The unassuming presence of the electricity fuse box in your home is really actually a very important safety feature that may actually save your life. By the same token, however, a faulty fuse box could also be responsible for a situation where life is lost. Like anything else that we use, it can go wrong or become out-dated and it is always a good idea to think about having your fuse box checked if it has been in place for a long time.
Apart from being the control centre for the electrical function of your home, your fuse box should always also be able to detect when something is wrong that could be dangerous. In that instance the fuse box will ‘trip’ cutting off the energy to a problem area of the electrical wiring. But today’s modern technology is capable of more than just the ‘trip’ after a fault is detected. It can offer more - in the form of dual protecting RCD’s, which are fitted to all new fuse boxes. It is impossible to over emphasise the importance of RCD protection in your home (I do mention it quite a lot!)
The reason I am so passionate about it, is that RCD's could one day be responsible for saving you and your family’s lives. RCD's will be smart enough to detect if any appliance is faulty before you have any idea that there’s a problem and will instantly activate, if a live cable in your home is touched.
The capability of RCD goes far beyond any other of the safety functions of a consumer board or a fuse box such as the features that we have traditionally relied on:
An RCD is fast too, activating in an instant, shutting down the fuse box first.
It can sometimes be a bit of a shock to a house owner when we recommend to contact an electrician that they consider upgrading their fuse box or consumer unit when they are making upgrades to their homes such as installing a new kitchen or any major renovations or upgrading elsewhere. In fact most kitchen fitters will not fit a new kitchen unless the home it is being fitted into has RCD protection. People are often reluctant to consider this electrical work because they’re in a rush to see their house remodelled and additionally it may be an expense that they were not expecting. And adding new wallpaper when walls have to be stripped to rewire is another thing they may not have been anticipating.
So how can someone tell when a fuse box or consumer unit needs to be upgraded? Any consumer unit or fuse box that does not have an RCD needs an upgrade and it is vitally important the you call on someone who is a qualified and registered electrician who will be able to decide on what you need in your home. Consumer units or fuse boxes that have a wooden back almost will almost without exception will need to be replaced as they were often originally fitted in the1950's and things have moved on a lot since then!