Is My Fuse Box Safe? 75% Are Not!

Daniel Thomas

May 2, 2018
Daniel Thomas

Is My Fuse Box / Fuse Board / Consumer Unit Safe?

Your fuse box, known as a ‘Consumer Unit’, is the heart of the electrical system in your home. It contains a level of safety that, as long as it is up to date and functioning correctly, gives you protection if anything goes wrong with the electrics in your home. It also allows you to easily turn off all or part of your electricity if you need to carry out some maintenance.

Common Electrical Faults

What can go wrong? Electrical faults can occur in your appliances, in your cabling, or even if a person receives an electrical shock. But what makes this important is the question of what does your fuseboard do when one of these things happen? In a modern tested system the power will turn off in milliseconds, potentially preserving your life or home.

Standards Have Changed A Lot

When many homes were built in the 1940s to the 1990s electrical systems were designed to turn off the power within 5 seconds if there was an issue. YES 5 seconds. Now for anybody who has had the misfortune of getting any kind of electric shock 5 seconds is a very long time. Long enough to kill you.

How Do I Know if my Fuseboard Needs Replacing?

The best course of action to find out if you up to the new electrical safety standards is to ring us at 5Star Electrical and we can visit your home to advise you on its electrical safety. In the mean time there are some very obvious clues that you can check today to see if your fuse box needs replacing.

Does your Fusebox look like any of these? Does it have rewirable fuses? 

old fuse box board

All of these power boards were deemed to be unsafe and required updating to a modern system with a new metal clad Consumer Unit with at least two RCD units protecting the circuits.

What About Fuse Boards That Have Trip Switches?

old fuse boards stockport

Many are surprised to discover that after inspection these two systems were also found to not be meeting the current electrical wiring safety regulations with each of these fuseboxes having circuits that had no RCD safety protection.

What Is An RCD?

RCD’s, standing for ‘Residual Current Device’, are crucial to our electrical safety in a modern electrical system. Simply put they are small devices that turn off the power very fast when some power goes missing. Power going missing means that it has gone somewhere that it should of not gone.

How Do RCDs Work?

RCDs work by monitoring the flow of electricity into the electrical system and the flow of electricity coming back out, the electric flowing back out to ‘earth’ or the ground. All electricity is trying to get to ‘earth’. Think of lightning, where does it go? From storm clouds where static builds up large amounts of electricity and this then jumps to the ground, causing a giant spark, that we call lightning. If the two levels, in and out of the house, do not match then some electricity has gone missing and found another route to earth. This lost electric is going where it should not be going.

Where Does Electricity Go?

The lost electricity can be a few different things. It could an electric shock where electric travels through a person to ground. It could be electricity travelling down the earth wires fitted for safety in our home appliances. It could be taking another path to the ground through plumbing or gas pipework in your home. All of these are not good news for homeowners, especially the first!

Wylex RCD

Why Do I Need RCDs?

In a word, Safety. Your RCD will turn off your electricity if you have an appliance that develops a fault and becomes a potential fire risk, or the unthinkable happens, and you are given an electric shock. These RCD safety devices will normally deactivate the electricity supply within 40 Milliseconds, thats 0.04 of a second. And with electric shocks very millisecond counts.

So How Do I Get A New Fuse Box Fuseboard Consumer Unit?

You first action should be to call Daniel & The team at 5Star Electrical who can arrange a convenient time to visit your property and give you a quotation for the work that is required. Contact 5Star Electrical to help and advise you today. 

What Is included With a New Consumer Unit?

Whilst installing a new CCU your electrical system will undergo a thorough testing and electrical certification. On a domestic electrical system this certificate is then valid for 10 years. Each circuit is individually tested to ensure that it is safe for use and a certificate for the installation is then issued. 

We can give you a quotation including;

✓   Labour and materials required to install and test your new Consumer Unit

✓   NICEIC 10 Year Electrical installation Certificate

✓   Part P Building Regulations Approval

✓  6 Year insurance backed warranty

✓  Backed up by our 5Star Promise for your complete Peace of Mind

Any Questions or to Book a Free Estimate, Call Daniel Today on 01614100620