Test the electrics first.
I would always advise that prior to updating your old fuseboard for a new fuseboard that you have your electrics tested first. A new fuseboard isn’t a cure all solution. A new fuseboard on a poor electrical installation is more like putting a plaster over a gunshot wound. It’s just not practical.
The reasoning for this is that if you do not have your electrics tested with an electrical installation condition report (EICR) you may actually have to spend more money at a later date. If there are problems in your homes electrics that are not rectified prior to installing the new fuseboard then you may have given yourself a rather large headache as the newer more sensitive components are likely to trip continuously.
Having a EICR carried out before hand will identify exactly what work if any needs done prior to the new fuseboard being installed.
Picking the new consumer unit.
Now that you know your electrics are safe and up to the job you can now pick your new fuseboard and the parts that will go into it. There are many manufacturers of new fuseboard out there with quality varying on each as you would expect. All new fuseboard will meet the minimum standards however when it comes to longevity you do get what you pay for.
Hager has consistently been a great manufacturer of new fuseboard with Schneider and a new entrant FuseBox (still early day’s) being viable alternatives. Keep an eye on forums or ask an electrician if you are not sure on what is the best new fuseboard to choose.
Once you have picked the new fuseboard right for you, you will now have to pick the components that go into it. RCD’s and MCB’s are mandatory with current regulations but addon’s such as RCBO’s (an RCD but on an individual circuit level), surge protection and arc fault detection devices or AFDD’s for short are some of the devices you should take a look at.
Although these addon devices may push the price up in the short term you will you will likely save a lot more money over the long term as you futureproof your new fuseboard. Seek advice from your electrician or our ask an expert page if you are unsure on what to choose or need help budgeting.
Installing the new consumer unit.
Installation of your new consumer unit can now take place. Allow anywhere between 3-6 hours for this job. Your old fuseboard will be removed and cables identified, ready to be installed into your new consumer unit. Some cables that are no longer in use may be removed.
The new consumer unit will have clear identification of cables along with a raft of labels from warning stickers to a sticker detailing the installers details for future reference.
Certifying your new consumer unit.
Once your new consumer unit has been safely installed another set of electrical tests are carried out on the electrical installation. When installing a new consumer unit the electrician carrying out the job becomes responsible for the whole electrical installation meaning that unless they want a call out, they will ensure that all electrical parts are operating as they should.
You will be provided with an electrical installation certificate on completion (EIC) as well as any warranty documents. If you have any questions please ask our experts. You can do this here.