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Hello,

I was thinking of getting this consumer unit replaced as it is made of plastic, the lid doesn't really close properly, it hasn't been tested in awhile and I had to have my ringdoor bell supply put into another box as there was no space.

Do you think it is worth it to get a new one?
 

Matthewd29

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An upgrade is always a good idea if installer correctly and would add RCD protection to the other side of your board. However this can't be forced upon you and is up to yourself.
 
View attachment 58666

Hello,

I was thinking of getting this consumer unit replaced as it is made of plastic, the lid doesn't really close properly, it hasn't been tested in awhile and I had to have my ringdoor bell supply put into another box as there was no space.

Do you think it is worth it to get a new one?
My personal opinion would be to get a EICR done, which will tell you if the whole installation is safe or not. The fact that is is plastic doesn't mean it needs to be replaced with a metal one provided it meet the regulations at the time it was installed.

It seems strange to me that a ring door bell had to be put on its own circuit, and could not be taken from a F.C.U from the socket circuit, although I am not an expert

I would also consider swapping the lighting MCBs for RCBOs to provide a bit of extra protection.
 

Pete999

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View attachment 58666

Hello,

I was thinking of getting this consumer unit replaced as it is made of plastic, the lid doesn't really close properly, it hasn't been tested in awhile and I had to have my ringdoor bell supply put into another box as there was no space.

Do you think it is worth it to get a new one?
Your CU complied at the time that your dwelling was wired, as you wish to add a new circuit and there isn't any space for a new cir, may be now is a good time to change it.

It looks like a recessed unit, which will not be a straightforward installation, in my opinion, your best option will be to employ an Electrician, don't buy stuff Willy Nilly, as an Electrician will know what is required, and you could waste money on something that is inappropriate for the job, get several quotes, and don't opt for the cheapest one just yet, get the quotes and post them on here, erasing the persons details , where there will be lots of people who can judge the best option , good luck please let the forum know how you get on. One more thing Make sure the quotation includes "Notification if required and an EIC "Electrical Installation Certificate" don't shell out any money until the job is complete and the cert EIC has been received. Again good luck
 
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davesparks

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View attachment 58666

Hello,

I was thinking of getting this consumer unit replaced as it is made of plastic, the lid doesn't really close properly, it hasn't been tested in awhile and I had to have my ringdoor bell supply put into another box as there was no space.

Do you think it is worth it to get a new one?
If this was my own property I would replace the MCB's which aren't protected by RCD with RCBOs and check all terminations for being correctly made, I would leave the plastic box as it is.

I would advise a customer to do the same and have an EICR carried.
 

pc1966

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Obviously you have various reasons to think about replacing it and generally that is a good idea as you can end up with a better overall installation in terms of reliability & safety.

#1 consideration has to be getting any work done in a safe and professional manner, and you might find folk on here that you can get help from if they are local.

As already said, it is worth looking at an EICR first to identify anything that is worth considering as part of the changes. But the aspects that are most beneficial (at least in my opinion) are:
  • Having an all RCBO setup so faults on any circuits are clearly identifiable and only impact on that circuit.
  • The new CU has sufficient space for a couple of extra circuits should you need them in the future.
  • These days it is common to have a surge protection device (SPD) in the CU to reduce the risk of damage to electronics from lightning or other surges.
  • A metal enclosure with the appropriate glands is far better in terms of fire safety.
So when thinking about such work, try to think of anything you would want in the future, or anything that might be practical to do (e.g. if the CU is currently inaccessible or in a place you would like to use for something else). If you are interested there are some guidelines here:

Number 1 and 4 are relevant here. As already said, this is not a trivial bit of work so do your research on finding someone who does a good job first.
 
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  • #7
Alright thanks guys for all the info! I will get an electrician to have a look at it and get some quotes together.
 
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Good Man nice to see someone that listens to advice.
I have no clue about electrical stuff so want to do it as safely as possible! I'd never attempt to do it myself.

I only noticed it hadn't been inspected for a long time the other day, as I was trying to figure out why the lights weren't working in one room, but turned out it was just the old bulbs had failed (honestly not sure if it was one at a time or if they all blew together) which I have replaced with some LED ones now
 

Pete999

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I have no clue about electrical stuff so want to do it as safely as possible! I'd never attempt to do it myself.

I only noticed it hadn't been inspected for a long time the other day, as I was trying to figure out why the lights weren't working in one room, but turned out it was just the old bulbs had failed (honestly not sure if it was one at a time or if they all blew together) which I have replaced with some LED ones now
In my opinion, Whilst an EICR is a good idea, part of the rules regarding a CU change advises that an EICR part of the Process of a CU SWAP " see the best practice guide published by the ECS Electrical Safety Council" says, or advises that an EICR, is carried out PRIOR to the swap to ensure your installation is safe.

So it my be prudent to insist on this test, in any case. it may cost you more but better be safe than sorry.

Plenty of Cowboys out there that will just do the minimum.

The EIC on completion of the CU Swap should prove your installation is safe and sound, and fit for purpose.

Let the Forum know how you get on, lots of interested parties I'm sure.
 
Love the old split load boards , I personally would not be changing it unless it was part of a full re-wire or if the board needed moving for some reason...
 

littlespark

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I still find that it’s excessive adding another board just for a Ring doorbell.
I wouldn’t be asking that “spark” to quote for a newboard
 
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  • #13
Another question, if I get a consumer unit with surge protection built in, does that mean I wouldn’t have to worry about surge protection extensions on my computers and other electronics?
 

littlespark

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Another question, if I get a consumer unit with surge protection built in, does that mean I wouldn’t have to worry about surge protection extensions on my computers and other electronics?
Short answers, yes, it replaces any spd extension leads,
Long answer, there’s 3 types of spd, and reasons why each one could be used. From if anything actually needs protecting to likelihood of lightning strikes.
 

Gavin John Hyde

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Late to the party on this one but don't see a need to change the board for the doorbell. It could easily be installed somewhere discreet in a small enclosure and be fed via a fused spur off another circuit.
Maybe there is someone on the forum local to this guy to help him out and avoid him having some unnecessary work?
The board might not be up to the current standards but complied when installed.
A few rcbos would solve a lot of that and coincidentally also potentially free up space for the bell transformer.
 

telectrix

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If this was my own property I would replace the MCB's which aren't protected by RCD with RCBOs and check all terminations for being correctly made, I would leave the plastic box as it is.

I would advise a customer to do the same and have an EICR carried.
alternatively, could go all RCBO, giving 2 extra ways. however that may be more expensive than a new, larger, board.
 
Yes that's a good option, and with that being a flush board it would be far less disruptive than replacing it
agreed , quite a straight forward job to convert the board to a full rcbo board
 

pc1966

Arms
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Another question, if I get a consumer unit with surge protection built in, does that mean I wouldn’t have to worry about surge protection extensions on my computers and other electronics?
As already mentioned, it largely removes the need for extra protection. They classify SPD in to 3 types:
  • "Type 1" that are big and able to cope with the results of a strike on the building or overhead supply pylons which very large currents. However, unless you are rural, or have a building at high risk (e.g. already has a lightning conductor fitted), you are unlikely to need that and the cost is not trivial (around £200-400).
  • "Type 2" are designed to cope with the induced effects of a nearby lightning strike, these are the sort most CU now get fitted with. The additional cost is not much, often £50-100 but some brands of CU come with them as standard anyway.
  • Finally you get "Type 3" which are intended for deploying at sensitive equipment like computers. They don't have the same ability to absorb energy but they limit what excess voltage get past the Type 1/2 to a lower level.
So if you have any half-decent filtered/protected 13A leads you might as well keep them in use, but you can sleep easier that other stuff is now protected as well. With the increasing use of LED lights etc the potential cost and inconvenience of damage is not getting any better.
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alternatively, could go all RCBO, giving 2 extra ways. however that may be more expensive than a new, larger, board.
It is certainly a less disruptive option, but might not cost that much more to fit a new CU and if they want SPD as well then suddenly the 2 freed-up slots are used!

If it is a small cost difference and one that is not going to cause too much redecorating cost then a replacement CU in metal is going to look better on any future report if selling the house, etc.
 
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