New consumer unit MCB's - what do I need as a basic start?

Joined
4 Jan 2012
Messages
313
Reaction score
7
Country
United Kingdom
Hi guys,

We've recently bought a new bungalow and the consumer unit is old. We'll be replacing as we need to add for a shower etc. Im in the process of ordering a new 10 way consumer unit and wouldnt mind confirming which ampage mcb's I need based on my description below:

Shower - 50 AMP
Cooker - 32 AMP
Kitchen Sockets, cooker hood, hob ignition - 32 AMP
Bedroom sockets, Garage sockets - 32 AMP
Lounge, Hall Sockets - 32 AMP
Lights - 6 AMP
Smoke Alarm - 6 AMP

The garage currently has lights and plug sockets, would they be ok as I have it above? I doubt anything juicy will ever be used in there but is it worth planning for the future?

Also would I have a bathroom extraction unit on its own? Obviously Im not goint to be wiring the consumer unit myself but if I can order the consumer unit ready it should help keep the costs down. Any questions comments extremely welcome - thanks.

Shabba
 
Sponsored Links
Whys that then? I thought that I can run the cable and get an electrician to fit the consumer unit? Also the prices online for the consumer unit complete with MCB's are extremely competative to those available to a couple of electricians I have spoken to so I thought it made sense to buy it?
 
Sponsored Links
Whys that? You guys seem to be negative but not giving answers. Its a Hager consumer unit which I was under the impression was good with Hager MCB's. Also the electrician who potentially would fit it surely will thoroughly check it before hand? Also am I not right in thinking I can chase the walls and run the wires and get an electrician to test its ok and then test and fit a consumer unit?
 
Also and not to take it out of context, with the state of the current consumer unit one that I buy cant be any worse than whats in place. Its the old style with the old fuses.
 
In every instance where a customer has requested that I fit a consumer unit they have already purchased, there has been some problem with it.

These are actual examples:
1. The consumer unit they purchased was in a clearance sale in B&Q, and was an older split load single RCD unit - totally unsuitable for their property. It could have been made suitable by the addition of further items, but that would have cost as much as another CU.
There were numerous other issues with the property and wiring as well.

2. The CU was some no-name imported thing which not only was filled with a row of circuit breakers of identical rating, the main switch was of a totally different brand and didn't fit properly.

3. Customer had purchased a metal clad 2 way 'garage' unit to put in their garage. Unfortunately for them, the entire garage was supplied from a 13A fused spur, so no consumer unit was required. Not to mention the inevitable corrosion issues of a metal CU in a damp garage environment, and that they had purchased it from some DIY store and paid nearly double what it should have been.

4. Customer had an old, previously used CU from who knows where. It was totally unsuitable, even assuming it was still in working condition.


The reason it will cost more is because even if you can find someone to fit it, they will simply increase the price, so they make the same amount of money as if they were supplying the CU as well. In some cases, they may add even more to accommodate for the customer provided item being a piece of junk.

If someone installs the CU which you have provided and a week later it turns out to have some fault, would you expect the installer to return and fix the problem for free? (hint - they won't!).

Finally, there is far more involved in selecting a suitable consumer unit than just a list of circuits and possible ratings.
 
An electrician will have to guarantee his work and parts. If you supply the parts how willing is he going to be to come back if there is a problem with the kit and you would have to pay him every time.
If he supplies labour and parts then the whole bag is his responsibiltiy.
I know it seems picky but that's just the way most decent electricians work.
The only exceptions to customers supplying parts are decorative light fittings. For all the electrician knows you could have bought a cheap replica from a guy at the pub and who carrys the can when the unit goes up in smoke.
 
Does anyone actually ellaborate on thier posts or is that a little too much to ask??

Isnt the idea of a forum to discuss rather than to dumb down or bitch?

Please can someone give me a direct answer, and anyone who wishes to add negative useless comments go wire a fuse or something....

Cheers
 
Contrary to what you might see on the TV you can't just expect an electrician to come and do the final connections and inspect and test for you.

If you are in England or Wales then Part P of the building regs will apply and you should read the "approved document for part P". Registered electricians can't sign off other peoples work i.e. the work you have done.

You also have to remember if the electrician supplies the materials he will then be responsible for any warrantee issues, breakages or shortages. If you supply there are any faulty items or shortages then I would charge for any delays or any work associated with repair of faulty items.
 
Any electrician willing to fit a consumer unit supplied by the customer is a fool.

I think that's a bit harsh.

In my opinion.

Simon if you are willing to guarantee an install/consumer unit that you are not confident of it's origin then that's your right but I still think it would be foolish with it being the nerve centre of the system.
(I know the customer could prove where they got it from, but I would rather guarantee all work and parts rather than bits and pieces)
 
Great you actually ellaborated on your posts and I can see what you mean now. But in all fairness your not gauranteed that the consumer unit inwhich the electrician buys is fault free, and how long after thier work is carried out is the job gauranteed for? Also I totally agree dont put crap/shoddy/un reliable gear in to do a job but you tell me this. If you qualified eletricians where offered a job lot of consumer units would you buy them? Im not talking about someone in a pub offering you them but from a wholesaler or something - I think you would.

So as I said I think your points are valid but I also think you are making a lot of assumptions. If it wasnt for this part P regulation would you have a different opinion? And prior to it coming in how many deaths etc were caused by faulty or incorrectly installed consumer units compared to today?

I would hope regardless of where the consumer unit came from the eletrician would do a proper test to ensure everything is safe. If the CU is faulty which can quite easily be demonstrated by using one of his own then he's right to charge more.
 
and wouldnt mind confirming which ampage mcb's I need based on my description below:

Shower - 50 AMP
Cooker - 32 AMP
Kitchen Sockets, cooker hood, hob ignition - 32 AMP
Bedroom sockets, Garage sockets - 32 AMP
Lounge, Hall Sockets - 32 AMP
Lights - 6 AMP
Smoke Alarm - 6 AMP
Based on that description, you need what is listed there.

However -
is the supply to the bungalow suitable for adding a 50A shower circuit?
is it even suitable for what is already installed?
what type of earthing system?
what type of wiring system has been used?
how many RCDs were you intending on having? If more than one, which circuits on each one? or perhaps RCBOs? or some combination of both?
are those sockets on rings or radials?
how many outlets on each circuit? or the total expected load for each?
what about all the other things you don't know about?
 
Great you actually ellaborated on your posts and I can see what you mean now. But in all fairness your not gauranteed that the consumer unit inwhich the electrician buys is fault free, and how long after thier work is carried out is the job gauranteed
for?
No one said they would be fault free but if it goes wrong are you expecting the electrician to fix it for FREE?? For materials I would honour the manufactures 1 year warentee

Also I totally agree dont put crap/shoddy/un reliable gear in to do a job but you tell me this. If you qualified eletricians where offered a job lot of consumer units would you buy them? Im not talking about someone in a pub offering you them but from a wholesaler or something - I think you would.
I can't see how that is relevant but the answer is No - I don't want to carry the stock that's what the wholesaler is for.

So as I said I think your points are valid but I also think you are making a lot of assumptions.
With little infomation provided we have to fill in the gaps
If it wasnt for this part P regulation would you have a different opinion? And prior to it coming in how many deaths etc were caused by faulty or incorrectly installed consumer units compared to today?

That is a different issue.

I would hope regardless of where the consumer unit came from the eletrician would do a proper test to ensure everything is safe. If the CU is faulty which can quite easily be demonstrated by using one of his own then he's right to charge more.
It would incurr a fee
 

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

 
Sponsored Links
Back
Top