What's going on here? What is commonly done today to modernize this situation? First time I've owned a house with an old fuse panel, but there is also a breaker box. To standardize, I was thinking of hiring an electrician to replace both with a single 100amp breaker box. Would this make sense?

Also, seems like all or at least most of the outlets are non-grounded... so I guess I may want to have all the wiring updated as well?

enter image description here

  • You're asking a bunch of things there. Maybe simplify to meet site standards. Yes, you should replace with a modern panel, but I'd go at least 150A if your supply cabling supports it. 100A panels fill up quickly.
    – isherwood
    Sep 8 '17 at 18:40
  • I would agree with a larger service. If you are going to have everything updated it would be best to pay a few $ more and have plenty of power available with lots of unused slots in the panel. I am always adding never taking away. With that said it looks like you have 6 open slots in that panel and 6 fuses, a gutter could be installed and those fuses moved to breakers. But a new panel would be the best path.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 8 '17 at 18:55
  • Just because the outlets are non grounded does not mean the wiring to them is not (but it is likely). If you own this house as you suggest, it is (probably beyond opinion and more situated in fact) always a good idea to have electrical wiring up to the job of keeping you and your family/guests safe. That means GFCI's, grounded plugs, etc. Technically speaking, fuses and breakers are "created equal" in the sense of breaking power for over current conditions; but that is where it ends. Your picture is a hint that more work is probably desirable for you and by you for the added piece of mind.
    – noybman
    Sep 8 '17 at 21:25
  • Needed more space!! .... Its not wrong to have more than one panel, it's done all of the time, but if you go the route of updating the wiring, (which is more important than updating the panel(s)), then you should also update the panels and consolidate and modernize to breakers, and larger service panel if supported. Also, an electrician rewiring everything would ensure your loads are well balanced and logically distributed to meet your homes layout and growth plans if any.
    – noybman
    Sep 8 '17 at 21:32
  • 1
    the main issue with the old fuses is it is far too easy for someone to upsize the fuses beyond what the wiring can handle. If you leave it alone make sure they are right.
    – agentp
    Jan 12 '18 at 13:35

I guess none of really answered your question if it was common to have both breakers and fuses. I would not say it is common at this time but it is not uncommon for a house that was partially updated to have both. Years ago the code changed and we could no longer have rentals with fuses because of the fuse fire risk if oversized. A friend has quite a few rentals built in the 30's & 40's we did go in and replace the fuse boxes with mostly 100 amp panels on the houses that had gas heat and 150 amp panels with electric heat. These were all or mostly 2 bed 1 bath 900 square foot homes so these panels were close to 2x the size of the original fused mains. Of the 12-15 houses we updated I think 9 or 10 had mixed breakers and fuses, many of his other houses had been fully updated so in this specific case of homes in this era it was approx a 30% chance of a mix.


Oh my gosh I love it!

Looks like there was a handy large fuse panel for the 120v luxuries, and then, when they upgraded to 240v modern appliances, they tossed in a modern breaker panel to accomodate.

You probably oughta talk to a couple electricians. Some will burn you good with horrific stories of burning families in their sleep to sell you a huge rewiring job, but a more responsible electrician will see that you may not have the issues you might think you do - such as, if you have bx cabling, an adequate ground is available.

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