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Discuss Best RCBO consumer unit in the Electrical Tools and Products area at ElectriciansForums.net

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Hi everybody.

In the not too distant future I would like to get my current consumer unit replaced. I want to select the brand for my electrician as I’m a pain and like to research things. I was looking to see whether my thought process seems reasonable so would welcome and appreciate any help please.

I have 14 circuits from my main board at present and want some spares for future expansion (all I can guess for now is the potential for electrical cars). So probably the facility for 16 circuits. I want an all Rcbo board. The current cable runs are rear entry but it could be top entry if required. The board is on show but in a sort of store room (future cinema room?!) so aesthetics are reasonably important. There’s one SWA but from what I can see, it hasn’t been glanded in any shape or form so that will need resolving. I like value for money so not the cheapest but also don’t want to pay unnecessarily!

I love the SBS board, I think the design is brilliant and the prices are also good. However, part of my upgrade is due to poor availability of spares and I’m really struggling to buy something which may have the same problem long term. It annoys me because as far as I can see, it is the best option for an all rcbo board and all boards should move to his design.

Having read up on here, it looks like the 20 way Design 30 board from Hager is the best choice if I want increased certainty of spares. I would then get this populated with 14 x compact RCBOs which seem to be about £22 each. These RCBOs seem to be available from numerous suppliers including screwfix in case any failures occur.

Does this seem reasonable or is there an alternative I should consider? I can see BG will be cheaper to populate but so many people moan About BG (rightly or wrongly?). I want a board which will be as easy as possible to wire up as it will be a busy board and I want to make my electrician’s life as easy as possible.

I’ve also looked at other “unbranded” suppliers for rcbo boards but the certainty of spares makes me want to avoid.

Feedback welcome please, thanks.
 
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SJD

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Mentor
Arms
Esteemed
I've installed a few Hager boards recently, and found them easy to install. They do look fairly smart. And fairly reasonably priced.

My only comment is that some of their boards have rectangular knockouts, which can be a pain if you have SWA glands to install. I that case, I'd drill a new hole away from the knockouts.
 
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  • #4
Thanks both, I’m not too worried about it becoming a cinema room and it being on show, it’s a very long term aspiration not shared by my wife!

I’ll wait and see if others have recommendations. I’m surprise that very few populated rcbo boards are available. It’s can’t be a cost issue as in many cases the boards are presumably made up at the time of sale anyway!

Thanks again
 

Midwest

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Arms
Esteemed
Think it is a cost thing; most of the main manufactures do offer pre populated CU's, but mostly dual RCD boards.

Some of them offer RCBO boards, but generally, like MK, only 10 way e.g. Other, less attractive makes, offer more ways in pre populated CU's.
 

Dobes_88

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Arms
I personally prefer Wylex boards with their miniature RCBO's if cost allows, if trying to keep cost down a bit I tend to install Contactum although they're not the prettiest of units if on show.

Would be worthwhile speaking to your electrician first as he/she may have a preference, they might be able to get the equipment cheaper and be able to provide a warrantee for the goods.
 
RCBOs are expensive. It makes no sense in selling fully populated 16 way Rcbo boards in which some of them won't be used or will be off the wrong type.

I prefer MK boards. The bits and pieces are more readily available and easy to work with.
 

mhar

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Arms
I love the SBS boards because the rcbos are double pole single module and they are incredibly neat to install with no earth or neutral fly leads. Also competitively priced (albeit only sold to electricians).
 

Midwest

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Arms
Esteemed
I got rather annoyed, when I've been to properties to do some work, and they have a rather obscure or old'ish CU's, for which I'm unable to obtain spares or replacements. Hence why I would not use Mr SBS products, however good they might be.
Has his daughter taken over the business, or is he still running it?
 
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Why would you be unable to obtain spares or replacements?
Just because it’s such a small business with presumably a small number of customers, there’s always a risk that they will stop supplying. Unless the manufacturer finds somebody else to sell them, it won’t be possible to source spares presumably? I don’t mind keeping spares (removing the worry of waiting days for a replacement in the event of a failure?) but I want to be able to service the unit for 20 years and maybe my spares will run out?

I’d love to be persuaded as it’s the best engineering solution I can see.

Sorry will reply to the other comments later.
 

Risteard

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Arms
Esteemed
I love the SBS board, I think the design is brilliant and the prices are also good.
My understanding is that these are not type-tested assemblies.

Hager would be my preference - but I don't think you will pay £22 per RCBO. I would suspect it would be more like £30 each.
 
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  • #15
My understanding is that these are not type-tested assemblies.

Hager would be my preference - but I don't think you will pay £22 per RCBO. I would suspect it would be more like £30 each.
That was just off a quick google and they seem to be about that price at a few mail order only places?
I thought sbs had got them tested to 61439 a while ago?
 
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