A guide of the process of hiring a tradesman to remove, supply and install a new fuse box, including the costs of labour and materials.
Replacing a fuse box or consumer unit is a no-brainer, right? Yes; but this is only if you are replacing the fuse box. How about those situations where you have to do electrical work or run new electric lines from the fuse box, to another source? Things aren’t so simple in these situations, are they?
When replacing a fuse box, don’t simply consider it switching out a small box, to cover a few electrical wires. Instead, think about the additional wiring, rewiring, installation, movement, and possible electric work which comes along with it. This might cause you to change your mind if you are contemplating replacing a fuse box, and you might choose to hire an electrician instead.
First off, you should consider the time it will take. Replacing a fuse box (which has only a few connection ports) should take a minimum of 3-6 hours; that is if you know what you are doing. If you have to add additional wires, rewire certain areas of the home, or otherwise perform additional electrical work, this can jump to 1-2 days of work.
You also have to consider the implications of wires being loose, or not being properly installed. A short-circuit is one thing. But, a major fire, or threat of fire, because you didn’t pay attention to where wires should go, is another. In replacing a fuse box, or rewiring it, extreme attention to detail has to be paid.
Inspections and testing are another aspects of replacing an old fuse box. What if a single switch isn’t working, will this cause everything to malfunction? Is it possible that too many appliances being plugged in can lead to a fire or electrical spark? Sure. Therefore, prior to simply installing a box, and plugging in every appliance, testing, and extreme understanding of electrical wiring, is of utmost importance.
It isn’t simply replacing one fuse box with another. Inspections are required. In addition to this, you have to determine all wires are properly plugged in. it must also be determined whether or not rewiring has to take place prior to installing/updating appliances which are connected to the fuse box.
If more than one property/home is connected to a single fuse box, the risk of overheating is a possibility. Therefore, all tests should be conducted to ensure safe operation, and to ensure short-circuiting won’t occur on a nightly basis when every resident decides to turn on their TV and laptops.
When replacing a fuse box, it might also be time to consider replacing all wiring in the home/property as well. If wires are dated or haven’t been serviced in recent years, they might have come to the end of their useful life. At this point in time, it might be a worthwhile investment to consider transitioning over, and rewiring the home/property, to avoid potential fire risks.
The actual replacement takes a matter of hours. What takes long is the inspection phase, and if rewiring has to be done, rewiring the property/home. This can take onward to 1-week or more if inspections aren’t conducted immediately.
In terms of cost, replacement of the fuse box should run you £100-£1000. This will depend on the number of homes, apartments, and the size of the property, which the fuse box is in charge of operating. Obviously, the more units/apartments which are connected, the more it is going to cost to perform the inspections and to purchase a new fuse box which will replace the old one. Additionally, cost of rewiring will also cause fees/pricing to increase if this work has to be completed prior to replacing the old fuse box in the home/property in question.
Before you even consider installation/replacement, a technician has to visit the property to make sure earth, bonding, and electric properties are properly installed. This is to avoid the risk of fire, or other possibly dangerous events from occurring after installation are completed.
If faults are found, all wires should be replaced prior to replacing the fuse box. This is simply a manner in which you can prevent the risk of fire, short-circuiting, or other issues in terms of safety of using appliances which are connected to the fuse box.
Regulations are in place for a reason. Your inspector/technician will determine if all regulations and safety standards are met. If not, work should be completed prior to replacing and installing a new fuse box. If everything is up to code, then the replacement, and installation of the new fuse box can be performed by the licensed electrician you choose to hire for the job.
Here is a list of commonly asked questions in regards to having a new fuse box installed.
It should be checked every 3-5 years. In some cases, regulations may require frequent inspections, to guarantee safe operation.
For a single-family home, the cost to fit and test shouldn’t run more than £150-£200 including a certificate. The actual fusebox itself can cost anywhere from £50-£150 depending on the size, make and material. Of course, if rewiring has to be completed, this will increase the price for such services.
To physically replace a fuse box, it shouldn’t take more than 3-5 hours. However, rewiring, inspections, and other implications may cause this time to greatly increase.
The main reason is safety. If it is dated, it might not properly allocate electric lines, may cause short-circuiting, and this can potentially lead to the risk of fire or other general threats for the home/property where the fuse box is located.
Quite often, no. There is usually a small consumer unit which basically allows you to reset appliances if lights go out, or something short-circuits. The actual fuse box for an apartment block is typically located outside the building or in a communal area such as the entryway or basement. It is operated by the electric/power company, and it is what conducts the electric throughout the entire property (not just the individual units or homes).