When your fuse board or consumer unit looks battered and old, or when it gets damaged, it becomes necessary to replace it. Most of the fuse boards you find in a new house or property are usually decades old, so it could malfunction. It is really a bother when you have your fuse board trip off, interrupting your electricity, and then being unable to understand how to fix it. This might mean you require a modern fuse board, which would be safer and more efficient. In fact, when upgrading the electrical system or wires in your building, GVA Electrical Limited, an electrician in London, recommends that you replace the fuse board altogether.
Replacing an old fuse board with a new one is really a smart idea, because modern ones have an improved design which makes them trip off faster at the threat of an overcurrent. Thus, it prevents accidents such as electric shock or fire outbreak.
How Do You Replace an Old Fuse Board and Install a New One?
Now that you see the benefits of replacing your old fuse board, what do you need to go about it? Well, a fuse box or consumer unit might be basic to understand for any amateur. However, replacing or installing one is strictly to be done by a qualified electrician. You shouldn’t attempt to remove parts or change the fuse box by yourself if you are not one. Why do we say this?
Aside from the fact that it’s not safe to meddle with electric parts, you simply might lack the required skills needed. Besides, you need to be issued an Electrical Installation Certificate by a certified electrician whenever a new fuse box, new extension, or new circuit, gets installed. This is a regulation that applies in the UK.
What Do You Need to Replace a Fuse Board?
First, be aware that you require the services of a qualified electrician to install a new fuse board or consumer unit.
You need to know how many circuits are in the building, so as to be certain that everything works fine at the end of the day. There are circuits in sockets, lights or other outlets for electric power. We must know that the fuse board serves to control the electricity current that runs to other units within the building. So, having a faulty replacement might affect one room or part of the house. Also, knowing the number of circuits within the building or property will help you know how much materials you need to buy. This helps you figure out the cost needed to replace the fuse board.
The cost has to cover the price for the new (quality) fuse board itself, electrical materials, and the cost of service, as well as the fee for registering your repair with the Local Building Control and the certificate issued. The addition of all these costs would sum up to a total of how much you need to replace your fuse board.
It is advisable to employ the services of a trusted electrician to help out with all these purchases. The electrician can also recommend the capacity of fuse board which you need. It takes a few hours to successfully replace a fuse board and test if it is working perfectly; at least four hours in all.
The cost of the full replacement (purchases and service) should be about £500 in the UK. It might be more than this, depending on the size of the property and the number of circuits required. It might also be less (about £300 to £400) if the house doesn’t have too many sockets or circuits, and also depending on the hourly rates charged by the electrician.
Is It Better to Repair or Replace a Fuse Board?
Rather than seeking to repair a faulty fuse board, it is usually better to replace it totally. Despite the cost of replacement, making a repair would not be effective in the long run. This is because the old fuse board might be unable to support the current load in all the various appliances being used. A repaired fuse board might soon start showing signs of overload or overheating. This shows that it is much more beneficial to take your time and do the replacement when necessary to be on the safer side.
However, note that sometimes an old fuse board might pass the electrical inspection test. This would be indicated in your Electrical Installation Condition Report. In this case, there would be no need to bother replacing the fuse board with a new consumer unit. However, if the existing fuse board does not have RCD protection, or extra capacity for additional circuits, then you have to replace it.
Also, If you’re within West Midlands, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, Bucks, Berks, Surrey, Greater London and nearby areas, you can get in touch with certified electrician in the UK to book an appointment for fuse board replacement.