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Garage rcd used in 1 bed flat?

I need to replace the old circuit breaker in a 1-bed flat to satisfy safety conditions.
There are only 3 live circuits on it, 2x6A & 1x32A (there is a 16A circuit but this doesnt seem to power anything). Does that mean that it can be replaced with something small like a garage RCD?

5 Answers from MyBuilder Electricians

Best Answer

It's worth noting that using a single 'up-front' RCD as is the case with most garage consumer units will not meet the requirement for circuits to 'be divided in such a way to minimise inconvenience in the event of a fault'.

Basically if you have one RCD covering all the circuits, if this trips (for example due to an earth fault on the socket circuit, could even be something as simple as the oven element is on the way out), then your flat will be in complete darkness.

This is why '17th edition' consumer units have a dual RCD setup, to enable you to divide the circuits, especially lighting circuits so that the above does not happen.

And just to clarify the above, to be able to do this and know it has been done correctly requires £100s worth of test equipment, correctly calibrated, together with the knowledge on how to use it and interpret the results.


Answered 1st Oct 2015

Hi ollie. The 16a probably does the immersion heater. Which will just be a spur next to the imm itself. Your better off just putting in a 6 way normal board. That way you have spare ways incase of future work needing a new MCB. Hope this helps


Answered 20th Sep 2015


My interpretation of your question is that you need to replace an existing circuit board for a one bed flat, and that you would like to have the "unused" 16A circuit to supply a socket outlet in a garage? Firstly, do not attempt to upgrade the circuit board yourself, get a qualified electrician to do this. Secondly, the 16A "unknown" circuit, is probably a dedicated radial circuit for either the immersion heater for the flats hot water supply. Or for an oven. There are single heater element ovens on the market suitable for small domestic dwellings that use around 3800 Watts, too much power for a standard 13A plug top supply, so a radial 16A supply will be used.
Hope this has helped

Forster Electrical Solutions


Answered 20th Sep 2015

Given you want to change it for safety reasons, I would employ someone qualified in this area. Thanks.


Answered 21st Sep 2015

As you want to change the consumer unit for safety reasons, you will require an electrician who is registered under one of the government schemes as this type of job must be certified under Part P of the building regulations. You will only know the installation is safe once all necessary readings and calculations have been made and recorded.


Answered 21st Sep 2015

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