Do I need a new fuse board?

Do I need a new fuse board?

A fuse board (also known as a consumer unit) is where the electricity in your home is controlled and distributed.  It’s important that you know where it is incase you need to turn power off in an emergency.

So how do you know if you need a new one?  Here are a few things to consider;

  • How old is your fuse board?  

    If your fuse board hasn’t been changed in the last 20 years chances are it will need to be replaced, if it has a wooden backing, cast iron switches or a mixture of fuses it’s a sign of a very old fuse board. 

  • How does your fuse board look?  

    Does it look neat and tidy? Can you see any visible wires?  Are any screws coming loose?  These are all signs that your consumer unit may not be safe.

  • Does it have RCD’s?  

    An RCD (residual current device) will switch off the electricity supply if it detects a fault; they react in less than 0.4 of a second!  This is extremely important as it helps to prevent electric shocks and fires.  You can easily check to see if your consumer unit has RCDs by looking for a “T” or “Test” switch.

    If you are having new work carried out in your home or are altering a circuit (especially in special locations e.g. outside, kitchens, bathrooms), then regulations will almost certainly require an RCD to be fitted.

Electrical regulations are updated regularly, for example, fuse boards were made with plastic casings until 2016 but current regulations now require that they have a non-combustible enclosure such as steel.  Whilst many fuse boards may not meet current electrical requirements they may still be safe to use.

For any advice regarding your fuse board please don’t hesitate to get in touch!