Consumer Unit & Electrics advice

28 Mar 2005
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United Kingdom
I would like to know if I could fit an additional Consumer Unit supply power for our new conservatory from my meter board tails or upgrade my existing Garage Consumer Unit to supply power for our conservatory and outdoor electrics .

It's a BIG Garden and Conservatory!

I've had a few electricians quote for the job but I want to get a heads up on what can and cannot be done as I've been told by one that I cannot have the Consumer Unit in my utility room.

Also I'm looking to do the rest of the wiring my self such as sockets etc as just want the consumer unit to be installed by an electrician as I've taken a supply form my lounge 13amp socket to provide external outdoor power and lighting to areas in my garden.

Our conservatory is to have:
9 x 13 amp double sockets
1 x 60 watt Energy Saving ceiling light
1 x 13 amp Fused Spur for underfloor heating and thermostat

Garden :
10 x 11 watt outdoor garden post lights
1 x 32 amp supply for Hot tub
5 x 13 amp outdoor double sockets

Garden Shed:
1 x 11 watt Light
1 x 13 amp double socket

Ideally I would like to know if the Consumer Unit could be sited in my utility room within an existing Wall cupboard which is approx. 5.2 metres away my meter board.

Here's a breakdown of my electrics

Electrical Supply at Meter board:
MEM Isolator switch which can accept 10-50mm² cables
P.M.E (Protective Multiple Earthing)
100 Amp Henley Block – This has a 80 Amp Fuse sticker on it?

Electrical Supply for Garage:
MEM 2000 Garage consumer unit
100 Amp Main switch
6 Amp MCB for internal 4 Energy Saving lights and Energy Saving outdoor light
16 Amp MCB for 4 x 13amp double sockets and 1 x 13amp outdoor single socket

House Consumer Unit:
100 Amp Main Switch
16 amp Immersion Heater
6 Amp Downstairs Lighting circuit
6 Amp Upstairs Lighting circuit
80 Amp RCCB for sockets
32 Amp Cooker
32 Amp Kitchen scockets
32 Amp Lounge sockets
32 Amp American Tumble Dryer
16 Amp Whirlpool bath
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Seeing as the consumer unit and the new circuits will be notifiable you'd be better off using a registered electrician.
If you really insist on wiring circuits yourself then you must get the electrician on board first so he can dictate how much you can do as his name will be on the certs.
I agree with Ricicle.

If you want to prevent a headache towards the end of the job, talk to an electrician (that you trust) before you start.

Many people think they can just wang it all in however they want, then get a sparky in at the 11th hour just to 'sign it off'. Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that.

Out of curiosity, just how big is the garden? Are we talking tennis court and football pitches?
Its just that 5 double sockets seems a tad excessive.

Also, wiring over long distances can affect the design of the circuits.
Thanks for the replies.

Just to clarify, I myself will not be performing any task to do with the installation of the Consumer Unit merely just seeking advice on the approach a I have 2 NIC / Part P qualified electricans quoting for the work and what else it entails as I would prefer for the CU to be sited in my utility room as it seems more convienient and more accessible.

But my main query is that the first electrician said it could nt be done but did not state why so just canvassing opinion.

My role will be to add the additional sockets in my conservatory if this will be feasible to save time as other trades are involved.

My garden is approx 0.5 of an acre.
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Ideally I would like to know if the Consumer Unit could be sited in my utility room within an existing Wall cupboard which is approx. 5.2 metres away my meter board.

The maximum permissible length of tails between the meter and the CU is 3m so that is why, It could be done if a sw/fuse was installed adjacent to the meter and a sub-main ran to the CU.
Taylorwocities and westie101 thanks very much for you valuable input as this brings about the clarity of what I was initially thinking could be an option.

I think placing the CU in my utility room is a better option and I will press for this unless other factors come into play when I next meet with the two electricians next week to get their quotes as the first electrician did not offer the options that Taylorwocities and Westie101 provided and I prefer having more than one option to deliberate over when making a choice prior to accepting any quotes.

I had my electricity company, Eon, install an isolator switch between my CU and meter supply free of charge as I had read on this forum that it would make an electrician's job slightly easy so hopefully this will be the case dependant on which quote I accept.
What would be the (cable run) distance from the isolator switch to the new site for the consumer unit in utility room?

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