Unit 6 Cobham Business Centre Cobham Road Ferndown Industrial Estate Wimborne, Dorset BH21 7BX

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Electrical Safety
Consumer Unit Upgrade

What is an Electrical Consumer Unit?

An electrical consumer unit is an important component of the electrical system and is essentially the main control and distribution centre for a home’s power supply.

It is used to power all the circuits in your home and consists of various parts that include the mains switch, circuit breakers, and residual current devices (RCD’s).


Consumer units are often referred to as fuse boxes but, even though they both serve the same purpose of distributing electricity in your house through multiple circuits, they are not the same.

Consumer units are the newer and much safer version of the outdated fuse boxes which, in most cases, are no longer compliant with the UK wiring regulations.

While both consumer units and fuse boxes turn the power off in the event of a power overload or power surge, also commonly known as tripping, the way they do it is very different.

With a consumer unit, when tripping occurs, it cuts the power supply using the circuit breaker linked to the overloaded circuit. Since it turns the specific circuit off, it is very easy to identify and fix the faulty circuit, after which the circuit breaker can be turned on and power restored to the house.

On the other hand, instead of using circuit breakers, a fuse box uses fuses, each of which contains a wire. In the event of a power surge, the wire melts causing the circuit to trip and switching off the power.

Because of the way fuse boxes work, it is not easy to identify the faulty circuit and the melted fuse needs to be replaced for the power to be restored.

Improve Your Homes Electrical Safety

Increased Energy Efficiency

Upgrading your electrical consumer unit to a modern and safer one will also increase your home’s energy efficiency. A properly working consumer unit will keep all power overloads and surges under control and won’t let them affect your energy consumption and electrical appliances.

Compliance with the Law

Electrical faults can be a serious safety hazard causing injuries, accidents, and in serious cases, electric fires. It is recommended in the wiring regulations BS 7671 that the electrical installations and their components in a domestic property must be regularly inspected and tested every 5 to 10 years, or if you are buying/selling the property.

Peace of Mind

In being compliant with the electrical regulations and improving the safety of your home, the biggest benefit you can enjoy is peace of mind. Knowing that you, your loved ones, and your property are safe from electrical risks should ease your conscience knowing that you played your part in ensuring their safety.

Choose Your Perfect Electrical Consumer Unit

To determine which electrical consumer unit is right for your house, you need to know the types available and understand how they differ from each other.

Main switch
Consumer Unit

  • Popular choice for single-storey houses and small flats
  • Only one main switch through which all the circuits in the house can be switched off
  • In the event of a power surge, the main switch automatically turns off along with the faulty circuit

Dual RCD
Consumer Unit

  • Popular choice for multi-storey houses
  • Two sets of circuits (RCD1 and RCD2) that offer the ability to split the power load between them
  • Possible to alternate the circuits so that in the event of one of the RCDs no longer operational, power can still be available to some parts of the house

High integrity
Consumer Unit

  • An extremely popular choice among many homeowners because they offer the ability to independently separate all the circuits
  • Even if one electrical appliance stops working, the rest of the house will still have power and operate without interruption

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