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Consumer Unit Replacement

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Gazzer23, 25 Feb 2018.

  1. Iggifer

    Iggifer

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    I'm surprised too. When I had BG fit an isolator at my parents they upgraded the meter from mechanical to digital.

    Maybe with the smart meter roll out they're only changing meters as needed
     
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  3. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    I don't really understand their policies. For the past decade or two they seem to have been 'routinely' changing our (electronic) meters every 2-4 years. The last time was just over a year ago and, even then, although what they put in was electronic and potentially fairly 'clever' (multiple registers etc.), it is not a 'smart meter' in the usual sense (apart from anything else, they used a version of the meter without the 'optional communications module').

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  4. Always like seeing inside things like this, so thank you for the post. Also, 2nd in from the left on the top row looks to have come to a dramatic end!

    Edit to add: Also the Engineer seems to have installed the isolator so you have to remove the biggest part of the cover to get to your tails, and I'd be surprised if it wasn't meant to be the other way around (i.e. you remove the small part) - not that it really matters.

    They also seem to have sealed "your" side of it! Again, not that it really matters!

    Edit again: I think I'm losing the plot. I think I need to go for a lie down.
     
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  5. Wait... have they installed the isolator *before* the meter?! Maybe this is why I was getting confused...
     
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  6. Gazzer23

    Gazzer23

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    He said he was surprised that I didn't have a smart meter and asked if I wanted one. Ideally he said he could have put it in at the same time.

    Thanks guys for all your help, you have all been a really great help to me.
     
  7. Gazzer23

    Gazzer23

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    Yes I was very surprised he did it that way as well. I was expecting the isolator after the meter and not to be sealed.

    Maybe he is thinking ahead about changing the meter in the near future.
     
  8. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    When the isolator is (as usual) on the consumer's side of the meter, they seem to usually do that, but 'seal' the consumer's side with a plastic 'seal' that an electrician can cut (and replace with similar or a cable tie) - presumably as a deterrent to the consumer/householder from 'tampering'. This (poor photo - sorry) shows mine - a plastic 'seal' on my side, but a 'proper' seal on the meter side ...

    upload_2018-3-16_14-28-48.png

    Kind Regards, John
     
    Last edited: 16 Mar 2018
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  9. securespark

    securespark

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    EDIT: I'm a dozy old pillock.
     
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  11. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    If it's before the meter those are going in to the isolator, and you can see how small they are inside the fuse enclosure. 40A fuses?

    My first thought when I saw the photo was "how the hell did those tails get so squashed like that? But of course it's dents in sleeving.

    I wonder why he put it on? It wasn't required....
     
  12. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    If, as people seem to be saying/assuming, that isolator has been installed upstream of the meter, has anyone ever seen that done before? In my limited experience, I certainly haven't.

    Whilst such a practice would make life (slightly) easier for those changing the meter, and would provide a means of isolation, it would not enable the 'tails' to the CU to be changed (e.g. for longer ones, if a new CU were in a different position or had its incomer 'at a different end' etc.) without breaking the meter seals - and the ability to do that is at least one of the potential reasons why people may request that an isolator is fitted. I suppose, give the isolator, one could always extend the tails using Henleys or suchlike, but that's something that I personal would prefer not to do if it were 'unnecessary' (if if no 'branching' of the tails was required).

    It has never even occurred to me that isolations requested by a consumer might sometimes be installed upstream of the meter, and had I seen that happening when mine was installed, I would certainly have done all I could to persuade the person concerned not to do it that way.

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  13. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    I think it is a mistake as it obviously allows 'safely' bypassing the meter.
     
  14. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Indeed. I suppose because it was so obvious, my typing fingers didn't even bother to mention that! It does, however, seem to be an extraordinary mistake for anyone to make, since they must be so used to 'properly sealing' the 'supply' side of an isolator!

    Having said that, although, as you say, the bypassing would be 'safer', it would involve very obviously breaking a seal that one could not possibly have any 'legitimate' reason for breaking - which I imagine is the reason why even 'electricity thiefs' usually break cutout seals (which are so often broken/absent, anyway), rather than the meter ones.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  15. Gazzer23

    Gazzer23

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    Yes they are the incoming cables from the fusebox, I think he said 60A fuse.
    He said they weren't double insulated, so he added an extra layer.
     
  16. Gazzer23

    Gazzer23

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    It is strange now that I think about it as I told him the reason for it was to redo the consumer unit, so it should have crossed his mind.
     
  17. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    What he's done is still OK for redoing the consumer unit, provided that the existing tails feeding the CU are long enough (and therefore don't need to be replaced).

    However, as EFLI said (and I forgot to mention!) it really does sound like a 'mistake', and such a basic one that it's hard to see how anyone doing such work all the time could possibly do it 'in error'!

    If it stays like that, it will be very interesting to hear what is said when someone comes to change your meter!

    Kind Regards, John
     
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