Consumer Unit Change

Fuse Board

Upgrading an old Fuse Box to a modern consumer unit to one incorporating two residual current devices for the safety of the consumer and appliances

Changing your Fuse Board to a Modern duel RCD consumer unit

Upgrading an old Fuse Box to a modern consumer unit to one incorporating two residual current devices or RCDs should be giving serious thought. The 17th edition of the wiring regulations (BS7671) requires most circuits in a domestic property to be protected by an RCD or an RCBO.

What is an RCD or RCBO

They are safety devices which switches off the power in a fraction of a second if you get an electric shock or it detects an imbalance on your electrical installation. Where fuses and circuit breakers provide some protection, they are designed to protect the cable, not you. A modern consumer unit offers the best protection for the consumer as they cover all the wiring of your installation, sockets and appliances and the person using them. If you are unsure if you are protected, call TJS Electrical Services who will be more than happy to assist

17th edition wiring regulations relating to consumer units

The new wiring regulations introduced in 2008 demand that all circuits are protected by an RCD or RCBO. Often the easiest way to comply, particularly if the existing fuse box is dated, is to upgrade.Swapping the consumer unit may also involve some additional electrical work. This might include splitting circuits or running in new cable. An older property might have all the lighting and sockets supplied by just two circuits. It would be better practice to split these so that the lighting and sockets for each floor are on separate circuits with their own circuit breaker. Other problems that require attention include borrowed neutrals. This is where a neutral return path was not available and a link to another circuit has been made. Correcting this fault would, in many cases, require a new cable to be laid back to the consumer unit.

Installing the new consumer unit

The photographs on this page show an old style fuse carrier type consumer unit being changed for a new 17th edition split load double RCD type consumer unit. This type of consumer unit has two RCDs as well as a main isolator.

The nature of this work, disconnecting the overload protection and connecting the cable to a new means of basic and fault protection means that the electrician will have worked on all circuits. He will therefore have to conduct an electrical test on all circuits to ensure that they are safe and will then have to issue an electrical installation certificate and inform your local authority, this is done through “Elecsa NICEIC” ¬†who can then offer a garentee on all works carried out.