Can a home be sold with fuses still installed instead of breakers?

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Posted by: from Millgrove
3/8/2017 at 4:28:15 PM

Ive been told the ESA mandates fused panels to be replaced with breakers prior to a sale. Is this true?

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Date/Time3/8/2017 at 5:37:41 PM

Hi Mike,

I am a contractor from New Brunswick and have not seen an issue with a house being sold because of a fuse panel however have seen some insurance companies not accepting a fuse panel under their policies. Replacing the fuse panel and bringing the house up to code will help. I have read a few things on Fuse panels in the ESA and found this article:

https://www.esasafe com/assets/files/esasafe/pdf/Flash_Notices/11-02-FL.pdf

Hope I was Helpful.


Justin Densmore

Stone Foundation Electrical Ltd.

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Mirek from Mirek Electric in Mississauga
Date/Time3/8/2017 at 5:43:49 PM

I don't thing ESA restricts sale of the home, but the new owner might have problem getting a house insurance.

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Tim from Handy MTL in Montreal
Date/Time3/8/2017 at 5:48:37 PM

I don't think there's any problem with selling or buying a house that has a fuse panel.

The issue would be with the insurance company.

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Susan Dorthy from Wolf Electric in Prescott
Date/Time3/8/2017 at 5:52:29 PM

ESA has no involvement in resale home that have fuses per say. Also from Esa point of view Knob and Tube wiring is ok if it's unaltered!!. In 99% of case it's all butchered up in the first place.

Most insurance company's have conserns of 60 amp services and also have concerns with K&B wiring . Giving you 90 days and in some cases a year to do the required upgrades.

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Robert from ElecTriLight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time3/8/2017 at 6:07:20 PM

There is no code rule that prevents you from buying, selling or keeping a fuse panel in a residential building. Fuses (even though more of a homeowner pain) are actually safer than breakers and if in good condition, do a better job of protecting wires as they are more reliable. BUT there are many drawbacks and with the new AFCI style breakers, it is best to upgrade and brag to the new owner that it has a new panel with fresh connections and an ESA approval. Maybe spend the $1000-1500 for the upgrade?

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Date/Time3/8/2017 at 6:52:13 PM

Hi Mike,

Thanks for posting your question on TrustedPros.

There seems to be a consensus from all the replies that ESA does not mandate an upgrade prior to sale, and I concur with these replies that insurance seems to play a significant role especially among first-time buyers.

What I tell my customers when asked about upgrading the panel prior to a sale, is that although an upgrade comes at a cost you, you are essentially removing one more obstacle to a possible sale. And the obstacle you are removing for the potential buyer is a significant obstacle.

Buyers typically have much on their minds when purchasing a home such as realtor fees, legal fees and the list goes on. If I were you, I would rather have the potential buyer dream of their new life in this home and not think about having to take care of a fuse panel. Just as you are considering the pros and cons of an upgrade, so will the potential buyer also debate whether or not to upgrade if faced with a fuse panel.

Regardless of what you decide, I wish you the best in the sale of your house.

Henry Kirsch

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Marco from MCC Electric in Quispamsis
Date/Time3/8/2017 at 6:58:59 PM

Hi Mike,

As far as I know, there's nothing preventing you from purchasing a home or selling a home that has a fuse panel except for certain insurance companies. I've gone into homes and inspected fuse panels and communicated to insurance companies stating that the current condition of the fuse panel was safe and I would sign off on and that was enough for the owner to get insurance without issues. There's nothing in the Canadian Electrical Code that says fuse panels are obsolete or against the law.

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Date/Time3/9/2017 at 8:58:17 AM

Hi Mike,

There is no rule that forces you to replace a fuse panel before a purchase or sale of a home.

However, because some fuse panels have exposed live parts when replacing fuses, if the home is going to be rented out and tenant occupied, these fuse panels must have a lockable cover.

A warning label must also be posted on the cover of the fuse panel stating that it has dangerous exposed live parts and should only be serviced by the landlord or maintenance personnel.

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Date/Time3/9/2017 at 9:09:05 AM

Thanks for posting!

As much as the electrical safety authority would like to have all services upgraded to a minimum of 100 amp and breakers in lieu of fuses, they can not force the issue. Same price will be impacted so may be worth upgrading regardless.

Hope this helps!

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(PD) Speedy from One Call 4 All in Brampton
Date/Time3/21/2017 at 5:54:54 PM

Yes, It Can still be Sold But you have to Mention it Clearly that you still have fuse Panel. and the buyer Should get it changed.

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