The consumer unit (or "fuse board") is the heart of the electrical system in your property, it controls the supply of power and provides protection, to both life and to the building's electrical system itself.
Many modern consumer units incorporate technically advanced protective devices such as:
- RCD's - for protection against electric shock
- Circuit breakers (CB's) - for the protection of the cables and electrical devices
Circuit breakers are rated in amperes (A) and protect the conductors or wires in your property from being exposed to excessive amounts of electric current, overloading cables can cause them to overheat and in extreme cases lead to the risk of a fire occurring.
So what's the difference between a consumer unit and a fuse board?
- The fuse board is the name given for the device that protects the electrical installation in some older properties, so called a fuse board because they rely on fuse wire installed in a fuse carrier which melts when exposed to excessive amounts of current in amperes. Fuse-boards were a way of protecting electrical installations, but are no longer believed to be as effective as modern consumer units
- The consumer unit is the modern development of the humble fuse board. They are fitted with MCB's, a type of switch that trips (switches off), when excessive current flows through the device. They can also be fitted with RCD's and RCBO's, devices that can trip if someone is receiving an electric shock.
Single phase or three phase that is the question?
- Single phase installations such as most domestic or smaller commercial properties require only a small number of low powered circuit and so are fitted with a smaller single phase consumer unit
- Three phase installations, those that require more power or require three phase power for specialist equipment and machinery, these consumer units are larger and demand a three phase power supply to be installed by the company responsible for the electrical network infrastructure in your area. Go to our 3 phase page here to get more information on getting 3 phase installed in your property and other matters concerning three phase supplies, or why not give us a call on 0203 6090 804 to talk to one of our friendly engineers about your needs.
Nimrod Electrical has extensive experience in maintaining and renewing all types of consumer units and fuse boards including single and three phase.
We install and maintain both single phase and three phase consumer units for many domestic and industrial properties.
Give us a call on 0203 6090 804 to get a full assessment of the condition of your consumer unit, and whether renewing your fuse board is the ideal solution to resolving your safety issues.
We could replace your old fuse board with a modern consumer unit with minimal disruption to you and your home or property.