Keep Safe! 4 Reasons Why You May Need a New Fuse Box
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.
What is a fuse box?
- 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 board 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 board. 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 certificate confirms 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).