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Hi all, hoping to get a couple of grounded (sorry) opinions.

Removed a carrier from my old Wylex box. Under the carrier there’s a flash-guard and that’s screwed to a plastic ridge which divides the two contacts. God knows why or how but the plastic ridge sheared off so although you can wedge the flash guard in it’s no longer attached to anything and there is no physical barrier between the contacts. Was also kind of concerned that the box seemed have lost integrity and started falling apart.

I have one of those ‘we’ll fix your rubbish electrics’ policies for things that I'm not happy to touch myself (like fuse boxes) so called them up and a chap came out. Blokey’s idea of a fix was to hold the flash-guard up against the box, stuff the fuse carrier through it into the contacts wedging it all in, then call it fixed. I agree it’s a temporary safety measure, of sorts, but I wouldn’t call it fully fixed and said as much. Faster than greased weasel excrement he agreed and said he recommended a new CU… except he changed his mind between then and writing his report and I now have an insurance company who consider the matter closed.

Does that sound fully fixed and safe to anyone? Doesn't to me but want to make sure I'm not just being daft before I pay to get another spark out for a second opinion. All comments and perspectives (including 'man up and get on with life') would be helpful and are welcome.
 

Charlie_

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Arms
If the consumer unit is in such poor condition then yes it definitely needs to be replaced...
How come it was initially an insurance job?
 

Matthewd29

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Arms
Esteemed
Have you got a pic? A board upgrade it nearly always a step forward especially when you don't current have an RCD or the board is crumbling as you say
 
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  • #4
Hi Charlie, thanks for your reply.

Sorry if I wasn't clear, it's not a full home insurance policy it's a policy that just covers plumbing + electrics, inc non emergency faults but not general maintenance. I work away a lot so it's a peace of mind thing. When I pulled the fuse carrier out and bits of plastic fell out it seemed to be the sort of thing the policy covered.

And yes - it's at the end of it's life and will be replaced. Just trying to make sure I'm not being mugged off and left with something that's even more unsafe than it's supposed to be in the meantime.
 
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  • #5
Hi Matthew, thanks for answering. I'm being a bit moderated here so takes my replies a second or two to get through :D

Pics below (think I've done this right). Shows, left to right, fuse carrier in. Fuse carrier out with flash guard attached. Flash guard removed showing plastic ridge. Flash guard removed with sheared off ridge.IMG_0766.JPG IMG_0770.JPG

Nothing too spectacular looking but worried that this pushes the box from 'something that should be replaced soon' to 'something that should be disconnected starting yesterday'.

...but then maybe I'm just being a melodramatic idiot.
 

Charlie_

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Arms
The fuses are designed to be taken out by Joe Bloggs and have their fuse wires replaced.. in doing so the consumer unit should remain safe, in your instance this is not the case..
 

Lucien Nunes

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Mentor
Arms
Esteemed
So a chunk has broken off the main phenolic chassis, taking with it the threaded boss into which the contact shield is supposed to be screwed. There is a seriously increased risk of shock or arc flash if the mains switch is turned on with the fuse carrier removed, although when both the contact shield and fuse carrier are in place, that risk is not so great.

The other risk is that part of the bit that broke off forms a barrier between the line and neutral busbars from the main switch. With it broken off, there is less creepage distance so increased risk of flashover if it gets wet, for example. Unlikely, but it was there for a reason.

If it were mine, I'd stick the broken bit in with non-metallic epoxy, put the shield and fuse back, put a sign on it for anyone who interferes with it, ensure the cover is screwed on over the fuses, then use it but get it replaced promptly.
 
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  • #8
Understood. Thanks, as Joe Bloggs I was wondering if I was being one of 'those' customers - picking on tiny, and insignificant details to find things to complain about. I feel slightly less paranoid about that now - but a bit worse about the fuse box. :D
 

Midwest

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Arms
Esteemed
I would have a read of the T&C’s of your policy. I have been to a few properties after the ‘fix’ has been carried out. The fault had been made ‘safe’, and the owner told to employ an electrician to replace the faulty item.
 

Wilko

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Arms
Esteemed
Hi - it sounds like your attending Electrician has done the minimum that he felt was required for safety at that time. It may be this is all one will get from an insurance policy, sorry to say.
Personally, I think there's a worthwhile safety improvement with upgrading the board, so I'd put efforts into finding the right Electrician to do that for you.
 
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