We are so used to having good electrical service that we take it for granted, and sometimes to our peril, particularly with older homes. Many of those homes have great locations and a good many of the amenities we want for enjoyable living. It is also true that professional home inspectors report that 1 in 3 of those same homes have serious electrical problems that usually go undetected without a thorough inspection of the electrical panel.
Significant problems can remain even after a thorough and competent home inspection, and that is why signs of amateur electrical work should always trigger concerns about what remains unseen. It is also true that certain electrical panels and some wiring types have been targeted as fire hazards. In many cases, the home owner is completely oblivious to a potential threat to the lives of their family, let alone the house itself.
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Homeowners can keep this system properly maintained and in safe working condition with the simple understanding of how electricity is distributed throughout the house. Below are a few links to get you started.
This is certainly amateur workmanship and very incomplete, at that. When things like this are found in homes, it is a huge warning that amateurs have been at work.
The fuse panels pictured here service an older house built during a time when circuit breakers would have been expected. Fuses of this type will almost never fail but circuit breaker...