New consumer unit question

23 Jan 2006
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United Kingdom
Hi all, this is my first post on here – please be gentle(ish).

Our house has got an old fashioned 8 way wylex consumer unit, although I think only 7 spaces are used. I am wanting to replace the consumer unit and, whilst I do know some stuff about electrics, I would not classify myself as competent enough to do the work myself.

One of my work colleagues is currently doing a course to become a fully qualified electrician – he has been doing the course for about 12 – 18 months, so I suppose he is competent. My intention is to ask him whether he’ll do the work.

Question, do you need to be qualified or merely competent to replace a consumer unit? Does the fact that the consumer unit is in a kitchen cupboard make any difference under Part P regulations?

What happens regarding isolating the existing consumer unit whilst work is being carried out? I do not have a separate isolator switch between the meter and the consumer unit so I suppose my mate will have to remove/get my supplier to remove the service fuse. If I have to get British Gas out to isolate the supply, presumably they have to come back to put the fuse back in!! Any idea of cost?

I am not after a tutorial of how to replace a consumer unit here. Trust me when I say I am not doing the work myself. I’m simply wondering how qualified electricians go about exchanging consumer units.

If your replies indicate that I need to get a qualified electrician to do the work, any idea of cost? I live in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

Many thanks in advance.


PS Just seen in the reference section that the REC (Regional Electricity Company) can fit an isolator. This is from a post made by Securespark in 2004.
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The DNO (same as REC) is not British Gas. They dont know the first thing about isolators and meters, they merely sell you the electricity over the DNO's wires. Like TalkTalk (or similar) selling you phone calls over BTs wires!

Being Sheffield, your DNO is probably YEDL. But phone the enquiries number on the BG bill and they should put you in touch with them.

The DNO can come in the morning, cut you off by removing the fuse, and come back in the evening and plug you back in. Or you can ask them to fit an isloator. Some DNOs charge for these services, some dont.

A lot of electricians will pull the fuse themselves, it is risky and illegal, but it happens so much nowadays. You have to know what you're doing with this.

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