Consumer Units (CU's)
Fuse Boards evolved to be called Consumer Units (CU’s) as fully and partially encased fuses (rewirable fuses) were replaced by resettable breakers Circuit Breakers (CB’s), which were in turn replaced by Micro Circuit Breakers (MCB’s), and then additional protective devices were added - Residual Current Device’s (RCD’s) initially to offer additional protection to a limited number of protected circuits, then dual RCD’s to protect all the MCB’s (roughly half a boards MCB’s per RCD). There are currently also Residual Current Circuit Breakers with Overcurrent Protection (RCBO’s) which are an MCB and RCD integrated to offer the same level of safety but for individual circuits, and since the introduction of the 18th edition of the BS7671, there are now Surge Protective Devices (SPD’s) which I offer with every consumer unit at an additional cost, or you can choose to leave it out of the installation if you wish. And finally Arc Protection Devices (APD’s) are now available for the first time in domestic CU’s which are non mandatory at present.
How long do Consumer Units last?
Consumer units kept in good condition (few alterations, works carried out well within operating parameters of devices within - correct torque for connections and well terminated conductors) can last for decades.
Consumer units that are treated roughly usually suffer the most and can need replacing within years rather than decades.
When do Consumer Units need replacing?
Regulations are clear on when a CU may need to be replaced -
- When it fails to meet the original standards and regulations it was designed to meet (not current ones).
- When additional or non like-for-like work, is carried out on systems which are to be fed from the CU.
In some cases a ‘workaround’ may be an option and should always be looked at wherever possible, although it may cost more than a new CU. However an explanation will always be given.
What will it cost to replace my Consumer Unit?
As CU installations are varied I offer an average install price below, but a visit by me and full inspection are advised.
My pricing for CU’s starts at £550. Installation time is usually a half to full day depending on location and extra works. This includes removal of the old board and installation of the new, the replacement of Meter Tails and New Main Earth Conductor replacement, the extension of conductors within the unit as necessary, the time it takes testing the new alteration or addition and full Notification and Test Reports (all paperwork completed off site). Please note: not exceeding 3 meters for each Conductor length, installation through or along walls only, old board removal but not disposal of, repositioning of new consumer unit is not included (original placement only).
Does not include trunking or any other works/parts necessary - all other bonding and parts will be priced separately. Any faults found upon completion of the CU will be looked into and may need additional time to resolve, generally if the fault needs hours to find rather than minutes then there will be an additional charge for this, charged at £40 per hour (typically its usual that one or two faults found and fixed in under an hour will not be charged for, charges are for deeper or more numerous issues, but you will always be informed throughout). Any additional work is charged as extra and may be declined if you decide that it does not suit your requirements - but all work will be left in a safe and isolated condition as a compromise if fault finding/remedial work is declined.