Working with Meter tails

6 Mar 2004
Reaction score
United Kingdom
Hi there all,

Just been having a good old scout around this and the IEE Forum for a check list on saftey when changing a consumer unit over. I'm thinking that i am going to puchase a split load Hager, MK Sentry or Crabtree as a consumer unit i have done a lot of reading on this forum today and people are saying to stay well clear of Wylex and Volex etc.

That aside i think that the task is possible, i'm not ready to do it yet but I'm very curious over working with the meter tails. I will lable the exsisting cables and the fuse rating before i touch anything anyway, but practically i want to know how to best work safely when taking the meter tails from the old consumer unit as clearly electricity is a respector of no persons. I take it once you have taken them out they are live tails which could kill. safety tips welcome and advice on what not to do. My consumer unit will come with all of the MCB's supplied, it will cost a bit but it is well worth it from my reading on this forum.

Please note i do not want to extend, mess around with or take the consumer unit to another place, it's fine where it's at. just simply change it over.

Thanks all
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you really must not try and do this live

if the rec provide an isolator you can use this
Thanks for your reply, what is a rec, i take it it is an abbreveation for my supplyer which is severn trent. Do i just contact them and is there a charge for using this isolator service?
Regonal Electricity Company

depends on if yours does or not, call and ask, they all seem to differ
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read this:

If you need to add a consumer unit, or change the existing one, the best course of action would be to call the Regional Electricity Company (REC), and ask them to fit (or install one yourself and ask them to wire in) an isolator that is fitted inbetween the tails from the meter and the CU itself. This means that the tails to your CU are also isolated, thus making the CU safe to work on. If you want to, you can always fit a henley block inbetween the new isolator switch and the CU, allowing you to fit extra CU's in the future.


Tamper with the cut-out seal or cut out

Tamper with meter seal or tails

as this will render you liable to prosecution, and may even be lethal. One slip is all it takes - I'm not trying to scare anyone, but I've seen it done, and it's not pretty.

Leave the meter seals, cut out etc to the REC, and once you have installed your isolator, you can work on the system in complete safety without bothering the REC again.


=: cable
A: cutout
B: meter
C: isolator
D: Optional Henley Block
E: CU or CU's.

PS Anyone? Can you paste a link to a specific post or only to a thread?
securespark said:
PS Anyone? Can you paste a link to a specific post or only to a thread?
I find the easiest way is to do this:

1) Go to the specific post you want to link to

2) Move the mouse pointer over the
button, and make a note of the p=nnnnn number at the end of the address that appears in the status bar.

3) Construct a URL of the form //]&#[/color][color=red][b]nnnnn[/b][/color],

e.g. //

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