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When Should I Upgrade My Fusebox?An out of date fusebox can be very dangerous and can lead to an increased risk of electrocution and fires. But how do you know when it is time to replace yours? Our short guide provides some helpful pointers.
If you home or business contains an old fusebox (fuse board) with re-wireable fuses or old cartridge style fuses it really might be time to upgrade it to one of the latest metal backed fuse boxes (consumer units) with RCD protection and miniature circuit breakers (MCBs). Making this change will instantly provide your property, and those in it, with a much greater level of protection from fire and electrocution.
Other reasons you may need to upgrade your fuse box include:
- Adding further circuits to the original install in your home e.g. adding an extension, converting a garage, adding extra sockets etc
- You are making alterations to the electrics in your kitchen or bathroom.
- The fuse box is so old, it is of wood construction
- The fuses keep tripping
- The fuse box contains asbestos flash pads
How Much Will It Cost to Install a New Fuse Box?
The price of installing and testing a new fuse box/consumer unit will depend on the number of electrical circuits in your property. However, it typically costs between £300 and £500.
How Long Does it Take to Install a New Fuse Box?
This can vary depending on the age of the property and wiring. However it usually takes between half a day and a day to install and test a new fuse box/consumer unit. Your electrician should also check that the earthing and bonding (gas and water) of your installation are up to the required standard and make any alterations as required.
What Features Make the Latest Fuse Boxes (Consumer Units) Safer?
Miniature Circuit Breakers replace old style fuses. There will be one MCB for every circuit in your property. They are very sensitive to changes in current and switch off the power automatically if there is a fault which causes the current to exceed a safe level.
Residual Current Detectors are devices that are designed to switch off the power immediately if there is an earth fault. They prevent electrocution and electrical fires by cutting the flow of electricity when leaking current is detected. There will also be a button on your fuse box to allow you to test that the RCDs are working correctly. This test should be carried every few months or so.
3. Metal Cladding
Since Jan 2106 all newly installed fuse boxes (consumer units) must be metal clad. This is because it was discovered that an increase in house fires was directly the result of loose wires inside the plastic fuse box causing the casing to overheat and catch fire. Metal casing was found to be much better at containing such fires.
Keeping your property and those in it, safe from the risk of electrocution and fire is essential. It is therefore crucial that your fuse box (consumer unit) is up to the job. If you have any concerns always get a good, qualified electrician you can trust to check it over. They will give you honest advice as to whether it is safe to use (even if it doesn’t meet 100% of current regulations) or if it urgently needs upgrading.
Aberdeen Electricians are NICEIC approved electricians in Aberdeen. If you have any concerns with your current fuse box or are thinking of upgrading and are looking for a quote, please get in touch or Tel: 01224 900077
Author: Aberdeen Electricians Ltd