Consumer Units are also know as Distribution Boards, Panel boards, Breaker Panels or Electric Panels, and is a component of an electricity supply system that divides an electrical power feed into subsidiary circuits. Each circuit is protected by a protectiver circuit breaker.
Distribution boards should be kept in line with BS7671:2018 to comply with current regulations, which keeps you as safe as possible. If you have or are in the process of moving home, we advise that you have this checked either prior to purchasing your home, or as soon as possible after having moved in. We've listed a couple of examples below of what your distribution board should and shouldn't look like:
Very old distribution board that doesn't have additional protection via an RCD. Does not meet current fire regulations as the board is made of a combustible material (it's not metal)
At a glance, this distribution board looks ok to an un-trained eye, however only half of the circuits have additional protection via an RCD. This board is also plastic, meaning that it does not meet the current fire regulations. The circuit that has tape over it, is potentially faulty/broken and should either be disconnected or repaired as the tape does not prevent the circuit from being switched back on.
This distribution board meets fire regulations as it is metal. Although you cannot see inside this board, it comes with additional protection via RCD.
Here is a distribution board (we've taken off the lid to show you inside) which has the additional protection via RCD. The casing is metal and therefore meets the fire regulations.
A standard like-for-like replacement usually starts from around £400, but is completely dependant on the amount of circuits and whether or not the board location is going to be changed. If you get in touch with us, we'll be able to come out and inspect your board to see if you require an update, and can provide you with a free quote.