Fuse box replacement

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A large number of homes across the UK are fitted with fuse boxes that aren’t in line with current electrical regulations.

If your home has an old fuse box, also known as a consumer unit, it means you’re putting your home and its occupants in unnecessary danger. If you think your home could be at risk then it’s time to get your fuse box replaced.

It’s not as pricey as you might think. Typically fuse box replacement costs average around £350. Not much for peace of mind, is it?

While your old fuse box may work perfectly well - in fact it’s probably more than capable of doing the job - old fuse boards have old wiring, and while not necessarily unsafe, wiring regulations have changed a lot over the last few years. Back in the day your old fuse box would have complied with electrical regulations. But that was then and this is now. Electrical wiring standards and regulations have changed and 2008 saw the introduction of new 17th edition wiring regulations. It meant all circuits were required to have RCD protection by law.

Why do I need a fuse box replacement?

Think of your fuse box as the heart of your home’s wiring system. A distribution board that distributes electricity to circuits in the house, there are a wide range of consumer units available in the UK, from leading manufacturers including Volex, Legrand and Wylex. For security and aesthetics, consumer units tend to be located in out of the way places, such as garages and basements.

If you’ve got an old style fuse box you’ll need to upgrade to a new consumer unit – that’s the more modern term for a fuse box or fuse board by the way – that’s fitted with Residual Circuit Devices (RCDs) and mini circuit breakers (MCBs). Modern fuse box replacements are designed to protect your socket circuits, and new consumer units are able to detect the tiniest of current changes. Because they can disconnect in a fraction of a second, they go a long way to minimising the chances of potentially fatal electric shocks and electrical fires.

How much will a fuse box replacement cost?

Although existing electrical installations can be made compliant, given that modern fuse box replacements are safer and more cost effective, it’s sensible to remove an old fuse box and install a new unit.

Fuse box replacementAccording to a Which? Local survey fuse box replacement costs can range from £300 to £430. A typical price for supplying and fitting a new consumer unit in an average 3 bed semi detached property is £350*.

How can I tell if I’ve got an older style fuse box?

Older style units used fuses before the arrival of mini circuit breakers (MCBs), which feature a single horizontal row of fuses or MCBs. With the new style of consumer units, the need to replace wires or fuses is removed. They include “toggles” which just require flipping back up when they trip, and are also far more aesthetically pleasing than their older counterparts. There are some pre-1950 fuse boxes still in service, but the numbers are small and they need to be regarded with caution, as exposed live parts are common. 

To install a fuse box replacement you’ll need the services of a qualified electrical contractor certified under Part P. Local Electrical Quotes can provide free no obligation quotes for fuse box replacements by qualified electricians. Arrange for your free quotes today.

* Prices correct as of July 2012.