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  • Writer's pictureNick Plant

Does my fuse board need changing?

Updated: Feb 23


Your consumers unit, or fuse board as it is more commonly referred to, is the heart of your installation. It houses the protective devices from which all of your power and lighting is supplied from. Its importance should not be underestimated. The correct connection and functioning of the protective devices is what keeps you, your family and property safe.


 
Fuse board replacement



So how do you know if your fuse board needs changing?


Well, generally speaking, as long as your existing board has been installed correctly, shows

no signs of physical or thermal damage its probably still fit for purpose. If however you haven't had your installation inspected for some time, there could be other underlying issues that would require a board change. If your installation doesn't contain any rcd protective devices, you will almost certainly require a board change.

There is guidance from the IET Wiring Regulations on maximum recommended frequency between inspections.

Domestic (general)

10 years

Domestic (rented)

5 years

Commercial

5 years

Industrial

3 years

Swimming pools

1 year

If your installation doesn't have an up to date report, it is highly recommended to have a qualified electrician check your wiring and equipment. The dangers of electricity aren't always obvious, just because your sockets and lights work, doesn't guarantee you're installation is safe.




How long does a board change take?


This really depends on the size, age and type of installation but on average it can take anywhere from 3-5 hours. This includes testing and certification of wiring throughout your installation. A board change is a relatively straightforward job but on older installs it may also require some rewiring of circuits.

Wiring regulations are forever evolving for your safety, an electrician must ensure that any new work complies with the latest regulations.

For this reason, before any fuesboard change, an approved electrician should carry out an electrical installation condition report. An EICR will determine whether any additional work is required to satisfy the latest regulations, and also prevent any issues older wiring can have on modern protective devices.




How much does it cost?


Depending on the type of installation you have, the average price you should expect to pay for a domestic consumers unit replacement is around £550-£675. Other allowances should be made, for possible remedial works or initial EICR that may be required to ensure the whole installation is safe and compliant.





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