When you have upgraded an old, obsolete or defective fuse board it definitely gives one peace of the mind. By making the necessary replacement you heavily contribute toward making your home electrically safe and free from hazards. The decision of whether the replacement is necessary or not should best be left with someone who is technically sound, qualified and experienced in the field. In other words, a licensed electrician is the best judge in this condition. He may even have to carry out an inspection and see the condition himself in order to make the correct decision.
When a consumer unit (CU) or fuse board needs to be replaced, it gives out some minute signals. If only you know those signals and notice them, then you too can ascertain whether the replacement is needed or not. Are you wondering what those signals are?
Take a careful look at the consumer unit. Does it have a wooden backing? If the answer is yes, then you should know the unit is quite old and obsolete in the current date. Such old fuse boards are also likely to have switches made of cast iron. All these factors indicate but only thing – your consumer unit is pretty old by now and needs an upgrade. A modern and more user-friendly unit must be installed in its place to make your home electrically safe and hazard-free.
Importance of an RCD in every electrical installation
RCD is the shortened form of ‘residual current device’. Chances are actually quite high that your old and outdated consumer unit will not have RCDs. And an RCD is one of the ‘must have’ components in any fuse box in the present times. The component has a wonderful mechanism to keep your lives and property safe in case of an electrical fault. The device automatically cuts down electric connection on detecting anything abnormal or unnatural in the circuit. As a result, you are saved from electric shocks and other potential hazards caused by electricity.
If you have upcoming projects to overhaul your home – like installing a shower or an extension – then better build up your electrics from scratch to stay safe. It may cost you sufficiently but the investment is always worth as your following generations will be enjoying the dividends living in a electrically safe and hazard-free environment.
As such there must be a valid reasoning to replace an existing fuse box. Without a valid reason one should never go along this replacement procedure. And any valid reason related to your consumer unit replacement is related to the electrical safety of every soul who lives with you. Therefore, it is better if you move cautiously over this matter.
Once the RCDs come up in place you know in your mind that you are now safe enough to replace faulty light bulbs and switches. You may also start your plumbing assignment in that shower. Moreover, it is now also safe to build that extension you have planned already. You know it well that anyone coming into your property and spending time is electrically safe. This peace of mind is indeed valueless.
Modern fuse boxes are obviously prone to accidents. But you can be rest assured such accidents hardly claim lives – unlike the old and obsolete versions of consumer units we have discussed above. On the other hand, untoward incidents that may occur when you sincerely hold on to a backdated consumer unit are more life-threatening. Let us take an example – an electrical appliance used in your home or workplace cuts through the flex. Someone unknowingly then picks up the flex and naturally suffers from electrocution. If the shock is massive death may occur. In better case scenarios, the victim may have to be rushed to the hospital.
Minimising the chances of electrical fires
A modern fuse box is better equipped to detect any fault in the circuit compared to the old ones. As soon as it detects something fishy, straightway it in snaps down the power supply. This minimises the chances of heat build-up which in turn diminishes the chances of an electrical fire. In case of circuit overloading, you are prone to experience electric shocks. But again thanks to RCDs, the devices automatically shut off the power supply even before you are subjected to electrocution. Considering all these factors it is right to conclude replacing an old fuse box with a new one definitely makes your home or property electrically safer.
All modern consumer units come with circuit breakers and RCDs. It is actually these components that make a modern consumer unit more efficient than the older versions in tackling a potential issue occurring in the circuit. As a result, your property is electrically safer with lesser risks of electrical shocks and fires.
It is the circuit breaker that actually snaps down the power supply in case of an abnormal development in your circuit. Older versions of fuse box have no circuit breakers and thus are not efficient enough to detect a fault occurring in the circuit. Modern ‘built in’ breakers trip automatically exactly within a nanosecond of detecting a fault in the circuit. Thus, even if you stay in touch with a live wire, your life will be safe before any real damage is done.
Few obvious signs that your fuse board needs a replacement
There are few tell-tale signs that you must not ignore when come across, suggests a registered electrician experienced in fuse board upgrade. These signs include the following –
- If your home or business premise has outdated consumer units with re-wireable or cartridge-like fuses you should better consult a registered electrician in a pre-emptive move.
- The fuse board you have is either made of wood or plastic – both the items are incapable to contain a fire in case it breaks out.
- The presently installed board has no residual current device or RCD.
- You come across signs that the fuse board is overheating. (In this case you should call out a registered electrician on emergency basis.)
- Executing a property execution project or modifying a loft or a garage into a living space – in both cases you are bound to have a surge in your electric consumption.