Replacing your fuse board

getting your fuse board replaced in bristol

Replacing the fuse board in your home

Having made the decision to replace your fuse boars, it is important to ensure that this important job is carried out by a competent electrician.

You can think of the fuse board as the main hub of your home - it is the heart of the electrical installation in your home.If the job is carried out incorrectly, your home will be in a dangerous condition and your family is then at risk from electrical harm.

Firstly I will outline the main reasons why you may need or want to upgrade your old fuse board to a new modern consumer unit:

  • Your having some other electrical work carried out and need to comply with current regulations.
  • Your old fuse board is overloaded and starting to cause problems for the remainder of the installation.
  • You want to be more protected from electrical harm.

Whatever the reason for upgrading an old consumer unit to a new one incorporating individual RCBO's , is a job that many people will now have to consider at some point.

The above points may have been raised by another trades person such as a builder if you are having a large project being undertaken.

Please DO NOT be tempted into hiring anyone who IS NOT a qualified electrician to carry out electrical work in your home, even if they offer to carry out the work at a fraction of the price because 'they know about electrics'.

Its not just about the price, a competent electrician will be fully qualified , Part P compliant and fully insured to do the job AND have a guarantee on the job for years to come.

If the person fitting the consumer unit is not qualified , Part P compliant and is not insured,it would be better to walk away.These people are not interested in your safety of future well being, they are just interested in your money!

Over the years I have come across the same objections about the price when quoting for a replacement fuse board.They normally go as follows:

  • "I can buy one myself for £80 in a well known DIY shop"
  • "My mate works for %%%%% and can do it for £XXX"
  • "I've had a quote from my builder and he reckons he can do it for £XXX"
  • "Dave down the pub said if I buy the board ,he will fit it for £50"

Please do not believe anyone who say you don't need a certificate or dis-regards the importance of certification.Not only is an electrical certificate your peace of mind that your home is safe, it is also an important document that is needed should you wish to sell or let out your property in the future.

It is not simply a piece of paper signed by the electrician, it is a legal document and the electrician needs to carry out several tests on the installation before he can issue a certificate.

The electrician / electrical company you hire should also issue the certificate.BEWARE some 'electricians' employ some one else to issue the certificate.This practice is NOT APPROVED which also means your electrician is not Part P compliant.

So having obtained a quote from a genuine electrician, you may be wondering how they come up with that cost.

So what is the cost?

When you ask an electrician to quote for a fuse board/ new consumer unit, there are a number of things he will take into consideration,therefore costs will vary.You should be aware of these:

The materials involved

  • You can go to a high street DIY store and buy a new consumer unit for a reasonable amount of money , they come preloaded with MCB's which may not be the right ratings for your circuits, you will have to add the cost of meter tails ,earthing and bonding, and the fact if anything goes wrong with the unit you will need to pay to have it removed and a new one re installed.
  • On the other hand your electrician will have accounted for all necessary items required and if he supplies the board it will be of good quality and if anything goes wrong with the unit he will have to replace it at no additional cost to you.You only pay once.

Checking the earthing and bonding

Before the consumer unit is changed, the electrician will have checked the distributors equipment at the origin of the installation (where you electric meter is) along with the earthing and bonding arrangements.This is to ensure that they are properly connected , safe and that it complies to the current regulations.

Depending the age of the installation a professional electrician will price to carry out an electrical inspection (EICR) prior to a fuse board replacement to ensure there are no faults in the installation that prevents the circuits from working when switched over to a new board.

The time involved in the installation

This will depend on the size of the property, number of circuits and locations of the old fuse board. Stripping out the old , marking up cables and ensuring they are in a good condition.

The time involved in testing

  • All of the circuits in the property will have to be tested, there is a series of predefined tests that must be applied to each of the circuits, the results of this testing form a big part of the certification you will receive.
  • This is perhaps the most important part of changing a fuse board, however it is often the part that is not carried out correctly or at all by those who charge below market value for installing a new consumer unit.Often they will fudge the test and fake the certificate,because they haven't allowed the time in their costs to do it correctly or they are not capable of testing to the correct standard.

Allowance for fault finding

A good electrician would of built in an allowance for some fault finding because experience tells us that there are often minor issues that needs to be resolved, if this is nvoled in the costs then the electrician will just simply rectify simple faults found.Any major faults would be notified to you and discussed as a separate job this is why it is recommended to get the electrics inspected prior to fuse board change.

Again some one who is quoting below market value will have not factored in the time for fault finding and you can run serious risks here:

  • You are likely to be presented with an extras bill at the end which will be substantially higher than your original quote, or;
  • The 'electrician' will bodge the job in order to make it work so he can get paid his fee, leaving you with a potentially dangerous installation.

Certification and registration

Electricians have to comply with strict regulations, a change of a consumer unit is a serious undertaking and must meet all of the relevant standards and regulations.In order to comply with these electricians will issue certification for both the electrical installation and for compliance Part P of the building regulations. Apart from the fact that doing this properly takes time, it also requires the electrician to be registered with an awarding body and all the associated costs that go with that, such as ongoing training,insurances and membership fees.

Conclusion

When you take all of the above into consideration, you will appreciate that there is a big difference between what you can buy a consumer unit for off-the-shelf in a well known DIY shop, and the cost of a fully installed ,fully certified and fully guaranteed unit. You should be asking yourself when you get a cheap quote "How can he do it so cheap?"...what is NOT getting done...

Everyone knows that most home owners are watching the pennies at the moment, don't let CHEAP prices sway your decision, look into what you are getting for your money.

If you are looking for a quote to have your fuse board replaced get in touch

Contact Anton on 0117 321 6406

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Burridge Electrical

89 Dundridge Lane | St George | Bristol | Avon | BS5 8SN

burridgeec@outlook.com

Tel: 0117 321 6406


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