While planning to upgrade and replace things at home, fuse boards are not the ones that get easily remembered by most homeowners. Also known as breaker, people know about fuses and that those need to be replaced at times. But a fuse board which is home to the fuses hardly gets a replacement consideration.
As far as modern fuse boards are concerned they hardly need to be replaced. More often than not its replacement is required as a result of an upgrade or renovation in your home electricity system that demands a larger board than the existing one, says a qualified tradesman dealing in fuse box installation.
However in some cases you may need to replace the existing board because it is too old and does no longer meets the latest safety regulations. Apart from that a fuse board may get accidentally damaged and then you have to get it replaced with a new one although such cases occur very seldom. If none of the conditions stated above is applicable then it is unlikely to have a compelling reason to get the device replaced.
Till now we have already discussed a lot about electrical fuse board.
But what exactly is a fuse board?
A fuse board or a fuse box is the one and same. To put in simple words, it is a safeguarding mechanism for any building – residential or commercial. The mechanism or the device works as a gatekeeper for any electricity entering into the building. A fuse box is composed of a series of RCDs or residual current devices. Each RCD corresponds to various parts of the electrical system installed in the building. One of the RCDs may have been dedicated to the electric oven while another one may be for the lights and so on. Now you must be wondering what is the role of RCDs?
The role of an RCD is to cut off power supply the moment it registers an excessive power draw. The condition of excessive power draw invariably indicates a fault has occurred. In other words an RCD detects faults in an electric system. This detection saves both people and properties from any harm.
Why a fuse box needs to be replaced
As already touched above, there are three main reasons for which you have to replace your existing fuse box. The reasons are:
- Upgrading the existing electrical system
- The existing fuse board somehow got damaged
- The existing fuse board is too old and outdated to comply with the latest regulations (like those with metal cases)
In most cases people need upgrading their fuse boards because their electricity consumption has gone up and so they need a box with higher capacity. Electricity consumption increases because of many reasons including the following and is a very common phenomenon:
- A new high powered electrical appliance is included in the household, for example an electric shower
- You have added extensions
How long it takes to replace a fuse board
There is no fixed length of time to get the job done. There innumerable factors that may affect the time to get the job done. The prime factor ofcourse is the skill and experience level of the individual handling the job. The condition of the existing board also has to be taken into consideration. If it was installed by a professional pair of hands and is in a sound condition, replacing is easier. Otherwise the task becomes challenging specially if the installation was done unprofessionally or the box is damaged. By standard measurement the job takes anywhere between 2 and 5 hours to get done.
Is it a DIY job (or) Can I do it on my own?
This kind of electrical jobs comes under the ‘notifiable’ category. It means you are not allowed to carry it out on your own without having proper certifications from a qualified authority. A qualified and licensed electrician can certify your DIY work to make it legal.Perhaps, you call for an electrician marketing agency to request for a reliable expert.
Other electrical works like changing a light switch or an electrical outlet are less hazardous compared to replacing a fuse board. So those works are not notifiable but this one is. Finding a licensed electrician to sign off your work is never easy. This is because in case of any adverse consequence the responsibility will solely fall upon him. Therefore try to find such an electrician right before you start the work. And it is ofcourse sensible to hire a qualified electrician to do the job for you. The professional who signs your work has to be very careful. He cannot afford to miss out any mistake that may have already committed.
On the other hand, if you hire a professional your financial benefits is definitely less but the potential risk that your court is much lesser.
The cost of the job
This is again something that keeps changing from case to case. The scope of a job defines the price. But of course you can expect a licensed electrician doing the job for you along with providing proper certification to come anywhere around £500. If anyone quotes much below £500, you should better skip. Most probably that job will not be properly done and you and your family will always live under a massive risk related to electric shock and fire.
What are the additional works needed?
If there is no other problem to sort out then there should not be any additional work required to done other than the replacement job itself. If the wiring is not in sound condition, it has to be replaced. This is true for both – the wring that goes into as well as the one that goes out from the box. This additional work will be counted a part of the main job.
While wiring a fuse box, additional work may crop up that is non electrical in nature. For example by virtue of legal requirement your fuse board must be mounted securely. If the wall supporting the fuse board is not in good health or not up to the expected standard then that needs to be fixed as well. Else you have to remove the board to another wall.