Upgrading an old consumer unit to one incorporating two residual current devices (RCDs) is a job
that many people will now have to consider.
The 17th edition of the wiring regulations requires most circuits in a domestic property to be protected by an RCD.
It is often a better and cheaper option to upgrade the consumer unit rather than alter the existing installation in order to comply with the new regulations. Swapping the consumer unit may also involve some additional electrical work, to enable the installation to meet the standards set by the new wiring regulations. This might include splitting circuits or running in new cable. An older property might have all the lighting and sockets supplied by just two circuits. It would be better practice to split these so that the lighting and sockets for each floor are on separate circuits with their own circuit breaker. Other problems that require attention include borrowed neutrals. This is where a neutral return path was not available and a link to another circuit has been made. Correcting this fault would, in many cases, require a new cable to be laid back to the consumer unit.
How do I know if I need my fusebox upgraded?
If your fuse box have a wooden back, cast iron switches or a mixture of fuses it is likely that it dates back to before the 1960’s and will need to be replaced!
If you don’t have any provision of residual current devices (RCDs) for wiring buried in the walls, sockets circuits and outlets that may be used to plug in outdoor electrical equipment.
If you are planning a building or improvement project such as a new electric shower, Solar PV, an extension or an attic conversion and additional wiring and new circuits will need to be installed.
Why upgrade my fusebox?
A professionally installed & certified 17th edition consumer unit WILL improve your electrical safety. You want to make sure your installation is as safe as it can possibly be. With the new 17th edition boards that come with dual RCDs or RCCBOs, you are guaranteed MAXIMUM safety for you and your friends/family/work colleagues.