Consumer Units

If your fuse box is 25+ years old or if it's not been checked in the last 5 years, It’s a good idea to get it checked by P&Q Electric.

Benefits of a modern Consumer Unit 

  • RCD (Residual Current Device): a safety device designed to protect against personal electric shock. These trip when a circuit overloads, protecting the wiring from burning out and your family from nasty electrical shocks.

  • Circuit Breakers: In the event of an electrical wiring fault the circuit breakers will trip whereas in the old type of fusebox there is the potential that the electricity supply would stay connected until a fire occurs. The built in circuit breakers will trip within 40 millionths of a second if you accidentally touch any live cables, this will save the life of the person touching them.

What you need to know

From 1st January 2016, all consumer units installed or replaced in domestic properties are required to be made of or be enclosed by a non-combustible material, typically a ferrous metal such as steel.

Existing plastic consumer units can be retained for alterations and additions, unless they show signs of thermal damage or the manufacturer’s design has been altered. This does not mean your existing plastic consumer unit is necessarily unsafe but it does mean if you are having it replaced, it will need replacing by a non-combustible one.

Electricity Plugs

Old Fuseboxes

Many older fuse boxes use a piece of fuse wire which is designed to burn out under load. These wires need replacing every time they are overloaded - additionally they can become brittle and break due to everyday usage.

If you have a fuse box like those shown below you would benefit from an upgrade to a new modern consumer unit (fuse box) with circuit breakers instead of fuse wires, and RCDs for additional protection.

A Residual Circuit Device (RCD) protects by constantly monitoring the current flowing in the live and neutral wires supplying a circuit or an individual item of equipment.