The consumer unit is the most important part of your home electrical system.
Here are some common consumer unit questions.
Are old fuse boxes illegal?
No, they are not illegal, but by law, you cannot install an old-style fusebox.
Are old fuse boxes safe?
Yes and no. While an old fusebox will do the job, modern consumer units will cut power much faster in the event of a fault, which could be the difference between life and death. Old fuse boxes are not compliant with the latest electrical regulations so they should be replaced with a modern consumer unit which is much safer.
What is a consumer unit?
The consumer units controls and distributes power throughout your home. Every electrical circuit in your home is connected to your consumer unit.
What’s inside a consumer unit?
Inside is the main switch that turns the power on and off to every electrical circuit in your home. RCD fuses (residual current devices) which cut the power in the event of a fault to protect humans from electrocution. MCB fuses (miniature circuit breakers) these fuses protect your electrical system and appliances from electrical overload and damage.
How much does a new consumer unit cost?
The cost depends entirely on your property, your electrical system requirements and the amount of RCD MCB fuses that will need fitting. We price each consumer unit installation/upgrade on a property to property basis to give you the best possible price.
Can I fit the consumer unit myself?
If you’re fully qualified electrician then yes. Otherwise No. Fitting a consumer unit involves working with the mains power supply, which is dangerous. Always use a fully qualified and certified electrician when replacing a consumer unit.
How long does it take to fit a new consumer unit?
On average, around 4 hours. Some older properties might need more work and might take a little while longer. We can establish an estimated time when we quote the installation.
Is fitting a new consumer unit disruptive?
Apart from a short period of power loss there will be minimal disruption to your everyday life.
Are plastic consumer units legal?
If you already have one in a domestic property yes they are legal (And don’t worry you don’t need to upgrade to a metal one). Since the beginning of 2016 consumer units fitted in a domestic property must be constructed from non-combustible material or housed in a cabinet constructed of non-combustible material.
Is a consumer unit upgrade notifiable?
Yes as part of the part P building regulations your local council building control will need to be notified (we can do this for you)
Do Tim Hughes & Son install consumer units?
Yes, certainly we have installed many consumer units in and around Essex over the years. Please get in touch if you would like a quote for a consumer unit installation/upgrade.