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Replacing old fuse box

Hi there

The fusebox in my flat is a 'traditional' 1970s one, which is a bit of mare when a circuit goes down as you cannot just flick a switch. A family member has found some wylex breakers which I was thinking about using just for ease (I am not particularly confident changing he fuse wire myself). I spoke to an electrician about this a while back and he said it could be worth updating the fusebox (apparently the flat has been bodged and the electrics have been added to rather than integrated throughout the years). How much does this sort of thing cost and is it worth it?
He said the bathroom doesn't meet the new regs either so I really need more safety precautions installed. I very much trust he knows what he is talking about but cannot remember figures and wanted second opinions as to whether it is deemed worth updated these sort of things?

Thanks in advance for any advice

3 Answers from MyBuilder Electricians

Best Answer

Hi Gemma .
The best advice I could give you is to get an electrical condition report done on the existing wiring first. This involves meter testing the circuits to ensure that they are compatible with the modern consumer units ( fuseboxes ), and will also identify any unsafe or non- compliant items including the adequacy of the earthing and bonding ( to any incoming pipe work such as gas and water services ).
I would allow around £500 to £600 for the testing, new fusebox, and relevant certificates ( excluding the cost of any remedial works that may be required ).
For some further good advice try looking on the web site of the 'electrical safety council' they give home owners an idea of what is required and helpful hints.
Chris Smith.
N.I.C.E.I.C approved electrician. Leicester.


Answered 3rd Aug 2015

the breakers you refer to are a direct replacement and a good substitute for fuse wire, however the fuse box does not give you any protection against earth faults, as regard to replacement costs they vary from area to area but I would suggest that you get an eicr report on the condition before proceeding because if there are any issues then the new consumer unit will not perform correctly, regards Terry.


Answered 3rd Aug 2015

Just fitting a modern style RCD and MCB fusebox onto old wiring (that possibluy has faults) is likely to cause you problems and you may well experience tripping problems due to the sensitivity of the new RCD. The best course of action is to get a full Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR( carried out. This is a test and inspection to ascertain the age and condition of the wiring and it will detail any defects/safety issues. The testing takes about 2 - 3 hours to do and you would get an 8 to 10 page report. Armed with this information you can then make a much more informed decision on what to do moving forward. Often complete rewiring is a better long term solution although it can be costly.


Answered 4th Aug 2015

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