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Consumer units are more commonly known as Fuseboards.
There may be a few different reasons why your Consumer Unit (commonly know as a Fuse Board) may need updating or replacing.
What ever the work is, it is more than likely the circuit will need to be protected by an RCD. So in most cases, it will probably be the best option to replace the existing Fuse Box.
Here at Mad About Electrics, we often inspect and replace old fuse boxes as part of other works or to bring your home up to date with latest regulations and improve electrical safety.
Replacing your Consumer Unit will usually take around a full day for our Electricians. The power will need to be turned off, but we can install a temporary supply whilst the work is being carried out where required.
Upon completion, the circuits are tested and an Electrical Installation certificate will be completed and sent to the client after it is prepared and reviewed at our offices. We also issue a Part P building notification for compliance.
Changing a Consumer Unit often identifies any existing electrical faults which have been in your home and have gone un-noticed. Any minor faults on the existing installation will be discussed with the client before any additional works are carried out. By identifying them and carrying out improvement works, you will have peace of mind that the overall safety of your electrical installation has been improved.
A modern Metal Clad Consumer complete with SPD (Surge Protective Device) and individual Type A RCBOs
So now you have read about the safety benefits of having a modern Consumer Unit, now is probably the time to see if your consumer unit is up to date. Please contact us if you would like us to check your old Fuse Board and provide an estimate for a shiny new one.
Older Fuse Boards, such as the common white or brown wooden backed Wylex ones, used a piece of fuse wire to protect against over-current i.e. when too much power was drawn from a short circuit. These re-wirable fuses are found in older electrical installations from the 60's through to the early 90's. These types of fuseboxes are no longer a safe and convenient way to protect you and your property.
If you have an older style re-wirable fuse box unit like the one mentioned above or a split load single RCD consumer unit, it's time to consider upgrading to a replacement modern Fire Rated Metal Clad consumer unit with individual RCBO protection. These are much safer and disconnect the electricity supply in the event of an electrical fault.
For example, when mowing your lawn you could accidentally cut through the electrical supply cable to the Lawn Mower. In some cases, the older type fuse protection may not disconnect the electricity supply leaving the damaged cable still live and exposed. If you were then to come into contact with the exposed live conductors of the cable you could receive an electric shock which in some cases can be fatal.
Modern consumer units literally save lives!
An Old Wylex Type Fuse Board
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