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electrical question - upgrade from round fuse electric?

ownsmany

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I'm considering buying an investment duplex property. It has round electric fuses (so it's an old electric system). Wondering if anyone has done it and what is a ball park figure to upgrade.

Trying to figure what to bid on the house and don't know how costly upgrading the electric will be. House is approx 2000 square feet (maybe more) including upstairs apartment unit. Both units have separate meters now.

Don't want to overbid for the property.
 

dwojo

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If you upgrade the cost varies depending on the area and how much wiring needs to be upgraded. Will new meters need to be installed? Look at the neighborhood rentals and see if rent collected makes the cost worthwhile.
 

vacationhopeful

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Do the outlets have 3 prongs or 2? If 3 prongs, use a tester to MAKE SURE they are grounded (many people fake that to plug in all their 3 prong appliaances w/o an adapter).

I would still pull 2 or 3 outlets to make sure there is a 3 wire connection coming into the outlet box --- not that there are 3 wires on the outlet. Smarter people use a stub wire to ground the outlet to the metal box.

If the wiring is without a ground --- everything needs or will be required to be rewired with new wire to the newer code (only 6 outlets per line) instead of 10 and the even older code of 14 (I do believe).

You don't want to own a rental which burns down due to BAD/Illegal wiring. IMHO.

PS If it has round fuses, your service is most likely 60AMP. 150 AMP might be the new required service level from the street now. Had been 100AMP service for years and years. New meters (meters are provided by your utility company) you have to pay for the socket and licensed & permitted installation ... And look at the service wire down the sides of the duplex -- that most likely needs to be replaced too.

Just from my various electric experiences ... not a pro. :rofl:
 

ampaholic

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Very impressive Linda.

In most jurisdictions - if you upgrade the distribution box (breaker/fuse box) you will need to bring the entire system up to current code.

If the current (fuse) system is in good condition throughout, I would consider retaining it. You should have it inspected by a competent inspector.

The main downside to renters using a fuse-box is if they decide to do something really (really) stupid such a put a penny under a blown fuse or use overrated fuses. :wall:

It's much harder to do these things with breakers.
 

stevedmatt

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AS stated above, if everything is copacetic with the branch circuit wiring, upgrading to 2 new circuit beaker panels will cost somewhere between $3500-$5000 depending on the ease of installation and the desired amp size of the new system.
 

easyrider

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We remoldeled a flip house and had the a new 200 amp service installed. The wiring was a mix of 12-2 and 12-2wground for the most part. All we were required to do was change the service from the breaker box out. $1700.00

I had a bid for $1500 for a simalar project that we didn't get.

When you add the the cost of parts it really isn't that much. About $350.00.
 

UWSurfer

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It's going to vary from city to city. I have offices in a single unit of a triplex apartment complex which have what you describe. Service there uses a 30 amp round fuse and old cloth insulated wiring, built in the early 1940's.

It's very insufficient given the demand of modern office equipment & AC for the 10 people into our one unit. I had a contractor go in and simply bypass the old service and put in all new plugs and a 100A panel for it. That was 8 years or so ago and all has been fine. The remaining tenants of the other two units replace fuses now and again as they run their appliances. I couldn't guess what that would cost us now.
 

ownsmany

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wow. I'm impressed with your knowledge and advise. I know the service isn't up to what it should be. I couldn't get the lights to go on in the living room. The tenant says, oh yeah, we blew a fuse and forgot to tell the owner.

Don't know it I'll get another chance back in there before I rebid. My real estate person is a real talker, and I actually felt bad for all the time we took up with the tenant. Were there twice and my agent gets to talking about non related real estate items (pet care, etc).

Any other info you can provide is appreciated. This property is more than I wanted to spend, but seems to be a good investment .

Have 2 other rental properties that are doing well. I'm begining to feel like this is my new passion (like timeshares was).
 

easyrider

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We look for homes built after 1977. Homes older than this can be a real pain because of new regulations concerning toxic substances. If we buy an older home we look for asbestoes and lead before we check out anything else. Homes built after 1978 would not have issues like aluminum wireing, lead paint or asbestos products.
 

stevedmatt

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We look for homes built after 1977. Homes older than this can be a real pain because of new regulations concerning toxic substances. If we buy an older home we look for asbestoes and lead before we check out anything else. Homes built after 1978 would not have issues like aluminum wireing, lead paint or asbestos products.
This is very, very sound advise.

I would also say that if it is more than you wanted to spend, don't do it. It may be a good investment, but how bad would it hurt if for some reason it went unrented for 6 months +?
 

Don

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I would still pull 2 or 3 outlets to make sure there is a 3 wire connection coming into the outlet box --- not that there are 3 wires on the outlet. Smarter people use a stub wire to ground the outlet to the metal box.
Unfortunately, that only works:
1. if the ground wire from the panel is also grounded to the box (which is not likely because a two prong plug would probably only have two wires going to it); or
2. the wiring to the metal box is run though metal conduit which runs all the way back to the panel, and then the panel would have to be grounded (this is unlikely due to overkill, but yet still possible.)
 
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