Electrical Question

Worried about current fuse box in 1970s built flat

I live in a 1970's built flat that still has the original fuse wire box. Can someone tell me if these kind of fuse boxes are now against building regulations? Many thanks!

3 Answers

Best Answer

There is nothing within the building regulations themselves that requires this type of fusebox to be upgraded. There are hundreds or thousands of them still in use across the country and most are in a serviceable condition. The main criteria for upgrading them comes about from BS7671;2008, which requires any alterations or additions to existing wiring to be RCD protected. As such its very common to upgrade/replace an older fusebox if some other minor electrical works are being carried out. This is to ensure that the requirements of the wiring regulations are met.

Modern consumer units with circuit breakers and RCD's offer a far higher degree of protection than fuse wire. As they are in simple terms faster to operate than the old fuse wire and also provide a degree of electric shock protection which fuse wire type units simply can't provide.

As stated above, you are under no legal obligation just to change the fusebox because it's old. If however you want to make your flat safer and reduce risk of electric shock then fitting a modern unit is worth considering. The best way forward is as the other reply has suggested, and that's to get a full Electrical Installation Condition Report carried out, as there maybe issues with the wiring itself and worst case scenario is that the whole flat could need to be rewired?

Answered 15th Oct 2013

Electrical Safety Services

Member since 17 Oct 2011

This type of box is not up to current regulations so most would say upgrade if possible, but as long as it was installed to regulations at the time is still acceptable so is up to you to upgrade or not as you see fit. You could have an EICR (electrical installation condition report) done to give you a full picture of what's required to bring the system up to current regulations.

Answered 15th Oct 2013

kevin cassidy building contractors

Member since 16 Dec 2010

Hi Jules,

Most of these old fuseboxes have a wooden base and fail to differentiate circuit cpcs and neutrals, both of these items will be picked up in an EICR. There may be others that are related to your specific fusebox. Your earthing will probably be undersize as well. More critically, given the age and regulations around at the time, it is doubtful if your bathroom circuits and sockets (unless you are certain all cables are more than 50mm inside of the wall) in your home are protected by a 30mA trip.

To answer your question, you are not legally obliged to change your fusebox because it does not comply with new regulations, but there are things you can do to make your home a safer environment. If we did any alterations/additions then we would bring the specification up to the new regulatory standard, even if technically we didn't have to....but why wouldn't you?

Answered 15th Oct 2013


Member since 4 Oct 2013

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