Are you considering upgrading or replacing the consumer unit in your home or your business? The consumer unit, also known as a fuse box or distribution board, is a critical component of your electrical system. It's responsible for safely distributing electricity to various circuits and protecting your home from electrical hazards like overloads and short circuits.Whether you're new to this type of equipment and looking to understand this essential device or a seasoned veteran considering an upgrade, this ultimate consumer unit guide will walk you through everything you need to know about consumer units (and what you should consider before buying one).Continue reading to find out concerning: What are consumer units?Key consumer units definitions. Main types of consumer units.18th Edition Consumer Unit Regulations.4 key consumer unit buying tips.What to look for in a consumer unit.What is the best consumer unit to buy?What are consumer units?Consumer units, also known as fuse boards, fuse boxes or consumer control units, are essential components of residential and commercial electrical systems. They serve as the central point for controlling and distributing electricity throughout a building. Their primary purpose is to protect the electrical circuits from overloading and short circuits, ensuring the safety of both the occupants and the property.Consumer units can be segregated into 2 main types. The domestic consumer units, which are usually smaller fuse boxes suitable for residential properties, and the industrial consumer units, are suitable for large-scale commercial applications.Inside a consumer unit, there are multiple parts from the main switch to your circuit breakers. In the event of an electrical fault or overload, the circuit breaker or fuse automatically trips, cutting off the electricity supply to that circuit, thereby preventing any potential hazards like electrical fires or damage to appliances.Key consumer unit definitionsRCDs? RCBOs? MCBs? What is all this? Luckily, we’ve put together an easily digestible glossary so you can understand the key acronyms you’ll need to understand when buying a consumer unit.A main switch is the primary switch controlling the electrical supply of your building. Your consumer unit is controlled by the main switch.A residual current device (RCD) is a feature inside a consumer unit that switches off the power immediately when noticing a defect or fault.A mini circuit breaker (MCB), also known as a fuse, protects individual circuits in your building from overloads and faults. The average house has about 6 circuits, each controlled by a circuit breaker.A residual current circuit breaker with overload (RCBO) combines the best of RCD and MCB protection into one device in order to safeguard individual circuits from overload.A surge protection device (SPD) is a feature in some consumer units that protects against power surges, especially useful in areas where there are frequent lightning strikes.A bus bar is a feature inside consumer units you’ll rarely see. It is a long copper strip that looks like a set of teeth, which are used to lock into place the main switch, RCDs and circuit breakers.Main types of consumer unitsThere are four primary types of consumer units available on the market. These include:1. Main switch consumer unitsThe main switch consumer unit, sometimes called the main switch fuse box, serves as the primary control point for your entire electrical system, allowing you to turn off the electricity supply to the entire premises quickly and safely. It features the well-known mains on/off switch.This main switch is designed to handle the total electrical load of the building and is capable of shutting off all the electrical circuits at once. In case of emergencies, maintenance work, or any other situations that require a complete power shutdown, the main switch can be easily turned off, cutting off the electricity supply to all the individual circuits connected to the consumer unit.2. Dual RCD consumer unitsYour dual RCD consumer unit features a main switch and two RCDs. It allows for the creation of two banks of circuits, rather than just one. Each of the circuits is protected by its own RCD, which trips if it detects any leakage (thereby preventing any damage done to your system).The benefit of having a dual RCD unit is that if one circuit overloads and trips, only half of your devices will be affected.It is a more cost-effective consumer unit option than some of the other options.3. High-Integrity consumer unitsA high-integrity consumer unit provides you with not two, but three, banks of circuits, providing your system with the protection of two banks of RCBs and also RCBOs.This unit is popular for homeowners and businesses because it is cost-effective and also provides for a complete separation of your most critical circuits.4. RCD incomer consumer unitsAn RCD incomer consumer unit is best when you only have a small amount of circuits. They are useful for places like sheds, small offices, workshops and garages.Unlike the other consumer units, it does not have a main switch. The board is instead controlled by a single RCD. There is no circuit separation with this unit, which means any residual current fault will cut the power to each and every other circuit.It is not recommended to rely on an RCD incomer consumer unit in your main dwelling or office building.18th Edition Consumer Unit RegulationsFrom 28 March 2022, the 18th edition Consumer Unit Regulations apply to the design, erection and verification of electrical installation. They must comply with British Standard (BS) 7671:2018+A2:2022 (also known as the IET Wiring Regulations).Broadly, these regulations require that your electrical circuits are protected from:OverloadResidual current leakageThis is because overload can cause fires, and residual current leakage can lead to nasty electric shocks.If you are purchasing a consumer unit for your home, you’ll need to make sure it is made from a non-combustible material, and this means having a robust enclosure in place. This is obviously so any fires that occur within the unit are contained.The main changes in the 18th edition that differ from the 17th edition include:The requirement for a risk assessment to be carried out in order to assess if your property is at risk of transient overvoltage from things like switching loads and lightning strikes. If so, then surge protection will need to be installed.The installation of Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs) in consumer units in certain circumstances in order to protect your property from fire, burns and overheating as a result of ‘arc faults’ (which basically refers to the situation where your connections are loose or your wiring is faulty, leading to ‘arcing’ or sparking).The requirement for cable support systems (including your building’s cable and cable management) to be built from materials to protect against premature collapse in the event of a fire.The requirement for RCD protection in socket outlets with a rated current not exceeding 32A and lighting circuits within homes.Can I still use 17th edition consumer units?Yes, but only in non-domestic environments such as offices.Any new consumer unit that you install in a domestic setting such as your home will need to comply with the 18th edition consumer unit regulations.Also note, that there is technically no such thing as a “17th edition” or “18th edition” consumer unit.4 key consumer unit buying tipsBefore purchasing and installing a consumer unit, careful planning and consideration are essential to ensure a safe and efficient electrical system for your property.Here are key buying tips to keep in mind prior to your purchase:1. Consider the number of consumer units you'll needIn most residential settings, a single consumer unit is sufficient to cater to the electrical needs of the entire home. However, in larger or more complex properties, or in cases where separate electrical supplies are required for specific areas, you might need more than one consumer unit.For example, if your property has multiple outbuildings or an annex with its own electrical requirements, a separate consumer unit for those areas may be necessary.2. Decide on the location of your consumer unitsThe location of your consumer unit is crucial for both accessibility and safety. Consumer units are often installed in easily accessible areas, like utility rooms, garages or ground-floor storage cupboards. The chosen location should allow sufficient space for working around the unit during installation, maintenance, or emergencies.If you plan to install a consumer unit in a shed or a more remote area to the main dwelling, it is essential to choose a unit specifically designed for such environments (such as an RCD incomer consumer unit).3. Determine the number of banks of circuits you’ll needConsumer units are divided into banks of circuits, each controlled by a separate circuit breaker or fuse. It is often worth having more banks than you originally consider necessary just in case your circuit layout changes or expands sometime in the future.4. Determine your circuit prioritiesWhen configuring your consumer unit, it's essential to prioritize critical circuits for safety and convenience. Circuits supplying essential services like security alarms, smoke detectors, emergency lighting or medical equipment may need to be given higher priority.These priority circuits should be separately protected and easily identifiable within the consumer unit. In the event of a fault or overload, this prioritization ensures that crucial services remain operational while non-essential circuits may be isolated.What to look for in a consumer unitUltimately, when buying a consumer unit, you’ll need to look at whether:The consumer units comply with the 18th edition consumer unit regulations (as explained above)The units can suitably manage the electrical demands of your residential, commercial or industrial propertyThe units are able to protect your property and its occupants from dangerous hazards such as fire and electric shocks.It may also be worth factoring in where the units are being manufactured and how long the company has been around as this will impact your ability to easily source replacement partsWhat is the best consumer unit to buy?The best consumer unit to buy for your property hinges on several critical factors, and each installation may have unique considerations. The size of your property, the number of electrical circuits required and the specific electrical demands play a pivotal role in determining the ideal consumer unit. We hope this consumer unit guide has given you some guidance so you can choose which unit is right for you.Here at Sparks Direct, we offer a comprehensive range of consumer units on our online store, catering to various installation needs and preferences.Some of the terrific brands we offer include consumer units made by Hager, MK, Schneider, Wylex, and BG Electrical.We are also committed to helping you find the perfect consumer unit to meet your needs.Should you have any questions or need expert guidance during the selection process, our team of knowledgeable professionals is readily available to assist you, ensuring that your consumer unit installation is a seamless and efficient process.
Have you ever wondered what are electrical distribution boards? If so, you're in the right place! In this blog post, we'll define electrical distribution boards and explain how they work. We'll also discuss the differences between consumer units and distribution boards. By the end of this post, you'll have a better understanding of what electrical distribution boards are and why they're such an important part of any electrical installation. So let's get started!What Is An Electrical Distribution Board?An electrical distribution board is a crucial element of any electricity supply system. Its job is to take an incoming electrical power feed and split it into multiple secondary or subsidiary circuits. A distribution board is more than just a box; it is a complete system with neutral linkages, an earth leakage device, and interconnecting cables, all designed to ensure safe and efficient electrical distribution in your home or building. The primary cable enters the distribution board and is then routed to secondary circuits such as lights and plugs through breakers. Most of the time, each of these secondary circuits will be protected by a fuse or breaker. This helps to prevent overloading and circuit damage. Consumer Unit Vs Distribution Boards (What's The Difference?)When it comes to the electrical wiring, there are a few different terms that you might come across. Two of these terms are consumer units and distribution boards. But what exactly is the difference between the two?The two types of panelboards most often found in buildings in the UK are consumer units and distribution boards. You will usually recognise consumer units as metal or plastic enclosures, containing various fuses and breaker switches. These can be used to isolate the incoming mains electricity supply to specific building areas. In this sense, a consumer unit is simply a distribution board that has been approved as a suitable and safe electric panel design for domestic use. Distribution boards are typically used in industrial settings where there is a higher volume and variety of electrical equipment in use. So, what's the difference between these two types of panelboards? Consumer units are designed to easily isolate specific areas in a domestic or residential building, while distribution boards are designed for high volumes of electrical equipment, such as larger flat buildings, factories, workshops, retail, etc. While both types of panelboards are essential for managing electricity in buildings, they serve different purposes. If you are looking for a consumer unit for your home we’d recommend seeking the advice of a professional as there are multiple factors they will need to take into account.Types Of Distribution BoardsConsumer unit distribution boards are primarily divided into three types namely main switch, dual RCD and high integrity consumer units. But how do you know if you need one and which type is best for your needs? These are some of the questions we'll explore in this post as we take a closer look at distribution boards.1. Main Switch Distribution BoardA main switch consumer unit is a type of consumer unit distribution board that is considered to be one of the safest and most robust protective devices for incoming mains power. All circuits are fully separated, and each is independently protected from earth leakage via RCBOs (residual current breaker with overcurrent protection). This makes the main switch consumer unit an ideal choice for those who want the highest level of safety for their home or office.2. Dual RCD Distribution BoardA dual RCD consumer unit is a type of distribution board that offers two Residual Current Device (RCD) breakers. These breakers offer protection against overheating, electrical fires, or accidentally touching a live wire. As the name suggests, a dual RCD consumer unit has two circuit banks which are each protected by one of the RCD breakers. This makes the overall unit more protective than other models on the market and thus a more popular choice for many consumers. If you are looking for a reliable and effective way to protect your home from electrical hazards, then a dual RCD consumer unit may be the perfect solution for you.3. High Integrity Distribution BoardA high integrity consumer unit is a type of consumer unit distribution board that is more common in larger buildings where more sub-circuits branch off from the incoming mains supply. They generally have dual RCD protection with additional RCBOs that can be added based on the specific configuration needed. High integrity consumer units help to protect against electrical hazards by tripping the current when it detects a sudden increase or drop. This helps to prevent fires and electrocutions by stopping the flow of electricity before it becomes dangerous. In addition, high-integrity consumer units are often equipped with emergency stop buttons that can be used to shut off power in the event of an emergency. Overall, high-integrity consumer units are a vital part of any electrical system in a large building. They provide an extra layer of safety and protection against potential hazards, making them an essential component of any property.4. Sub Distribution BoardsThere are various types of electrical panel boards and sub-distribution boards in widespread use. The best electrical distribution board for you will depend on a number of factors, including compliance with codes and requirements, operating conditions, accessibility, and more.For example, Type A and Type B distribution boards have different busbar layouts. This can be important when deciding which board to use in a particular setting. Additionally, both of these boards are compatible with different overcurrent protective devices (OCPD). It's important to consider all of these factors when choosing the right board for your needs.ConclusionElectrical distribution boards, or consumer units as they are more commonly known, come in all shapes and sizes. The best electrical distribution board for your home will depend on the type of property you have and how much power you need. At Sparks Direct, we have a wide range of boards to suit every application, so contact us if you need help finding the right one for your needs. We also offer a collection of the best electrical boards available on the market today, so you can be sure that your home is safe and protected at all times.
An RCBO is a residual current circuit breaker with an integrated overload relay. It combines two devices (RCD/RCCB and MCB) that are commonly used in domestic and industrial fuseboxes (consumer units). The main benefit of using an RCBO is that it can save space in the electrical distribution panel. Additionally, it provides protection against both overloads and short circuits. RCBOs are designed to trip when they sense an imbalance in the current flowing through the live and neutral wires. Read on to know more about this valuable device!MCCB Vs MCB Vs RCBO: What Do They Mean?An MCCB is a molded case circuit breaker, and an MCB is a miniaturised circuit breaker. They are both used in electrical circuits to provide overcurrent protection. MCCBs are typically used in larger systems, while MCBs are used in smaller circuits. An RCBO is a combination of an MCCB and an MCB. It is used in circuits where both overcurrent and short-circuit protection are required. RCBOs are less common than MCCBs or MCBs, but they are growing in popularity due to their ability to provide two types of protection in one device. MCCBs, MCBs, and RCBOs all serve the same basic function: to protect electrical circuits from damage due to excessive current conditions. However, they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. MCCBs are the largest and most expensive of the three options, but they can handle higher currents and have a longer lifespan. MCBs are smaller and less expensive, but they have a shorter lifespan and can only handle lower currents. RCBOs are the most advanced option, and they offer the benefits of both MCCBs and MCBs in one device. MCB (Miniature Circuit Breakers)When there's an abnormality detected in a circuit, an MCB or miniature circuit breaker automatically switches the circuit off. MCBs are designed to easily sense when there's an excessive current, which often happens when there's a short circuit. How does an MCB work? There are two types of contacts in an MCB - one fixed and the other movable. When the current flowing through the circuit increases, it causes the movable contacts to disconnect from the fixed contacts. This effectively "opens" the circuit and stops the flow of electricity from the main supply. In other words, the MCB acts as a safety measure to protect circuits from overloads and damage.MCCB (Molded Case Circuit Breaker)MCCBs are designed to protect your circuit from overloading. They feature two arrangements: one for overcurrent and one for over-temperature. MCCBs also have a manually operated switch for tripping the circuit, as well as bimetallic contacts that expand or contract when the MCCB's temperature changes. All of these elements come together to create a reliable, durable device that can help keep your circuit safe. Thanks to its design, an MCCB can be a great choice for a variety of applications. An MCCB is a circuit breaker that helps to protect equipment from damage by disconnecting the main supply when the current exceeds a preset value. When the current increases, the contacts in the MCCB expand and warm until they open, thereby breaking the circuit. This prevents further damage by securing the equipment from the main supply.What Makes MCCB & MCB Similar?MCCBs and MCBs are both circuit breakers that provide an element of protection to the power circuit. They are mostly used in low voltage circuits and are designed to sense and protect the circuit from short circuits or overcurrent situations. While they share many similarities, MCCBs are typically used for larger circuits or those with higher currents, while MCBs are more suited for smaller circuits. Both types of circuit breaker play an important role in ensuring the safety of electrical systems.What Differentiates MCCB From MCB?The main difference between an MCB and MCCB is their capacity. An MCB has a rating of under 100 amps with an under 18,000 amps interrupting rating, while an MCCB provides amps as low as 10 and as high as 2,500. In addition, the MCCB features an adjustable trip element for the more advanced models. As a result, the MCCB is more suitable for circuits that require a higher capacity. Following are a few more essential differences between the two types of circuit breakers:An MCCB is a specific type of circuit breaker that is used to control and protect electrical systems. MCBs are also circuit breakers but they differ in that they are used for household appliances and low energy requirements. MCCBs can be used for high energy requirement regions, such as large industries. MCBs have a fixed tripping circuit while on MCCBs, the tripping circuit is movable. In terms of amps, MCBs have less than 100 amps while MCCBs can have as high as 2500 amps. It is not possible to remotely turn on and off an MCB while it is possible to do so with an MCCB by using a shunt wire. MCCBs are mainly used in situations where there is a very heavy current while MCBs can be used in any low current circuit. So, if you need a circuit breaker for your home, you would use an MCB but if you needed one for an industrial setting, you would use an MCCB. RCCB Vs RCD Vs RCBO Vs RCB: What Do They Mean?An RCCB (Residual Current Circuit Breaker) is an electrical device that breaks the circuit as soon as it detects a current leak to the earth wire. It also protects against electric electrocution or electric coal shock caused by direct contact. An RCD (Residual Current Device) is similar to an RCCB, but it doesn't break the circuit - instead, it just trips an alarm. An RCB (Residual Current Breaker) is also similar, but it only trips the breaker, not the alarm. So, if you're looking for a device to protect you from shock or electrocution, an RCCB is your best bet. If you're looking for a device to trip an alarm in case of a current leak, go for an RCD. And if you just want a breaker that trips in case of a current leak, then an RCB is what you need. Types of RCDs - guide by Hager. Residual current protection devices, like RCBOs and RCCBs, are circuit breakers that monitor the current flowing in a circuit's line and neutral. In a healthy circuit, the current in the line should equal the return current in the neutral. However, if there's an abnormality, the return current might not equal the line current. In this case, the residual current device will sense the discrepancy and interrupt the circuit. By doing so, these devices help protect against electrical hazards.What Is An RCBO?An RCBO is a device that combines the functions of an MCB and RCD/RCCB. When there is a current leakage, the RCBO trips the entire circuit, preventing further damage. Consequently, internal magnetic/thermal circuit breaker components can trip the electronic device when the circuit is overloaded, protecting it from further damage. In this way, an RCBO can be a vital piece of equipment in protecting your electrical circuits.Similarities & Differences: RCBO Vs RCDElectrical systems are components of our daily lives that we often take for granted. We use them every day without a second thought, but when something goes wrong, it can be a major inconvenience. That's where devices like RCBOs and RCDs come in. Both electrical devices are typically found in a fuse box, commonly referred to as a consumer unit or breaker panel. Similarly, they both help in the protection of systems. RCBOs (Residual Current Devices with Overcurrent Protection) are used in homes and businesses to protect against electric shock and fires. They work by sensing when there is an imbalance in the current flowing through the electrical circuit and shutting off the power before it can do any damage.So, what's the difference between an RCBO and an RCD? An RCD is a protective device that will normally protect at least 5 circuits. If it picks up a fault on any of these circuits, it will trip and cut the power to every circuit it's protecting. An RCBO is basically exactly the same as an RCD, except it protects 1 individual circuit. So, if you're looking for protection for just one circuit, then an RCBO is probably what you need. What Differentiates An MCB From RCD?The biggest difference is that MCBs don't protect against earth faults, while RCDs/RCCBs do. This means that if there's a problem with the earth connection, an RCD will trip and cut off the power, but an MCB won't. This can be important in preventing electrical shocks. Another difference is that MCBs are mostly used in homes and industries, while RCDs are mostly used in homes. This is because RCDs offer better protection against shocks, which is important in domestic settings. Finally, MCBs come in single, two, three, and four-pole options, while RCDs lack the single-pole options but have the two, three, and four-pole options. This simply means that MCBs can be used in more situations than RCDs. ConclusionSo, what is an RCBO and how does it work? An RCBO, or residual current circuit breaker with excess current protection, is a type of circuit breaker that combines the functions of an MCB and RCD. It protects against both overloads and short circuits and can be used in both residential and commercial settings. Based on the need for electrical protection you have and being advised by your electrician, you can choose either a RCD or a RCBO. On our website, we have a wide range of Hager RCBOs and RCDs, MEM Memshield RCBOs and RCDs, BG Electrical RCBOs and RCDs, Merlin Gerin MCBs, MK Electrical RCBOs and RCDs, Wylex RCBOs, and Schneider RCBOs and RCDs to choose from. Please bear in mind, each manufacturer specifies their own RCBOs or RCDs, so you cannot mix-and-match these circuit breakers; a Schneider fusebox takes Schneider RCBOs.
It is well known that combining water and electricity is a recipe for disaster, as water is highly conductive. This means the bathroom - where water is in excess use - is possibly the most dangerous room in the house in terms of electrical safety. It is not only the chance of receiving an electric shock that is higher in the bathroom. The consequences are also far more severe in a bathroom or shower room, as wet skin reduces the body’s resistance to shocks. In this article (inspired from the article on Bathroom Safety, via ESF website), we will advise you on how to stay safe using electrical appliances and devices in your bathroom. Electrical safety in the bathroom: electrical installations and sockets Electrical installations in bathrooms must comply with special requirements that are explained in Part P of the UK Building Regulations. We highly recommend that you use an electrician registered with one of the government-approved schemes to carry out electrical installations. You can find out more about these schemes by visiting the Electrical Safety First (ESF) Find an Electrician page. The next thing to think about is sockets and their placement. Socket outlets should not be permitted in bathrooms or shower rooms (apart from shaver-supply units). This is unless they can be fitted a minimum distance of three metres from the bath or shower. Shaver sockets without transformers should not be used in a wet area such as a shower room or bathroom. When choosing a shaver socket for a bathroom, look at the British Standard BS3535 to see if it is compliant. Any shaver points must be a safe distance from the bath or shower to avoid splashes, which could damage the socket. Electrical safety in the bathroom: Lights When it comes to lights and light fittings in the bathroom, first of all, you should look at their IP rating and ensure they are at least IP44 rated or above. Any light within Zone 1 (the area above the bath or shower to a height of 2.25m from the floor) should be IP65+ rated. We sell a variety of bathroom downlights that are suitable for bathroom use at Sparks. For instance, the Kamo Brushed Nickel downlight has an impressive IP65 rating, protecting it from strong shower spray. It can also hold an energy-saving 6W LED, to save you on running costs. Enclosed or recessed ceiling lights are preferable to suspended lights. This is because they are less likely to experience water splashes. All light fittings which are not enclosed should be placed out of reach of someone using the bathroom, that is, someone who is wet. This is especially important if you are just coming out of the bath or shower. Light switches could be a problem because of the hazard posed by dampness and wet hands. An electrical fault with the light switch could well result in an electrical shock in these cases. It is not recommended to have any wall-mounted switch in the bathroom. This means that a ceiling-mounted pull-cord switch is the safest option, as your wet hands will not be touching a conductive material. Electrical Safety in the bathroom: Electric showers Electric showers require their own electrical circuit, which in general will have the highest electrical demand out of your household appliances. All circuits in the bathroom must be protected by an RCD (Residual Current Device). Electric showers will also need to be connected to a consumer unit, which is a distribution board for electricity. The cost of fitting an electric shower will depend on whether the consumer unit is up to date and follows current safety standards. Building regulations require adequate ventilation, meaning that extractor fans are essential for helping you to cut down the amount of steam you produce by showering. Electrical Safety in the bathroom: Heaters and towel rails Central heating is the safest way to keep the bathroom warm, and it will also supply heaters and towel rails with electricity. This is a great way to start your day off - by drying yourself down with a warm towel. However, there are some safety precautions you should take before using heaters in the bathroom. Electric and gas water heaters in a bathroom should be fixed and permanently wired. The only exception is if they are powered by a socket fitted three metres from a bath or shower. If you have an electric heater, it must also be fixed at a safe distance from the bath or shower. A pull-cord or a switch outside the bathroom is the ideal way to control electric heaters. Once again, this lessens the chance of your wet hand coming into contact with electricity. Electrical appliances really can make your life easier in the bathroom, as you set about grooming for the day ahead or preparing for bed. Electric showers, heated towel rails, and bright lights all make washing a more pleasant experience. However, it is important to follow the above minimal electrical safety tips in the bathroom to ensure you are using electrics inside your bathroom in a safe manner.
On our website, we have a wide range of Consumer Units both for domestic and for commercial/industrial use. Usually, normal people buy them only once in their lifetime, unless the electrician or landlord does it for them, and then they never have to think about the fusebox (unless there's some problem with the electricity). If you come in our showroom in Archway our consultants will help you find out what's the best consumer unit for your needs. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions concerning the domestic/industrial consumer units. 1. What is a Consumer Unit? A consumer unit, also called a fusebox or distribution board, is a vital component of the electrical supply system in a house, dividing the electrical power feed into subsidiary circuits while at the same time providing protection and circuit breakers for each of the circuits. The consumer units are also sometimes called: circuit breaker panel, electrical panel, fuse board, breaker box, panelboard, breaker panel, power breaker, distribution board, service panel, and similar names. In simple terms, a fusebox is there to help prevent electrical fires or electrocution. 2. What is a Fusebox Composed Of? A fusebox (consumer unit) is composed of the main switch, the fuses and/or circuit breakers, and the RCDs (Residual Current Devices). The main switch allows you to turn off / on the electricity supply to your home. The RCDs are switches tripping a circuit under dangerous conditions, switching it off and disconnecting the electricity in such cases. The circuit breakers are automatic protection devices that switch off a circuit if they detect a fault; they are similar to the fuses but give more precise protection. The fuses have a piece of special fuse wire running between two screws - when a fault or overload current flows through the fuse wire, it becomes hot and melts, breaking the faulty circuit and keeping you safe. 3. What's the Best Deal for a Fusebox that You Have? This is usually the first question people ask us. What's the best deal you have for a fusebox? We get this question so many times that we already know the best consumer unit deal, even though the code is quite complicated: the Hager VC712C1 17th Edition Distribution Board, 12 way coming with 2 RCDs, main switch, 10 breakers include - all for £60 + VAT. This consumer unit is according to the latest regulations and specifications, and it sells like hot cakes, both online and offline! 4. What Size is the Consumer Unit? Size matters: the dimensions of a consumer unit need to be small since it needs to be mounted inside the wall, and in general the wall close to the entrance doesn't have much space to host large boxes. The best size, the general size of a domestic consumer unit, is 380mm width, 245mm height, and 105mm depth. Very small in size, yet including all the breakers and RCDs and switches you need for your electrical circuit! 5. Can I Install the Fusebox Myself? Many over-zealous and DYI customers ask us this, and the response is NO! The fusebox / the consumer unit needs to be installed by a registered and qualified electrician, who then also needs to inspect it periodically (read more about it here).