CU Flaps

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Silly question but I'm just curious

Do all non-combustible consumer units have a front flap that lifts upwards from the bottom? And is this so they can't be left open, thus reducing/containing combustion risk? I just wondered because the design makes them a bit of a pain when they're mounted close to the floor!
 
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Wondered what the title meant...

Yes, I believe the reason is to make sure they are shut.

Wouldn't really recommend butchering them to suit your requirements either, as you would be voiding any kind of guarantee, etc.
 
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I have a M2 branded one that has a sideways opening flap.
 
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Do all non-combustible consumer units have a front flap that lifts upwards from the bottom?
No. This is a Schneider consumer unit.
squared_ez9e20mcu--a.jpg


There is no requirement for the cover to open in any particular direction, or for the cover to even exist.
 
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All of them.
The whole shambles over domestic consumer units being made of steel or some other mythical non-combustible substance is due to this text in BS7671

421.1.201.png


That's all there is, and even that should not be in BS7671, as BS7671 is not a product standard.
That text has been shoved in there for the UK only (hence the number ends in 201), and was almost certainly included due to certain influences from one or more manufacturers of consumer units.

What should have happened:
a. requirements for the enclosures to be made of steel or any other material is added to BS EN 61439-3
b. if things were to be 'non-combustible' that term is defined in reference to another existing standard which clearly states the criteria and tests required for something to be 'non-combustible'.
c. BS7671 would then just state that consumer units shall comply with BS EN 61439-3.
 
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So a steel consumer unit containing plastic devices and plastic blanking plates where no devices are installed, with no lid at all is acceptable?
 
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Probably. Never assume the people who make the suggestions (not rules) know what they doing.
 
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It's crazy that post grenfell manufacturers can rely on their own tests to say an enclosure is made of non-combustible materials, especially when that term is not defined.


Blup
 
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I see two main possibilities here.

1. It wasn't properly thought through.
2. It was properly thought through, but the people thinking it through reaslised that to fix the problem properly would require intenational cooperation and many years of standards body wrangling. So a quick hack of a regulation was placed in BS7671 instead.
 
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It's crazy that post grenfell manufacturers can rely on their own tests to say an enclosure is made of non-combustible materials, especially when that term is not defined.
And that document really talks a fair amount of boll ... err I mean rubbish. It's a classic example of taking a simple (though rubbish rule) and extrapolating it into what you think it should mean. The 421.1.201 makes no mention of having a non-combustible self closing cover, or fireproof sealings, or any of the other stuff that Wiring Matters document says it does.
It also does not mention what some of us think is the major cause of the rise in such fires - poor workmanship by people dragged off the street and given 10 minutes (OK I exaggerate a bit) training in how to go and fit smart meters which were starting to roll out in numbers at the same time that the rise in fires was observed.
 

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