Welcome to this free comprehensive guide to upgrading your electrical fuse box from our experienced and certified professional electricians. As a responsible homeowner – or landlord – it is essential to ensure that your electrical systems are up to date and safe.
Fuse box – safety first
One of the most important features of your property’s electrical infrastructure is the fuse box, which acts as the nerve centre for the distribution of electricity around the building. If you’re a UK homeowner currently considering upgrading your fuse box, this checklist will provide valuable advice and insights to help you make an informed decision.
Understanding your fuse box
A fuse box, also commonly known as a consumer unit, is responsible for protecting your electrical circuits from overloads and short circuits. It contains fuses or miniature circuit breakers (MCBs) that automatically trip and disconnect the power supply in the event of a fault, providing an early warning of a potential issue. Upgrading your fuse box can significantly enhance the safety and efficiency of your electrical system and protect your appliances.
Do I need to upgrade my consumer unit?
Older fuse boxes, especially those with rewireable fuses, may not provide adequate protection against electrical faults. Upgrading to a modern consumer unit with MCBs and residual current devices (RCDs) significantly reduces the risk of electric shocks and electrical fires. If your lights keep flickering, or your sockets don’t seem to be working as well as they should, this could be a sign that your fuse box is beginning to deteriorate, usually starting when the fuse box is over ten years old.
Compliance with regulations
In recent years, electrical regulations in the UK have undergone several updates to ensure safer installations. If your fuse box is very outdated, upgrading it will bring your electrical system in line with the latest regulations, such as the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations (BS 7671).
Choosing and installing the right consumer unit:
Engage a qualified electrician
Upgrading a fuse box is a task that MUST only be carried out by a qualified electrician who is registered with a competent person scheme, such as NICEIC or ELECSA. At Coutts Electrical Contractors we possess the necessary expertise to assess your electrical needs and recommend an appropriate consumer unit to suit the age and size of your property, the likely loadings and the number of inhabitants.
- When recommending a consumer unit, we always ensure it includes residual current devices (RCDs) for additional protection against electric shock and miniature circuit breakers (MCBs) that offer individual circuit protection. MCBs are more convenient to reset than traditional fuses so tend to appeal to more clients.
- Working with you, we consider the future electrical demands of your household and opt for a consumer unit with spare capacity for additional circuits or features like surge protection, to safeguard your electrical equipment from voltage spikes.
- One of our qualified electricians will conduct a thorough assessment of your existing electrical system to determine the requirements for the new consumer unit. We will also plan the positioning and wiring connections for the unit.
- Upgrading the fuse box requires disconnecting the mains power supply temporarily. We will schedule a convenient time for the work, minimising disruption to your daily routine.
- Upon completion, we provide an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) or a Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate (MEIWC). And, where required, we also notify the local building control department about the electrical work ensuring compliance with current Building Regulations.
Upgrading your electrical fuse box is a wise decision to enhance the safety and efficiency of your home’s electrical system. By engaging a qualified electrician and selecting a suitable consumer unit, you can be confident of complying with regulations while futureproofing your home’s electrical infrastructure.
Prioritise safety and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a modern, reliable fuse box.
Remember, this guide is intended for informational purposes only. We would always recommend a chat with one of our highly qualified professionals to provide specific advice tailored to your home’s electrical needs.