Author Topic: Post a picture of your Fuse Box  (Read 17105 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« on: October 07, 2022, 03:13:42 am »
Because everyone (rightly) laughs at my home fuse box, let's start a new thread where you can post a picture of your fuse box.
And because everyone asks, no my fuse box is not up to current standards ans is not how new home fuse boxes are done in Australia that I am aware of.
So I'd be particually intested in seeing other more modern aussie fuse boxes.
Mine is circa 1986.
The box with the 4 breakers in it is a relatively modern addition from like 7 years ago I think, that "upgrade" was done when my old ELCB failed.
Not the two yellow switch ones middle left are modern electronic breakers inserted into the original ceramic fuse holders. You can buy these commonly at hardware stores and plug into existing old wire fuse receptacles.
The main 60A incoming switch is the back switch next to them.
So I have single phase 60A. Not sure if the wiring to my house is capable of more than 60A.
The old mechnical kWh meter on the right is no longer used, nor is the off-peak ripple detection receiver below it.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2022, 03:24:34 am by EEVblog »
 
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Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2022, 03:31:38 am »
Well it looks very organized in the front and easily accessible to get to the back.

I have seen a really old one in a shop 10 years ago that was falling apart. The fuse kept on blowing and I traced it to a spur that connected to an outside toilet in the back where that had collapsed.

It said on the fusebox in Wylex 1936 and the mouldings look like they were imperfect like they were done by hand. It card a kind of cardboardy thing on the cover that covered the fuses modules.

The fuse were wires that wrapped around the modules.
 

Online joeqsmith

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2022, 03:43:12 am »
Taken after a lightning storm had damaged some of my test equipment.

https://youtu.be/40TaqXOIrHo?t=214
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
Software, documentation and test reports for the low cost NanoVNA, V2+4 and LiteVNA may be found here:
https://github.com/joeqsmith
 
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Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2022, 03:52:58 am »
My one on the house is the same. Actually prolly worse since the meters got changed.

The problem is what begins with just a meter box with a handful of ceramic fuses eventually turns into a meter box/switchboard, solar-power extravaganza.

However, as soon as one bloke runs a wire from here to there without 'routing' it nicely, everyone else from then on turns it into spaghetti. And it's hard to justify fixing if it isn't broken.

Putting large din boxes on hinged meter boards should be dealt with by testicle removal of the offender. With a rusty chisel.

Keep an eye out for the mandatory type A circuit breakers required from 2023 for new work and upgrades.

For new houses, the solution can be elegant, but often the owner/developer had just supplied the old tried and true. New rules are coming in because the old system is outdated and plastic mounting boxes aren't the answer.

Meter box/ Switch box combo:
https://www.brenclosures.com.au/products/pre-wired-switchboards/

Space for the smart meters and service fuses. Din rail for all the cool shit. Seal around the door.  :-+

edit: water and ingress seal, not fire seal.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2022, 04:15:19 am by Ed.Kloonk »
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2022, 04:01:28 am »
For retro fits, if you can be bothered to get the meters relocated, I've seen one where they constructed something like this from a old meter box basically only really keeping the box and the hinges. A new back-board and the bottom hinge gets moved up, I dunno, 8 inches.

https://www.brenclosures.com.au/products/new-south-wales-md-series/
« Last Edit: October 07, 2022, 04:03:25 am by Ed.Kloonk »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2022, 05:05:18 am »
Keep an eye out for the mandatory type A circuit breakers required from 2023 for new work and upgrades.

I've been warned that any new substantial alterations to the house will mandate by law a fuse box upgrade to current standard. But I thought that was already the case, was no mention of 2023.
What are type A breakers?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2022, 05:07:35 am »
For retro fits, if you can be bothered to get the meters relocated, I've seen one where they constructed something like this from a old meter box basically only really keeping the box and the hinges. A new back-board and the bottom hinge gets moved up, I dunno, 8 inches.
https://www.brenclosures.com.au/products/new-south-wales-md-series/

I'll repost your link from another thread.
Not too impressed with this guys upgrades.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/723604258960729/
 

Offline Whales

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2022, 05:32:56 am »
There are two types of types that have nothing to do with each other :P

RCDs come in types AC, A and B.  Traditionally everything has been type AC and is made using a giant toroid with turns of wire.  Sadly these types fail if an appliance backfeeds DC over your mains wires -- the core saturates and becomes unable to trigger when A vs N current misbalance occurs.  Types A and B are newer ones that detect this situation, but last I checked they cost a lot more.  I think there is a date where they are going to make type A mandatory in new installs in Australia?  EDIT: Yes Ed mentioned this above.  I suspect the popularity rise of inverters & solar has made this more important.

Ordinary current trip MCBs come in types B, C and D (and some other less common variants).  Think of B like fastblow and D like slowblow.  There are tripping curves that give more detail (most/all MCBs have multiple methods of tripping that determine different parts of the graph shape).  In practice I think all sparkies skip type B and instead install type C in houses so people don't complain about their breakers tripping all of the time.  I've not seen a type B in service anywhere before and I don't think Bunnings sells them last I looked, but I'm not a sparky so take it with a grain of salt.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2022, 06:25:57 am by Whales »
 
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Offline floobydust

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2022, 05:35:54 am »
Mentioning massive recall of Square-D (Schneider Electric USA) load centers June 16,2022 for 1.4 million units.
I think it's an open neutral: https://www.se.com/us/en/work/products/local/safety-notices/2022/qo-pon-loadcenters/
"Hazard: The wire binding screw within the lug body could potentially not be torqued properly to the Plug-on-Neutral bar. Over time, this unsecured electrical joint could result in losing the neutral­-connection and potentially lead to overheating at the load." "The firm has received one report of an incident of a loose wire. No injuries have been reported." Yeah right.
 

Offline deadlylover

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2022, 05:46:12 am »
70s/80s (not sure) home just down south near Liverpool. Off peak hot water still runs.

Yeah we use to have those old ceramic fuse holders too but paid for an upgrade when we redid the garage. The terrible rain earlier in the year fried our solar inverter so we'll need to get that fixed, rain just went sideways into the inverter and the old LCD display window disintegrated and let water in.

I'm glad we paid a couple hundred bucks extra for them to install 3 phase in the garage, not that I've ever used it yet.... (maybe future air compressor or CNC machine use)
 
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Offline Whales

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2022, 06:07:44 am »
Dave & deadlylover: your fuse boxes look positively futuristic.  I mean, you even have a box.

1920/1930's Californian bungalow in Sydney, no solar and only single phase:



I think the upper board is screwed to the wall, not hinged.  Maybe the service fuse is behind that?  At least it looks like there is no asbestos (if you ignore the roof above).

Lower Hager box with DIN-rail inside was added by sparkies to modernise the place some 20 or more years ago when I was very young.

Wasp at the top right is to keep guard, make sure no one steals our electricity.



Aww it's got babies  ^-^



Meter is "properly of St George County Council".  Sadly that later became Ausgrid ("bring back the PMG!").  I love these mechanical types, it'll be a super sad day when it gets replaced by a Borg-personality smart meter that has no spinny bits.



From left to right: 
  • Main switch
  • K = 40 amp supply for electric pottery kiln out back
  • 32A kitchen oven.  Not protected by the RCD, something I noted when last repairing the oven.
  • RCD (in theory covers everything to the right of it)
  • A single 20A breaker that supplies all of the pottery studio building out back (LOL I expected much more, but I don't think it has a sub panel ???)
  • Various house internal breakers
The hager surface mount box's lid holds on through the hopes and wishes of one screw at the top right that doesn't do anything.  Inside:



(Don't blame me for any of this, I've never touched this panel beyond flipping breakers.  Not my house, not a sparky)

It looks like they chose to use both of the brass blocks at the top for neutrals (the one on the right is probably post-RCD), ...but then twist the earths together and just tape them?  Huh?  Lol.  Maybe that's fine, I don't know, but I would have preferred at least some sort of connector to keep force on the copper strand mating surfaces (I believe this avoids corrosion creeping in as easily?).

If you squint you can see bars spanning the bottoms of the breakers.  I presume these are the actives.  I'm sure the rust is there to make it marginally safer against accidental contact  >:D  EDIT: Sadly no it's copper

That's it, unless you want to see some haphazard connector boxes strewn in the attic above the plaster ceiling.   EDIT: Heater is gas, stove is gas, bigger kilns are LPG bottle.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2022, 08:25:46 am by Whales »
 
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Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2022, 06:39:31 am »
Sure why not... but for a twist, not the mains panel (it's a rather uninteresting NEMA breaker panel, actually), but one I made for the battery at the bench here:



Just a handful of automotive fuses wired to bus bar and barrier strips, nothing fancy.

Construction is aluminum corner rail and G10 fiberglass panels; and yes I did due diligence and tested the joints and they definitely needed the "sand through the wet epoxy" trick to bond to the aluminum worth a damn.  Which is what I did.

Tim
« Last Edit: October 07, 2022, 06:44:21 am by T3sl4co1l »
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Offline Whales

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2022, 06:43:34 am »
Tim: what words do you use when searching for & buying the FR4 material without copper?  EDIT: Ah "G10", I'll give that a go.

Quote
Battery fuses in parallel

Hmm.  I presume that only works if they're the same model?  If you put a 30A from one company in parallel with a 30A from another company then I presume they'll have different impedances?

Also I'm curious about the flathead screws.  To me that signals they are some obscure unobtanium "electrical thread" :)  I'm surprised none are missing!

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2022, 06:57:37 am »
Tim: what words do you use when searching for & buying the FR4 material without copper?

McMaster has it as "Multipurpose Flame-Retardant Garolite G-10/FR4 Sheets and Bars".  Used 1/16" (1.6mm) stock.  It has a glossy finish so needs a lot of sanding, annoying.

I probably would've used copper clad, ;D but decided against it, between the high currents and needing a bit more strength.  And against using aluminum panel for the same reason.  Don't want unfused battery going loose and blowing something up.

The barrier strip is only rated 30A so I "doubled up" by adding the copper bus bar on top.  Feels not terrible.


Quote
Quote
Battery fuses in parallel

Hmm.  I presume that only works if they're the same model?  If you put a 30A from one company in parallel with a 30A from another company then I presume they'll have different impedances?

Also I'm curious about the flathead screws.  To me that signals there are some obscure unobtanium "electrical thread" screws underneath :)  I'm surprised none are missing.

Flathead screws are just because it's an old terminal strip. :)

Fuses in parallel, like anything else in parallel, the current won't share perfectly so expect less than the total; in practice it seems pretty close anyway, like say this is good for maybe 50A, or, don't forget that fuses are quite loose anyway so it might open up at over 100A say within a minute or so.  And the ratings are adequate (24V system, 600ish CCA, fuses rated to clear 32V 1kA).

Tim
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Electronic design, from concept to prototype.
Bringing a project to life?  Send me a message!
 

Offline Whales

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2022, 07:07:31 am »
McMaster has it as "Multipurpose Flame-Retardant Garolite G-10/FR4 Sheets and Bars".  Used 1/16" (1.6mm) stock.  It has a glossy finish so needs a lot of sanding, annoying.

McMaster doesn't ship to Australia sadly.  I've lost a few too many afternoons perusing their stuff.  Very jelly.

There are knife-making suppliers in Australia that supply G10, but it's coloured (might be conductive) and typically quite expensive.  Chinese suppliers are a bit cheaper, but for some reason PCB houses end up being even cheaper again (I wonder if JLC will accept blank gerbers :P).

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2022, 07:56:49 am »
https://www.detectorinspector.com.au/switchboard-upgrade-victoria/

Quote
New minimum standards apply for electrical safety in Victorian rental properties from March 2023. Renters will have new rights and rental providers will be financially penalised for non-compliance.


What are the new minimum standards?

Minimum standards for safety and liveability apply to all rental properties in Victoria. New standards for electrical safety have recently been defined and will apply legally from March 29, 2023.

After that date, all power outlets and lighting circuits in a rental property must be connected to:

    A circuit breaker that complies with AS/NZS 3000 for wiring, and
    A residual current device that complies with AS/NZS 3190 or AS/NZS 61008.1 or AS/NZS 61009.1.

Renters have the right to ensure minimum standards are met.

Rental providers who fail to meet minimum standards or carry out upgrades on or before the day on which the renter enters into occupation of the premises will be financially penalised.


 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2022, 08:06:04 am »
Our minimalist KISS installation with RCBOs. Still a couple of ways free so we could theoretically add an EV charger, Solar PV, or heat pump (pick two!)...


(P.S. ...and the old Wylex rewireable fuse one for comparison)
« Last Edit: October 07, 2022, 05:07:32 pm by Gyro »
Best Regards, Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 
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Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2022, 08:13:02 am »

Wasp at the top right is to keep guard, make sure no one steals our electricity.



Aww it's got babies  ^-^
We've got a monster huntsman as big as your hand that hangs out in ours. And good for him.

Quote
If you squint you can see (rusty) bars spanning the bottoms of the breakers.  I presume these are the actives.  I'm sure the rust is there to make it marginally safer against accidental contact  >:D

The exposed tab on the end is to be used as a test point?
 

Online nfmax

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2022, 08:17:08 am »
Looking at these pictures of Foreign Fuses always surprises me, they often seem to be so ancient.
To misquote L.P. Hartley:
Quote
The past is a foreign country: they wire things differently there.

 
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Offline Whales

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2022, 08:25:10 am »
We've got a monster huntsman as big as your hand that hangs out in ours. And good for him.

Does he flip breakers for you?  ;D

Quote
Quote
If you squint you can see (rusty) bars spanning the bottoms of the breakers.  I presume these are the actives.  I'm sure the rust is there to make it marginally safer against accidental contact  >:D

The exposed tab on the end is to be used as a test point?

Ah sorry, here is a better angle.  On second look it turns out to be exposed copper bars anyway  :'(  not steel

Offline Gyro

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2022, 08:26:29 am »
https://www.detectorinspector.com.au/switchboard-upgrade-victoria/

Quote
New minimum standards apply for electrical safety in Victorian rental properties from March 2023. Renters will have new rights and rental providers will be financially penalised for non-compliance.


What are the new minimum standards?

Minimum standards for safety and liveability apply to all rental properties in Victoria. New standards for electrical safety have recently been defined and will apply legally from March 29, 2023.

After that date, all power outlets and lighting circuits in a rental property must be connected to:

    A circuit breaker that complies with AS/NZS 3000 for wiring, and
    A residual current device that complies with AS/NZS 3190 or AS/NZS 61008.1 or AS/NZS 61009.1.

Renters have the right to ensure minimum standards are met.

Rental providers who fail to meet minimum standards or carry out upgrades on or before the day on which the renter enters into occupation of the premises will be financially penalised.


A similar scheme happened in the UK in 2020/21. All rental properties must have an EICR (Electrical Installation Conditon Report) carried out and all safety issues rectified before they can be rented out. Needless to say, the landlords, rental agents and electricians went into meltdown as the deadline got closer!
« Last Edit: October 07, 2022, 08:32:58 am by Gyro »
Best Regards, Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2022, 08:27:16 am »
We've got a monster huntsman as big as your hand that hangs out in ours. And good for him.

Does he flip breakers for you?  ;D

He scares me a lot less than that mofo of a exposed buzz rail you got there.
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2022, 08:29:44 am »
A similar scheme happened in the UK in 2020/21. All rental properties must have an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) carried done and all significant safety issues resolved before they can be rented out. Needless to say, the landlords, rental agents and electricians went into meltdown as the deadline got closer!

Yeah. No easy answer.
 

Offline Whales

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2022, 08:31:19 am »
We've got a monster huntsman as big as your hand that hangs out in ours. And good for him.

Does he flip breakers for you?  ;D

He scares me a lot less than that mofo of a exposed buzz rail you got there.

It also looks like it's the cause of my wasp-spider imbalance.

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Post a picture of your Fuse Box
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2022, 08:53:48 am »

Ah sorry, here is a better angle.  On second look it turns out to be exposed copper bars anyway  :'(  not steel

Yeah. Always copper.

Here's one I plucked out of a box in a factory the other day. Notice the three phases and the offset because of the add-on switch next to each breaker to alert the folks in the control room. Every breaker is 3 & 1/2 din.

[attachimg=1]
 
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