Just moved into a new apartment with older electric service. I have a few related questions about how my wiring works, and I'd greatly appreciate your input.
1) The apartment has a fuse box (rather than breakers). I've never had a fuse box before. Any tips and tricks here for the care and feeding of a fuse box? For instance, some of the fuses are 15 amp fuses, and some are 20 amp fuses. Obviously, when I replace them, I'll match 15s with 15s and 20s with 20s--but how do I know they're right now
? It's just a rental, so I have no assurance that someone back in the day was missing one or the other amperage and just used the wrong one.
2) The circuits on the fuse box are mostly unlabeled. I've seen circuit tracers like this one
, but they seem to say they're for breakers. Do they work on fuses, too?
3) I have a wall switch that doesn't seem to control anything--there's no overhead light, and there doesn't seem to be a switched receptacle. How can I trace what this switch does?
4) I have at least three outlets that don't work. Using a receptacle tester, I've found that they're all open neutral--so, voltage but no current. If they've got voltage, I presume this isn't something funky at the fuse box. Since they're all reading as open neutral, I would guess that they're all in a circuit and there's one wire out (maybe). I'm not an electrician by any means--but I'm handy enough to cut the power to that circuit at the fuse box and reattach a loose wire, if that's all it is. Bad idea?
5) Assuming it is a bad idea, fixing these outlets should be the landlord's problem--these outlets are surely not code, possibly dangerous (I think I read that depending on how the circuit is wired, open neutrals can increase the voltage on a circuit rated for less, i.e., two open neutrals yielding 240v on a 120v circuit). Obviously, I will push for him to get a licensed electrician to fix it ASAP. But failing his doing this in a timely fashion, how much should I expect to pay my own electrician to fix these outlets?