want (and the public be damned).


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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    The ultimate question in my mind is what public good or harm results from voiding creators' rights.
    Being as you have deemed that the ultimate question, this is the ultimate answer which contains the altra-ultimate question.

    When a creator profits from their work (monetary payment is only one way to profit) when a government adopts that work and requires the public to meet that work - "what public good .... results from voiding" the public's access and ability to do read, copy, print, search the requirements to fully understand what is being required of the public.

    I guess you could call me being right to not restrict the public from being able to meet those requirements, with you being wrong by putting an individual's/company's copyright, for which the gave up to a government for use as a requirement that the public is required to follow.

    If one wants to retain all rights under a copyright, then one must refuse to allow that work to be foisted onto the public by a government as requirements the public must meet.

    The public is given no choice, the creator of the work has a choice.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    If the fuses are Edison base plug fuses, then I would recommend the installation of type S adapters to insure that overfusing does not occur any longer.


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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The public is given no choice, the creator of the work has a choice.
    I'm not clear that the creators do have much choice there. But this is a legal question, so I must bow to your expertise.


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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    I'm not clear that the creators do have much choice there. But this is a legal question, so I must bow to your expertise.
    David,

    The choice the creators have is to get the compensation they feel they are entitled to for creating the codes, standards, documents which are adopted and "forced" onto the public.

    What type and how much compensation the creators demand/are willing to accept versus 'then I'll keep this to myself or others' is the ultimate question. Do they change their business model to reflect their giving up to the public full access to what is being 'forced' on the public as requirements, or do they continue to insist that they only have to give limited 'read only' access to the public which is being required to follow their work once adopted by a government?

    It is also time for each adopting government to include with their compensation for the work the public domain access to the work as the work sets forth requirements which control how/what is done be the public.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    David,

    The choice the creators have is to get the compensation they feel they are entitled to for creating the codes, standards, documents which are adopted and "forced" onto the public.

    What type and how much compensation the creators demand/are willing to accept versus 'then I'll keep this to myself or others' is the ultimate question. . .


    It is also time for each adopting government to include with their compensation for the work the public domain access to the work as the work sets forth requirements which control how/what is done be the public.
    Jerry, I wondered whether you'd go there.

    Do you really see the town of XYZ adopting legislation that says they will pay for each code they adopt? We're back to creators, big and small, playing whack-a-mole.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Fuse box wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    Jerry, I wondered whether you'd go there.

    Do you really see the town of XYZ adopting legislation that says they will pay for each code they adopt? We're back to creators, big and small, playing whack-a-mole.
    I'm following your leads - every "town of XYZ adopting" codes already does "pay for each code they adopt".

    If they adopt the ICC, do you think the ICC gives their codes away? If you do, you haven't looked at the costs of ICC codes in a while.

    Same goes for ASTM, NFPA, and other codes and standards - have you seen those prices lately? Back in 2004/05 I paid $1,500 for the ASTM Building stands on CDs. I don't know what that cost is today, but I know each standard by itself causes heart flutter to pay that much for a few pages of pdf.

    You can bet your boots that every "town of XYZ" which adopts a code or standard pays dearly for it. Let's see, I think I recall number from years ago that Florida had several hundred jurisdictions, however many sets of codes for the State of Florida itself, plus however many sets of code for each jurisdiction and their employees, and the creators of those codes and standards take in a bundle for their compensation.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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