Now more commonly known as a consumer unit, fuse box’s should be relatively easy to find in your home as this is where electricity is controlled and distributed. If you don’t know where your consumer unit/fuse box is found in your home then you should make it your priority to do so in case you ever need to switch the electricity off in an emergency.
A consumer unit contains three things, each as important as the next. These are:
- Main Switch – Allowing you to turn your electricity supply on and off, this is the switch that most of you will recognise. Some of you might have more than one mains switch, which might mean you have more than one fuse box too. This is generally the case in homes that have electric storage heaters.
- Residual Current Devices (RCD) – In dangerous conditions, RCD’s are the switches that trip in dangerous conditions. These are designed to save lives, instantly disconnecting the electricity supply if a fault is found.
- Circuit Breakers – These are automatic protection devices found in the fuse box that switch off an electric circuit if a fault is detected. Similar in size to fuses, circuit breakers are designed to offer more precise protection. In the event that they trip, you need only reset the switch to its original position, assuming you have corrected the fault first.
Instead of finding circuit breakers in your Fuse Box you may possibly find Fuses:
- Fuses – Rewirable fuses have a piece of special fuse wire running between two screws. When a fault or overload current flows through the fuse wire, it will become hot and melt. When this happens, the melted fuse will break the circuit, disconnecting any electrical current and keeping you safe.
Outdated Fuse Box’s
Some fuse box’s might still have wooden backs, cast iron switches or a mixture of fuses. This generally means that your Fuse Box dates back to before the 1960’s and will need to be replaced. Old fuse boxes aren’t always necessarily safe as they have been used and worn out over the last five decades or more. In some cases, the electrical screws might have come loose over time. This can cause electrical wires to become loose, which in turn poses certain safety hazards.
Upgrading your fuse box is something that will inevitably need to be done at some point as your old one will simply stop working due to old age. If you have an old fuse box and find that it constantly trips, it’s best to contact JAR Electrical today and speak to us about your upgrade options.