Consumer Unit or fuse board replacement?

Fuse boards also commonly known as consumer units or fuse boxes may need changing for a myriad of reasons.

Maybe you are having a house rewire, an extension that requires additional electrical installation, due to damage, overheating fuses or just need a few additional sockets adding.

In almost all cases a lack of RCD or RCBO protection will mean the consumer unit will need to be changed.

As your NAPIT local electricians based in Manchester, we are well placed to give you the guidance you need and a service that’s second to none.

Need A Replacement Consumer Unit?

If you think you need fuse board replacement or need some advice then give get in touch. We'd be happy to help.

The Difference between the latest 18th Edition BS7671 consumer units and older fuse boards, fuse boxes and garage consumer units.

Whilst the internal house wiring is basically the same since January 2016 any consumer unit replacement in a domestic property needs to be a metal consumer unit.

The latest 18th edition of BS7671 came into force in January 2019, this brings changes to the electrical installation certificate along with new regulations with regard to surge protection and arc fault detection devices.

Consumer unit wiring remains similar to the correct termination of all conductors.

The difference is the makeup of the consumer unit with the installation of RCD’s, RCBO’s and SPD’s.

An RCD is a very sensitive safety device which generally operates at 30mA, it minimises the risk of electric shock or electrocution as well as fires caused by electrical faults.

The RCBO is very similar but combines overload protection internally. Think of the old safety plug you used to plug your lawn mower into before going outside, this is basically a plug in RCD.

These devices are now fitted as standard in a new electrical consumer unit.

FAQ

Before we carry out a fuse board change in an ideal world we would carry out a full EICR or Electrical Installation Condition Report, this is not to be confused with PAT testing which is the inspection and testing of portable appliances.

This inspection and testing will highlight any immediate safety issues along with a summary of the condition of the electrical installation.

One important requirement is the suitability and presence of Main Equipotential bonding conductors. These bonding conductors connect mainly the gas and water pipes if they are constructed of a conductive material. It is essential these conductors are in place and of adequate size.

Due to the increased safety features of the new 18th edition consumer unit, there may be instances where the existing house wiring carries faults which are not detected by the old rewireable fuses or MCB’s.

Because the fuse board change is classed as notifiable work under Part P of building control an Electrical Installation Certificate will need to be issued upon completion along with a notification to the Local Building Control Authority.

It is not acceptable to change the fuse board and leave these faults in place.

If a customer decides not to have an EICR completed they should be aware that there may be instances in some cases where additional works need to be completed to satisfy the requirements of BS7671.

How much does an EICR cost? on average a 3 bedroom house would be around £120 to carry out an EICR.

Consumer unit manufacturers come in all shapes and sizes, MK consumer units along with Wylex and Contactum and Hager are our preferred choice. They come in various sizes such as a 10-way consumer unit, 12-way, 8-way or garage units suitable for up to 5 circuits.

All the manufacturers comply with the relevant British Standards and it is often a matter of personal choice as to which the Part P electrician will install.

Every job is different with regard to the number of circuits, accessibility of the old fuse box and the available space to mount the new metal-clad consumer unit.

Don’t forget once the fuse board change is complete and inspection and testing finished we will then have to write up the electrical installation certificate and notify building control.

Over the last twelve months, the average price quoted has been around £350+Vat.