Keep Safe! 4 Reasons Why You May Need a New Fuse Box

  • 15 Mar, 2017

Do you need to upgrade your fuse box?

Most people know where their fuse box (or consumer unit) is in their home. It is usually found near their property entrance.  A fuse box controls all of the electrical circuits in your home and is the place you should go to turn off your electrical supply in an emergency.

Fuse Box Components

  • It contains a main switch which turns off all electrical supply to your home should you need to do this.
  • There are also fuses or circuit breakers which control individual circuits in your home. For example, the lights in your home or the kitchen supply.
  • A Residual Current Device (RCD). This is a safety mechanism which monitors the electricity flowing through the circuits. If it detects a fault, the RCD will automatically switch the circuit off and prevent injury or fire due to faulty wiring, appliances or accidents.

Reasons to get a new fuse box

1)    For electrical safety. Many electricians will tell you that having a RCD is essential and is not usually present in older fuse boxes. It is a potential life saver as it can detect small leakage currents in the range 5–30 mA and can disconnect in less than 300ms which may prevent electrocution and injury. If your fuse box is greater than 25 years old it may not have a RCD.

2)    If your lights are flickering or your sockets are unresponsive, this could be a sign that your fuse box is deteriorating.

3)    If the fuse box has asbestos flash guards. Asbestos fibres are now known to be very harmful if breathed in. Asbestos was used on old fuse boards but not on newer ones.

4)    If your fuse board is more than 10 years old the fuses may have deteriorated so it is best to get it checked by a competent electrician .

What is the cost of a new fuse box?

The cost will be between £300- £500 for a qualified electrician to come and install a new fuse box. The electricians will also do electrical testing to ensure everything is safe.When the testing is finished, the results will be recorded on an Electrical Installation Certificate and the electrician will provide you with a copy. This certificateconfirms the work complies with the requirements of BS 7671. It is also wise to have the earth bonding and all electrical circuits checked at the same time  - an Electrical Installation Condition Report can then be issued (EICR). 

At Keith Gunn Electrical Solutions we are NICEIC registered electrical contractors and will replace your old fuse board with a new metal one with full RCD protection.

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When you need an electrician most people “Google” for one or are passed a recommendation from a friend. But probably most people do not bother to check to see whether the electrician is registered with NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) or similar.  This body was created in 1956 to regulate the industry and to standardise training and work practises. To become an approved NICEIC contractor the electrician must :

·        Ensure work is carried out to the current edition of BS 7671; the IET Wiring Regulations

·        Ensure certification is issued on completion of installation work, as directed by BS 7671

·        Have up-to-date copies of BS 7671

·        Have competence with test instruments as outlined by Part 6 ("Inspection and Testing") of BS 7671; the IET  Wiring Regulations

·        Have public liability insurance of at least £2m.

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NICEIC Platinum Promise

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NICEIC offers consumers a Platinum Promise. If you are unhappy with the work carried out by one of its registered contractors – and they agree- they will help to put it right.

Employing cheaper but unregistered electricians can lead to disaster sometimes. There are plenty of stories in the news where terrible and shoddy work carried out by so-called electricians lead to fatal consequences. The problem is that anyone can say that they are an electrician and very few householders will actually check the qualifications of the person turning up to do the work. Ensuring that your electrician is NICEIC registered demonstrates that the electrician is fully qualified (you can check the NICEIC register to be sure).

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Most people know where their fuse box (or consumer unit) is in their home. It is usually found near their property entrance.  A fuse box controls all of the electrical circuits in your home and is the place you should go to turn off your electrical supply in an emergency.

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