Consumer Unit Upgrades
Consumer units also commonly referred to as fuseboards/ fuseboxes can potentially save your life. However, a faulty consumer unit can also be responsible for losing your life too. It definitely will pay you to be aware of the 'current health' of your consumer unit, and how capable it may be of saving your life should a problem develop.
Apart from control the electrical function of your home, a consumer unit should also be intelligent enough to detect a dangerous problem. This would be more than just the standard 'tripping' but rather in the form of dual protection RCD's which all new consumer units are now fitted with. I cannot over emphasise how important it is to have RCD protection in your home (so you'll hear me talking about it a lot!) RCD's could one day save you or your families life. RCD's are clever enough to detect faulty appliances before you are even aware and will even activate if someone accidentally touches a live cable in your home. The capabilities of an RCD far exceed any other safety function of a fusebox such as a trip switch activating or a fuse blowing. An RCD activates in less than a split second.
Unfortunately there are still far too many homes without any RCD protection. I advise all my customers in Dorking to upgrade their consumer units before considering any other electrical work.
How do I know my consumer unit needs upgrading?
Basically speaking, any consumer unit without an RCD needs an upgrade. This doesn't always mean a whole new consumer unit so it is essential you speak to a registered, qualified electrician who can decide what needs to be done. Consumer units with wooden backs almost always need replacing as these can often date back to the 1950's – a lot has changed since then!
How to check if your fuseboard has RCD protection
Look for a button with T or test on your consumer unit. This indicates if an RCD is present. Don't forget to press the button to make sure your RCD is working as it should be. If it does not activate (turn off your power) or you have any concerns about it, then consult a qualified and registered electrician asap.
Consumer units, like fire alarms, need to be tested regularly to ensure they are working as they should be. Remember they are there to protect you from electrical harm.
You should always be cautious when selecting an electrician for upgrading your consumer unit. Many companies offer an extremely low price in order to get the job, only to use devices that are unsuitable for your particular requirements and will lead to problems further down the line.
Others will do the board change at a low price but not carry out a full and detailed check of the installation. They will omit certain applicable tests, parts of the inspection or sampling in order to recoup their cost. This renders the report effectively worthless, much like paying for a service on a car, getting a service stamp in the logbook but the mechanic never even lifted the bonnet.
We provided a firm bespoke price for each Consumer Unit Upgrades based upon the size of the boards and your installation, so you will know exactly what to expect. As standard, we install the best protection that suits your particular needs and carryout the full range of commissioning tests applicable. We are based in Dorking too, which means we can provide you with local references and should you have any questions about your new board, we can pop by to discuss. A friendly and polite manner are part of the service.