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Fuse Board to Consumer Unit?

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by dpm_dpmartin, 29 Aug 2015.

  1. dpm_dpmartin

    dpm_dpmartin

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    Good morning all,

    I am buying a house to do up. It's my first time so please go easy on me. My real work is not that interesting to me these days, so I fancied a change, something to interest me and provide a challenge and, hopefully, to bring some decrepit property back into usefulness - it might work out, it might not.

    In the cellar of this house, I took a photo of this (I've uploaded the full size image as I'm hoping the forum might allow you to see it all or zoom in for detail)...

    [​IMG]

    Now, the Vendor of the property said that the house had been "rewired a few years ago" but that doesn't make much sense to me... wouldn't you expect to see a nice Consumer Unit if that had been done, or do people sometimes do a rewire and still leave this kind of thing in place?

    Anyway, I'm prepared to spend £s on rectifying things... my question is this... regardless of the rewire position, is the replacement of the thing that I see in the picture with something like ToolStation item #50454 the way to go (obviously by a professional, this is certainly not a job for me)?

    http://www.toolstation.com/shop/Ele...ex+17th+Edition+Dual+RCD+Consumer+Unit/p50454

    My second question is this... while I'm working on getting this property back into shape, I think there might be rooms where I consider extra sockets or light fittings would be very useful... is that kind of job a relatively simple thing to do when you're gutting a place, or does it really come under the remit of a "full rewire" and it be likely to cost several thousands of Pounds?

    Any advice is, as always, appreciated...
     
  2. davelx

    davelx

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    I think the first thing you need to do is take a look in the loft and see if there is anything unusual up there!
     
  3. dpm_dpmartin

    dpm_dpmartin

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    There isn't a loft!
     
  4. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Am I blind or is the meter so small as to be hidden behind something ?
     
  5. dpm_dpmartin

    dpm_dpmartin

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    Ah, no - sorry, the meter is not actually in the picture, it's outside the house. Took a gander at that and it didn't seem different to what I would normally see on a house... can you elaborate on why that bit is relevant too, I had no idea it might be?
     
  6. ericmark

    ericmark

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    It does seem no meter. There is also twin and earth into a henley block. I suppose one has to ask what is a re-wire? My mothers house had the kitchen re-wired except for the light but it did not go further than the kitchen. I re-wired my shed i.e. renewed the SWA feeding it.

    Not quite sure of the date but some where around 1994 the type tested distribution unit called a consumer unit came out. Before that date they were not type tested so not consumer units. I am not sure what actually changed even today you can have fuses it does not need to be MCB protected.

    My first question is that actually the incomer into the property? The little black boxes may be CT's and maybe the meter is where it is easy to read but that's unusual for domestic. Also I have seen with a re-wire where the incomer is moved but the old stuff is left in place.

    I would say start with an Electrical Installation Condition Report which should be done with new occupants and see what it says.

    I remember my dad buying a new car. Within 500 miles the head gasket failed and as a result a new engine was fitted. Some 10 years latter when he sold it the buyer was impressed as it had a new gold seal engine fitted can't remember if we told him that was fitted just 500 miles into life of car. So any house built before 1950 will likely have been re-wired at least once. What is important is when it was re-wired. If built 1920's and re-wired in 1970's then likely dew for some serious upgrade now even if not a full re-wire.
     
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  7. Hager

    Hager

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    Apart from the missing meter, looks like there are two Twin & Earths going into those Henley blocks. :/ also can't see any cables coming out of that service head.
     
  8. Iggifer

    Iggifer

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    There appears to be something wrong with this photo. If the meter is outside, that explains the thick T+E cable leaving the service board and heading towards the direction of the camera - I don't see anything remotely that size coming back to those henleys. And it looks like there is a piece of 2.5/4mm coming out of that bottom henley block and it looks like it could be feeding that wylex board on the right but I assume it can't be.

    It also looks like it should be a TN-S supply, but the state of those clamps on the cable - and the size of the pathetic earth cable leaving the cable suggests there could be little/no earth. Unless of course it's been converted to TNC-S, but those ISCO cutouts are so old I wouldn't have thought the DNO would do that on those.

    OP, bottom line, that doesn't look it's been rewired this century. The DNO will likely change that cutout for you too for free, could get it all tidied up in one go.


    Edit, damn too slow. Twice
     
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  10. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I will have a guess. Most re-wired but not the cellar and that was just supplied from new board with loads of unused stuff left behind. But guess is no good and so it needs an EICR to find out what is what.
     
  11. dpm_dpmartin

    dpm_dpmartin

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    Some of this has gone over my head, guys... but I'll take some time and try to absorb it. :eek: What my take-away is from this - it's old, it defo. needs attention (even though the Vendor would say the electrics in the house are all fine and dandy).

    Am I good looking at something like that Wylex Consumer Unit from ToolStation I referenced as a good replacement?
     
  12. Mattatooi

    Mattatooi

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    Your electrician should be able to get the right stuff for you once he had a good look at it. No point buying anything like that yet.
     
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  13. Taylortwocities

    Taylortwocities

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    You need to stop right there. A proper survey of what you have is needed before you buy ANYTHING.

    Starting at the meter itself. Lets have a look at that. (PICTURE)
    What you have photographed looks like an old supply. It may have been replaced by a new supply into the meter cupboard itself.
    Once we have seen that then the questions are where does the meter feed go to?
    Are there other fuse boards in the house?
    Are any of the things that you have photographed actually live?
    What do they control?

    It may be worthwhilehaving a competent electrician do a survey and report for you. (EICR)

    Then we need to consider many more things.

    Primarily, a new consumer unit, and new circuits are notifiable events. You would need to raide a building notice with your local authority before work starts.
    The local authority will want to inspect your work and to confirm that evrything you do conforms with the Wiring Regulations.
    You will need a certain level of COMPETENCE, full knowledge of BS7671 (The Wiring Regulations) and a set of calibrated test equipment so that you can produce a Cerificate of Installation that will satisfy LABC.

    The other option will be to engage a registered electrician
    MAybe he will let you do much of the work yourself?

    More details about the legality of this in the WIKI
     
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  14. dpm_dpmartin

    dpm_dpmartin

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    I don't want to do the work, not at all. That's, clearly, stated. I am not even looking to buy anything now or even myself - so no need for me to "stop right there". :( What I'm actually asking is if that is the appropriate product I need and one that I can direct an Electrician to... I'm asking about whether the product is a good product to get or whether an alternative - brand, size, capability? - might be a better choice for refreshing a house. Hope that clears things up?

    BTW - everything's live, it's a house with fully working electricity. It just needs some TLC to make things better for the next occupiers... definitely a Consumer Board, maybe a rewire (of some level).
     
  15. mattylad

    mattylad

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    The thick incoming cable that is fed from the meter thats outside - also goes off elsewhere?
    So where? Are you also supplying a neighbour and is that neighbours usage through your meter?

    Either way it does look like you need professional help with that setup and the DNO to change the head etc. Perhaps arranging for a smart meter to be fitted whilst also mentioning the setup, then the meter can be fitted where the rest is.
     
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  16. dpm_dpmartin

    dpm_dpmartin

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    Ah... DNO as in Northern PowerGrid for me. How does a person engage them? I'm sure all sorts of houses around have this kind of setup and they work just fine. Do you call Northern PowerGrid and say - "I've just bought a house and everything in relation to the electricity supply is really old, I've been advised by some blokes on the Internet that Northern PowerGrid can change the head and / or cutout free of charge"..?

    Do I need an EICR to back that up in the first place? As I say, I've no qualms about spending the right money on this, just don't want to spend unnecessarily, same as anyone.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with me leaving it all as-is - it must be fine if it's there and people were living there without issue, right? But I won't. I'm viewing this as a "necessary upgrade"... even though it won't provide any actual improvements to the house (maybe one of safety?).
     
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