top of page
Logo_edited.png

CONSUMER UNITS 

WHAT IS A CONSUMER UNIT?

A Consumer unit or Distribution board is the Heart of your electrical installation, it is the most important part and also the most high risk part too. They come in all different shapes and sizes, essentially they all do the same thing, distribute electricity. There are many things you could find at your Consumer unit which we shall take a look at: 

- Main Switch (Used to isolate the power to the entire Consumer unit or Distribution Board) 

- Circuit Breakers (These supply each individual Circuit protecting them against overload and short Circuit)

- RCD (These protect one or more Circuits against electric shock)

- RCBO (A combination of a Circuit Breaker and an RCD) 

- Surge Protection Device (Protects the installation from transient overvoltage's, or lightening strikes) 

- Arc Fault Detection Devices (These protect the installation from arc faults within the Circuit) 

- Metering (Some Consumer Units or Distribution Board have integrated metering, this could be for each Circuit or the whole Board) 

Let's see what these components look like: 

IMG_20200419_162351_edited.jpg
hager_sbn290_a.jpg
hager_mtn163 (1).jpg
hager_cda263u-a.jpg
hager_ada320g-a.jpg

Main Switch

Circuit Breaker

RCD

RCBO

Main Switch

Main Switch

SPD-2P-pluggable-8kA-.jpg

Surge Protection Device

hager_arr910u-a.jpg

Arc Fault Detection Device

hager-ecn140d-energiezaehler-ns5622286_01.jpg

Metering

DO I NEED TO CHANGE MY CONSUMER UNIT?

Regulations surrounding Consumer Units and Distribution Board change every so often to improve safety, if a New Consumer Unit were to be fitted today, this is what is required: 

- Must be made of a non combustible material or be contained within an enclosure made of a non combustible material

- Blanking Modules to prevent access to live parts

Main Switch for isolation 

- RCD for additional protection 

- SPD for protection against overvoltage  

- Circuit labelling for identification 

- AFDD for protection against Arc Faults 

It is recommended to have RCBOs rather than RCD protecting multiple Circuits to avoid nuisance tripping and also one faulty appliance does not cause half the installation to lose power. 

So if you have a Plastic Consumer Unit, that is possibly under your Stairs which is the main route in the event of a fire, it may be worth getting it changed. Regulations and equipment are always changing to protect the users of electrical equipment. Let's see what different Consumers Units look like and their likely date of installation: 

P1030939_edited.jpg

With over 18 Years experience in Design, Installation & Testing in the Domestic, Commercial and Industrial Sectors. 

Are you ready for a free Design and Quotation? 

bottom of page