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Does Your Fuse Box Need Upgrading?

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The fuse box, also known as a domestic consumer unit, is a vital safety feature in any building, as it helps prevent electrical fires and electric shocks.

The fuse box receives the electrical supply and distributes it to different circuits. The fuse board detects the current running through each circuit, and will cut the supply, or “trip a switch” should the system become overloaded.

Over the years new technology has been developed to improve the different features found in a fuse box, and legislation is updated accordingly. You should, therefore, employ a professional electrician to make any upgrades to fuse boxes, and test they are up to the correct standards.

Your fuse box may need upgrading if it is:

  • Faulty or dangerous
  • Repeatedly tripping switches or overheating
  • Unable to cope with new electrical appliances you have installed, such as air conditioning or a pool pump
  • In a location that is difficult to access for readings
  • Below current legal standards

Protecting a recently upgraded mains power system.

New models of fuses and circuit breakers are much safer and work far more quickly than older versions. This means that while there may be no legal requirement to upgrade your fuse box, it is advisable to do so anyway to reduce the risk of fire or injury and to obtain peace of mind that your property is safe.

All circuit breakers work basically the same way, by detecting problems with electrical currents and stopping the current flowing by breaking the circuit. However, different types of circuit breakers offer varying protection and you may consider replacing older versions with newer ones to maximise the safety of your electrical supply.

For example, ceramic fuses (also known as SERFs) are the oldest kind. They provide some protection against electrical fires by preventing short-circuits and overloads, but no protection against electric shocks.

For the best protection, consider replacing older circuit breakers with combination switches, known as RCBO’s, which provide overload, short circuit and leakage protection.

If you are having problems with your fusebox, contact us here and see how we can help you.

Your frequently asked electrical questions

Your frequently asked electrical questions, answered!

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How electricity works is a mystery to many people, and it’s common for us to have a lot of questions about electricity because of the potential dangers involved. Here we’re going to answer some of the most frequently asked electrical questions.

What’s the difference between a circuit breaker and a fuse?

Both have the same function – stopping the electricity from flowing when a fault occurs. Once a fuse trips it has to be replaced, but a circuit breaker can simply be reset. That’s why circuit breakers are a lot more common.

What does short circuit mean?

Excessive heat is created when a wire that is carrying electricity touches the grounded conductor wire. This sometimes creates sparks, and if you witness these then a short circuit has definitely happened. In this situation you must consult a professional electrician for help.

I’ve seen an outlet say GFCI. What does that mean?

This is an electrical outlet that has been specifically designed to protect people from a potential shock if there is moisture present. Usually you will find these outlets in kitchens and bathrooms. Many will feature reset buttons because when moisture is present it automatically trips.

Why do I have frequent light bulb blow outs?

There could be a number of different reasons your bulbs are blowing. However, one reason may be because they’re overheating, which is a fire risk. If you’re having to replace a lightbulb frequently, you need to call in a trained electrician.

Is my electrical panel dangerous?

Most electrical panels aren’t dangerous as long as you know what you’re doing. If you don’t, it’s best not to touch them. Many homes have an outdated electrical panel which will need replacing to be able to power modern electronics and appliances.