I thought we would share some information about fuse boards we have found in and around Watford!

The main one at the moment we are finding is consumer units (fuse boards) that are in desperate need of upgrading.

“But Matt, why would you say this?”

Well, below I have listed a quick overview, lets see if this can clear anything up.

So, what is a fuse board?

A fuse board, also known as a consumer unit, houses all your circuit breakers. Circuit breakers are the last line of defence in case of an electrical fault. Your fuse board and circuit breakers are designed to break the electrical supply under ‘fault’ conditions, i.e. a blown fuse.

Why would it need upgrading?

Electrical engineers have concluded that a house should have 30mA (Milliamp) protection on the majority of your circuits and that your circuits should trip within 200milli seconds under certain fault conditions. The reason for this is an electrical shock higher than 30mA and longer than 200milli seconds can induce heart attacks and internal burns.

When upgrading what should be installed?

  • Surge Protection Device (SPD) – This helps protect your house from electrical surges that may happen externally such as street and lightening strikes. Both can severely damage your electrical devices such as fridges etc. without an SPD. (For more information please go to the help sheet request form)
  • RCBO – Every circuit should be individually protected by its own 30mA trip switch known as a Residual Circuit Breaker with Overcurrent protection (RCBO). This replaces the need for RCD’s which undertake the same job but 3-4 circuits at a time. By using RCBO’s it means you will know exactly which circuit the fault is present on, and minimizes the lose of electricity to the other circuits within the house as the fault is localized. (For more information please go to the help sheet request form)

How do I know I need an upgrade?

  • If your board does not contain an RCD (Residual Current Device) or RCBO it needs upgrading.
  • If your board is housed in plastic, it  may require upgrading.
  • You have a large demand for electric within your household and your unit can not handle the electrical load, it will need to be upgraded.
  • It overheats, frequently trips or in any other way unsafe, the board will need upgrading.
An example of the type of board that needs upgrading
18th Edition RCBO board with SPD


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