New Plastic fuse board? No it’s got to be Metal today!

by Readers Question

9:21 AM, 15th January 2016
About 3 years ago

New Plastic fuse board? No it’s got to be Metal today!

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New Plastic fuse board? No it’s got to be Metal today!

Today the electrician came to do a 5 year routine test. Twas rewired 5 years ago, brand new plastic fuse board, “it’s safer mate”.shocking

Now “it should be metal, fire risk!, or you could just put in RCBOs, but 4 of those will be about the same cost. Must be done in bathrooms, you have a heated towel rail, a shower, a wall heater, lights”.

So is it safe? “Yes, unless it is under the stairs, or there is a bedroom above, or it’s a fire escape route, and of course if you have any electrical work done in the future, it will have to comply then.”

So I says, do you give them a backhander to keep changeing the Regs? LoL.

Then we mentally go through the other properties, where are those fuse boards located……….?

Chris



Comments

Neil Patterson

9:24 AM, 15th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Shocked !

Metal is now safer than plastic around electricity? OhmMG

Gary Dully

10:08 AM, 15th January 2016
About 3 years ago

The fusebox is safe, its just not up to current standards and neither are my testicles.

They changed the spec in June 2015, I think.(Not on my spuds).

I have already covered this with my Certified Electrician and he tells me to watch out for the rip off 'Sparkies' and Letting Agents, who will be fishing for extra commissions that this later change in specification will offer as an excuse to mis-inform the public and more importantly the long suffering Landlord.

I'd be asking a few more electricians on their thoughts first, before asking your electrician to do another safety inspection.

David Price

11:19 AM, 15th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Dully" at "15/01/2016 - 10:08":

I know the feeling it happens as you get older!

The fusebox (consumer unit) can be replaced, body parts you are stuck with until transplant surgery improves.

Mike Tighe

11:31 AM, 15th January 2016
About 3 years ago

gary is correct, the regulations for NEW installations changed mid 2015 to metal rather than plastic consumers units, but that doesn't mean that existing ones have to be replaced. Also, strictly speaking I don't think you need to have a completely rewired property (ie a new installation) re tested for 10 years - there should be a recommendation on the test done when it was installed - but of course good practice is more frequently.
However it is desirable to have RCD protection for all bathroom circuits. But if it was only done 5 years ago surely the whole house will be protected via one or two RCD's (same as RCBO's which give individual protection to each circuit) ? Definitely get a second opinion

Rod Adams

13:27 PM, 15th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "15/01/2016 - 09:24":

A metal one is less likely to catch fire if there's a fault.

Rod Adams

13:32 PM, 15th January 2016
About 3 years ago

The new regulations say that an EICR is required at least every 5 years so even a new installation needs to be re-tested after 5 years. A plastic consumer unit is not a fail, as has been said it just means its not up to current standard. I think even an old style fuse board can be passed assuming there are no faults.

Neil Patterson

13:38 PM, 15th January 2016
About 3 years ago

I am sure you are right. I would just far rather touch a plastic fuse box than a metal one 🙂

Chris Byways

15:04 PM, 15th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rod Adams" at "15/01/2016 - 13:32":

The electrician is being honest, he has worked for me in the past and will again. He said it was not a fail unless it was under stairs or under a bedroom, but plugging RCBOs in was the quick fix - for now.

I thought this was useful info, and comments here helpful.

He said the fire brigade had once asked him to switch a fuse board off before they used water on a fire, but as it had melted the plastic he couldn't. (Not sure why he was that close to a fire)

Many years ago we had a dishwasher and the switch caught light this was before the days when it could not be plugged in/isolated from behind the unit. So I am very cautious of remote isolation.

Gary Dully

18:34 PM, 15th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Chris Byways" at "15/01/2016 - 15:04":

Hello Chris,

I have been reading this comment again and what I find is a bit puzzling, is now becoming a bit of a concern.

I have recently, (August), paid for a partial rewire, fuse box and certification on a property in Lincoln that has its Consumer Unit, (Fusebox), under the stairs and it was overseen by the Environmental Health Dept.

Neither party suggested that a relocation was required.

In addition, in February I have another full rewire and consumer unit replacement being carried out, in a house in Crewe at the request of the Environmental Health Officer and its Bakelite Fusebox and supply tails will be replaced and that is located under a staircase.

Neither the electrician or EH officer have requested a relocation so I am puzzled at this specification.

Comments on a postcard please?

Chris Byways

19:45 PM, 15th January 2016
About 3 years ago

Gary, the "not under stairs or under bedroom or on an escape route" was for plastic fuse boxes.

So metal for these locations, or if circuits being added, or altered, (or if regs change again?) otherwise can stay as plastic.

These were just helpful explanations he gave, I am sure they know their job, a busy local firm with about a dozen vans, who I trust.

A phone call to another company to verify by either is perhaps in order if no electricians are coming along on here.

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