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slyphoxj
join:2002-06-23
Brook Park, OH
115.5 12.2

slyphoxj

Member

When did builders start to put in breaker boxes and grounds?

Just wondering... when did builders start putting in breaker boxes instead of fuse boxes for the main electrical distribution panel in residences? My place, built in 1960, still has the original 100 amp fuse box (6 T-type fuses, 2 cartridge fuse pullouts containing 2 cartridge fuses each (one is the main shutoff, the other is for my electric clothes dryer).

What about grounding and 3 prong outlets? My place originally had 2 prong outlets but all of the outlet boxes are grounded (one exception possibly- the outlet my washing machine plugs into may have always been 3 prong). I don't believe I have any K-T wiring- none of the 120 and 240 volt AC wiring in my place has the old cloth insulation.

Were fuse boxes used into the 70s? 80s? Were breaker boxes used at all in the 50s or 60s in residences?

robbin
Mod
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX

robbin

Mod

My mom's house has a remodel mid 60's vintage and still fuse and 2 prong. We remodeled again in about 76 and used circuit breakers and 3 prong. I imagine others can pin it down a little more.

UHF
All static, all day, Forever
MVM
join:2002-05-24

UHF to slyphoxj

MVM

to slyphoxj
I remember moving into a new house in early 1976 and it had a Square D breaker box, even had a GFCI breaker for the circuit feeding the bathroom. Another house we lived in that was built in '72 still had fuses, but did have grounded outlets.

slyphoxj
join:2002-06-23
Brook Park, OH
115.5 12.2

slyphoxj

Member

said by UHF:

I remember moving into a new house in early 1976 and it had a Square D breaker box, even had a GFCI breaker for the circuit feeding the bathroom. Another house we lived in that was built in '72 still had fuses, but did have grounded outlets.
My dad's 1976 mobile home still has the original 200 amp breaker box with a GFCI breaker for the kitchen (or bathroom?). I guess that at-the-outlet GFCI's didn't come out until the 90s or late 80s?
dmagerl
Premium Member
join:2007-08-06
Woodstock, IL
6.9 0.7

1 edit

dmagerl

Premium Member

My dad's house was built in '51 and had breakers.

Then some time in the early 60's he bought an electric stove. Since the breaker box had to be reworked for the stove they ripped out the breakers and put in fuses. Go figure. The fuses were a real pain in the neck every time one blew.

The house had non-grounded outlets and as far as I know, still does.

My house, built in '57, has breakers and non-grounded outlets, but I've been slowly rewiring to make the outlets grounded.

-dickm

whizkid3
MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY

whizkid3 to slyphoxj

MVM

to slyphoxj
My house, built in NYC 1930 has breakers and grounded armored cable, with 2-prong receptacles (most of which have been changed to grounded 3-prong receptacles).

Mickeyme3
You might be right, but, I don't care
Premium Member
join:2008-09-05
Carson City, NV

1 edit

Mickeyme3 to slyphoxj

Premium Member

to slyphoxj
I remember sometime in the late 60s they changed out the fuse boxes for circiut breakers (in an apartment) because they where fire hazards as people where putting pennies in them instead of fuses.

wilbilt
Pronto Resurrected
Premium Member
join:2004-01-11
Oroville, CA

wilbilt to slyphoxj

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to slyphoxj
My folks' house was built in 1967 and has breakers and grounded outlets.

It also has aluminum wiring

DesertRats
Premium Member
join:2003-11-23
Santa Clarita, CA

DesertRats to slyphoxj

Premium Member

to slyphoxj
Our house was built in 1959-1960. Main panel had breakers and used steel flex to all boxes with pulled in wires, sure nice to be able to pull out old wires and pull in new if needed. All outlets were 2 prong, over the years when an outlet had to be replaced with a 3 prong the steel flex provided a good ground.
Even ground sensitive devices were happy with the flex ground.

slyphoxj
join:2002-06-23
Brook Park, OH
115.5 12.2

slyphoxj to wilbilt

Member

to wilbilt
said by wilbilt:

My folks' house was built in 1967 and has breakers and grounded outlets.

It also has aluminum wiring
Aluminum wiring? Before the 70's??

UHF
All static, all day, Forever
MVM
join:2002-05-24

UHF

MVM

Al was used from the mid 60's until the early 70's. And still used in mobile homes from what I've been told.

Willy
Premium Member
join:2000-09-24
USA

Willy to slyphoxj

Premium Member

to slyphoxj
I don't think there's any fixed date (decade)when breakers started to be used in homes and when ever it was it probably varied widely by location.

Here in NJ it probably started in homes when Federal released their Stab-loc breaker and panel(50's??) but I've seen plenty of much older breakers in commercial and industrial locations.

CurtesyFlush
Bababooey, fafafooey, tatatoothy.
Premium Member
join:2002-08-23
Fontana, CA

CurtesyFlush to slyphoxj

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to slyphoxj
My house was built in 1943 and has breakers, although they're the old push type.

The 2 prong receps were replaced with grounding types sometime before I showed up. After moving in, I replaced all the ancient "clicker" type wall switches with modern ones, as the old ones were arcing and generally falling apart.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium Member
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ

1 recommendation

Kearnstd to whizkid3

Premium Member

to whizkid3
said by whizkid3:

My house, built in NYC 1930 has breakers and grounded armored cable, with 2-prong receptacles (most of which have been changed to grounded 3-prong receptacles).
NYC is known for pretty strict electrical code i think. i know the BX armor cable is due to the rats. steel just aint as tasty as romex.
patcat88
join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY

patcat88

Member

said by Kearnstd:

NYC is known for pretty strict electrical code i think. i know the BX armor cable is due to the rats. steel just aint as tasty as romex.
Your right on the BX being required. I totally agree. BX tolerates more abuse and bad landlords. I'm not too sure about the rats being the original intention for the AC cable requirement, but that is logical! Whats sad is the NYC Home Depots have tons of romex on sale, more than the BX section...................

chmod
Premium Member
join:2000-12-12
Lockport, IL

chmod

Premium Member

said by patcat88:
said by Kearnstd:

NYC is known for pretty strict electrical code i think. i know the BX armor cable is due to the rats. steel just aint as tasty as romex.
Your right on the BX being required. I totally agree. BX tolerates more abuse and bad landlords. I'm not too sure about the rats being the original intention for the AC cable requirement, but that is logical! Whats sad is the NYC Home Depots have tons of romex on sale, more than the BX section...................
I happened into Lowes at the right time year before last. I stopped in there for something that slips my mind now, but I usually check out the closeout/mark down stuff they have setup. There was what seemed like a newer employee in the electrical dept setting out some fixtures and misc stuff to put on the mark down cart. I walked away with about 300' of #12 3wire romex with heavy outdoor jacketing for $12. Talk about legal robbery.

whizkid3
MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY

whizkid3 to patcat88

MVM

to patcat88
said by patcat88:

Your right on the BX being required. I totally agree. BX tolerates more abuse and bad landlords. Whats sad is the NYC Home Depots have tons of romex on sale, more than the BX section
Armored cable - Type-AC or Type-MC - is no longer required for 1- and 2-family homes in NYC; that is why you find the Type-NM on sale. (BX and Romex are old brand names.) Funny, though, went to Manhattan HD recently, they had no type-NM, only armored cables.

Very funny about the rats. I thought is because of wire mites.

wilbilt
Pronto Resurrected
Premium Member
join:2004-01-11
Oroville, CA

wilbilt to slyphoxj

Premium Member

to slyphoxj
said by slyphoxj:
said by wilbilt:

My folks' house was built in 1967 and has breakers and grounded outlets.

It also has aluminum wiring
Aluminum wiring? Before the 70's??
Yep.
The developer built thousands of homes in the area in the late 60's. Quite a few have burned down.

The wiring is usually the cause given. The homes also had cedar shake roofs...in Southern California. Nothing quite like living inside an incendiary device.

nunya
LXI 483
MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO

nunya to slyphoxj

MVM

to slyphoxj
My experience here in the Midwest is breakers started to become mainstream in the 50's. Not to say they were the greatest - Zinsco / Sylvania / GTE, Pushmatic (bulldog), Federal Pacific. All of these had / have known issues. Fuses would probably be safer. You'll find many electricians / engineers who agree that fuses provide better circuit protection. The only advantage CB's have is that it is harder to tamper with them, plus they have GFCI / AFCI capability now.

Equipment grounding conductors were slowly phased in. You'll find a lot of houses where the EGC was run in separate wire next to the NM. I've seen many houses where only the Kitchen receptacles were grounded (50's - 60's). I think by the late 60's EGC's were fairly commonplace throughout the entire premise.

whizkid3
MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY

1 edit

whizkid3 to wilbilt

MVM

to wilbilt
[BQUOTE=wilbiltThe developer built thousands of homes in the area in the late 60's. Quite a few have burned down.

The wiring is usually the cause given. [/BQUOTEThe cause usually given is not 'aluminum wiring'. It is improper use of wiring devices (receptacles, switches) rated for copper-only used with aluminum wiring. These usually are when unsuspecting, unknowledgeable home owners, and even poor electricians replace the original correct wiring devices, rated for aluminum and copper-clad aluminum wiring with less expensive ones that are not rated for aluminum wiring.

These misconceptions have added to the myth that there is something wrong with aluminum wiring. There is not. It is still used today in residential, commercial and industrial buildings, new and old.

wilbilt
Pronto Resurrected
Premium Member
join:2004-01-11
Oroville, CA

wilbilt

Premium Member

said by whizkid3:

The cause usually given is not 'aluminum wiring'. It is improper use of wiring devices (receptacles, switches) rated for copper-only used with aluminum wiring. These usually are when unsuspecting, unknowledgeable home owners, and even poor electricians replace the original correct wiring devices, rated for aluminum and copper-clad aluminum wiring with less expensive ones that are not rated for aluminum wiring.
In this case, I think the homes were built using incorrectly-rated devices. I remember a big uproar about it, but I was pretty young at the time.

bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium Member
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
22.8 2.0
·SONIC

1 edit

bobrk to slyphoxj

Premium Member

to slyphoxj
We moved into a new house in 1965 and it had breakers. This was in L.A., where all wiring had to be enclosed in conduit at that time.

My current house, built in 1914, has a main panel with breakers (unknown when it was installed, but I'll guess 50's, and a subpanel (probably the original main panel) which had fuses before I moved in, but was replaced with a breaker panel.

whizkid3
MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY

whizkid3 to wilbilt

MVM

to wilbilt
said by wilbilt:

In this case, I think the homes were built using incorrectly-rated devices. I remember a big uproar about it, but I was pretty young at the time.
That would be an easy spot to any inspector during construction. Many local codes now require that - for residential construction only - aluminum branch circuits are pigtailed to copper wires within the outlet box, so that there won't be a problem with device ratings.

wilbilt
Pronto Resurrected
Premium Member
join:2004-01-11
Oroville, CA

wilbilt

Premium Member

said by whizkid3:
said by wilbilt:

In this case, I think the homes were built using incorrectly-rated devices. I remember a big uproar about it, but I was pretty young at the time.
That would be an easy spot to any inspector during construction. Many local codes now require that - for residential construction only - aluminum branch circuits are pigtailed to copper wires within the outlet box, so that there won't be a problem with device ratings.
Per this site:
»inspect-ny.com/alumi ··· OALR.htm
there was no requirement for marking devices suitable for AL prior to 1973.

I remember my dad (a journeyman electrician) was pretty ticked off. I know he spent some time at all of the outlets and switches. Maybe he switched them from back-wired to side-wired, maybe he pigtailed them, I don't know.

My folks still live in that house today, so whatever he did must have satisfied his concerns.
08034016 (banned)
Hallo lisa Aus Amerika
join:2001-08-31
Byron, GA

08034016 (banned) to UHF

Member

to UHF
said by UHF:

Al was used from the mid 60's until the early 70's. And still used in mobile homes from what I've been told.
Incorrect 2 minutes of Research and i found this.
quote:
The last aluminum wire was used in mobile homes in 1971 so this problem is rapidly becoming of little concern. The problem arises because over time aluminum combines chemically with the oxygen in the air and forms a coating on the wire that is resistant to the flow of electricity. This resistance causes the wire to get hot and can lead to fire
»mobilehomedoctor.com ··· inum.htm
LeeWL
join:2002-11-10
Morrisville, NC

LeeWL

Member

Most houses and offices have aluminum wires delivering the service to your house from the utility. There is nothing wrong with it as long as the proper connections and terminations are used.

whizkid3
MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY

whizkid3 to wilbilt

MVM

to wilbilt
said by wilbilt:

Per this site:
»inspect-ny.com/alumi ··· OALR.htm
there was no requirement for marking devices suitable for AL prior to 1973.
While this site has some good information, it also has some mis-information. Their main goal is in scaring you into using their services.
pressure regulator sprinkler system lowes hitachi miter saw can you get hbo on roku whats a good humidity level for a basement level 5 drywall primer comcast locations in ma admiral dryer thermal fuse location verizon fios phone customer service cisco 2960 console cable bbc comcast channel number verizon wireless router ip address low beam headlights not working how to change password for comcast router what channel is nba tv on comcast xfinity att visa rewards card 2002 pontiac grand am gas mileage add espn to comcast amc att uverse channel verizon fios deals for existing customers pinhole in copper pipe repair crane toilet tank replacement dd wrt wireless repeater setup the latest usps delivers ubee router admin password att uverse offers for existing customers what is techron in chevron gas norton security suite comcast cox cable economy package pizza hut delivery pay by card what is a milli amp