Is an Old Fuse Panel Dangerous?

Fused Electrical Systems

It is not uncommon while inspecting old homes we run into old-fashioned fused electrical systems.  And while it is cool to see them installed and often in use, it raises the question, is an old fuse panel dangerous?

Homes that were built with fuse panels in the first half of the 20th century had electrical systems designed for the usage of the times. They required only a few circuits for a refrigerator, range, a couple of fans, and some lighting.  Fast forward to the 1950’s the era of “Live Better Electrically.”  Homes now acquired TV, hi-fi stereo, a washing machine, dryer, multiple kitchen appliances, and air conditioning and homeowners began to struggle with all those appliances repeatedly blowing fuses.   It was quickly discovered that replacing the 15-amp fuse that the circuit was rated to handle with a 25 or 30-amp fuse, the fuses would stop blowing.  However, the additional amps started a lot of house fires.

So, are fuse panels dangerous?  Well, if left to their own devices, not really.  But,  with human interference, yes.  Coupled with the fact that many insurance companies will not write a policy for older homes with fuse panels in place, it is recommended that they are replaced with an updated electrical system.

Dana Mirowski

Leave a Comment