One of the most important components of your home’s electrical system is the consumer unit. This is what controls the flow of electricity from the mains supply to the various circuits throughout the house, with newer units having more safety features. The consumer unit has previously been known as a fuse box or circuit breaker panel.
Over time, the consumer unit can become outdated or may no longer meet the electrical demands of a household. Here are some reasons why you may need to change your consumer unit:
- Age of the consumer unit: Consumer units have a limited lifespan and may need to be replaced if they are old or outdated. If your consumer unit is more than 20 years old, it may not meet current safety standards and should be replaced.
- Electrical safety concerns: If you have an old or outdated consumer unit, it may not be able to handle the electrical demands of your household. This can cause overloading, tripping, and even electrical fires. Upgrading to a newer consumer unit with the latest safety features can help to prevent these issues.
- Additional circuits: If you have added new appliances or circuits to your home, your current consumer unit may not have enough capacity to handle the additional load. In this case, you may need to upgrade to a larger consumer unit with more circuits.
- Home renovations: If you are planning to renovate your home or add an extension, you may need to upgrade your consumer unit to meet the new electrical demands of your home.
- Insurance requirements: Some insurance companies may require that you have a certain type of consumer unit installed in your home to be eligible for coverage. In this case, you may need to upgrade your consumer unit to meet these requirements.
- You have got yourself an electric car and you need a charger! Fast chargers need suitable connections, and this may mean an upgraded consumer unit.
If you are experiencing any electrical issues or are concerned about the safety of your home’s electrical system, it may be time to consider upgrading your consumer unit. Before changing any consumer unit, it is always suggested to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) on your existing setup so no nasty surprises are found down the road. There are many factors that would change any recommendation or requirements, so it is always a good idea to talk through your needs with an electrician to help to assess your current system and make the best recommendation.