When the numbers don't make sense.

Arrived in Montreal Thursday night and noticed the hot water was … erm … not very hot.

After checking (and flipping) all the circuit breakers on the main panel, I had to go to the burner motor and trace the wires back. This led me to a completely separate circuit breaker, located on a different wall. I turned it off, then turned it back on, but nothing. So I opened it and found a blown fuse. Taking it out I noticed it was a 25 amp fuse.

At the time, I thought this was excessively large. My hot water heater is an oil fired one and the I was pretty sure the pump motor was nowhere near 25 amps. I stuck in a 20 amp fuse, powered up the circuit breaker and everything worked fine.

The next day I checked the rating on the motor, it is 2.8 amps. This definitely makes me think the fuse was (and still is) too high. As well, the circuit breaker is rated for 30 amps. As far as I am concerned, this is definite overkill for the circuit in question.

Of course, this is an older home, built back in the days when a penny was considered a good replacement for a fuse and heated garages were considered a good thing. Back in 1971, it was considered perfectly acceptable to reserve a room in the basement and call it a garage. There is no separate ventilation, so running the car in the garage, is a quick way to finish off family. Not to mention the asbestos lining around the flues.


freckled-one said…
Very strange... I hope the extra amps don't harm you in anyway by way of fire or some other disaster. I'm often amazed at how things work.
KayMac said…
My husband used to take care of the fuses at our house. Later, I just guessed about the fuses. Who knew there would be so many options?

Your post reminded me of my grandmother's house. Brought back the best memories!
Richard said…
freckled-one: I am thinking of lowering the fuse down to 10 amps (or 5 if I can find one - will need to be a slow blow, though). The rating on the circuit breaker and fuse simply indicate the maximum capacity they can carry. So there is nothing like and excess of amperage at the water heater.

kaymac: Personally, I prefer the circuit breakers that trip when overloaded. It beats screwing thos glass ones in and out.

Hmmm ... I wonder what could possibly have reminded you of your grandmother's home?

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