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Hello,

I have been reading the topics on this forum which have been very helpful.
I am looking to change my consumer unit to a full RCBO unit - I am not going to fit it myself, I am just trying to gather knowledge as to what is available so that I am informed as to choice.
I have gathered that Lewden, Hager and Wylex are respected brands on these forums. My local wholesaler also mirrored this by suggesting Lewden for price and Hager for a recognised brand.
I have also gathered that going for a Type A RCBO would be preferable to a Type AC. I note that Hager and Wylex compact RCBOs are Type A "by default" and that Lewden do make Type A RCBOs if you hunt for them.

I would be very grateful for some advice please in answer to the following questions:
1. As a Landlord, I would need to have a 5 year inspection test done and what I'm wondering is that Wylex's (and Crabtree's) compact RCBO has a switched neutral which they are marketing as making it cost-effecting/time saving for this inspection test. Is this switched neutral really that advantageous for this? Could a switched neutral be considered worth paying that much more for from Wylex? (versus Lewden for example)
1a. Similarly, from photographs of Hager's RCBOs online it has a sticker stating "IR test can be carried out at load terminals with device in OFF position". Whilst not switched neutral, does the Hager provide a similar advantage in testing to the Wylex RCBO then?
2. Say I wanted to add more RCBOs in 5+ years time, what could be the likelihood that I could still obtain the RCBOs for Lewden, Hager or Wylex?

Thank you very much for your advice.
 
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Charlie_

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Seen a lovely looking Eris display as I walked in to Yess for a coffee today..
Anybody used that stuff yet?
 

Risteard

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It's Hager for me. Not a fan of single pole RCBOs though. Hager do make others though, but these won't fit a UK-style single phase DB.
 
O

Octopus

The 5 year inspection rather depends on the inspectors thoughts and the state of the installation.

I’ve given a 1 year retest period once ....
 

Matthewd29

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Esteemed
Seen a lovely looking Eris display as I walked in to Yess for a coffee today..
Anybody used that stuff yet?
I used a few isolators, felt like decent quality. Also fitted 2 metal clad switch fuses, they were not so good. Cover didn't fit properly and the fuse carrier felt weak and flimsy
 

Matthewd29

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Esteemed
Also, wylex would be my choice out of them. Chances of hager or wylex fitting in 5 years is also high, the better brands are usually quite good at keeping them matching. Especially hager
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
Thank you to everyone with their information so far.
Regarding my first question:
If I quote Wylex's/Crabtree's marketing for their RCBO:
Wylex RCBOs go one step further, they have switched neutral built in as standard, live and neutral conductors do not have to be disconnected for insulation resistance testing. This saves time and money, particularly for responsible landlords who regularly test installations during occupancy voids.
To me, that all sounds very helpful for an Electrician doing the work, verses the usual method of disconnecting the wires, but practically, would this switched neutral RCBO therefore save a lot of time when testing 5 circuits?
How much time (approximately) are we talking here in saving please?
 

mhar

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Arms
I use SBS Live units in rentals/holiday cottages as a first choice. Single module double pole rcbos and very good value. However only sold to bona fide electricians
 
O

Octopus

How much time (approximately) are we talking here in saving please?
A few minutes maybe?
 

Dobes_88

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Arms
Use the Wylex miniature RCBO's myself and find them to be brilliant with no issues, have tried the Hager reduced RCBO's but prefer the Wylex boards - personal opinion!

Where a client wants to save a little on cost I'd fit Contactum which are similarly priced to Lewden.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
Thanks @Murdoch.

In answer to my question 1a. regarding Hager's compact RCBO - let me provide a photo first to explain:

The sticker says ""IR test can be carried out at load terminals with device in OFF position" and it has printed on the RCBO "IR TEST HERE".

I contacted Hager technical support for clarity. They said that I am correct in my understanding; you do not need to disconnect the conductors to do an IR test, just switch the RCBO to off. Whilst I confirmed with them that it is not a switched neutral RCBO, you can do an IR test without disconnecting the wires, the same as you can with Wylex.
I think that this may be a new feature with Hager's compact RCBO? - as not all of the photos online have these markings - so you can probably only do it with those that have "IR TEST HERE" printed on the RCBO.

So that's rather interesting...time and effort saved all round for both brands then. :thumbsup:

I've been giving it some thought and I have another question I'd be grateful for advice on please: does anyone know of any "rounded corners" consumer units?
Basically, I don't want to hit my head on the sharp corners as the unit is at the same height. The only ones that I can find with rounded corners are: BG, Wylex NMX and Schneider Electric easy9.
The Hager Design 30 still has sharp corners by the looks of things, it isn't rounded.
I was wondering if there were any others that anyone knew of please?
Thank you very much.
 

Charlie_

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Arms
Or, if feasible, a flush consumer unit
 
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  • #16
In all seriousness the thought of hitting it with a hammer has already crossed my mind. :D
I thought that if I hit the corner with a hammer, the cover wouldn't then fit and I hadn't considered a file.
Do you think that I could reasonably do this to the corner (it would probably only be one corner) without the corner disintegrating?
I don't know how they make the covers, whether the corners are just folded over?

Thank you for the suggestion on a flush unit also.
 

Charlie_

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Arms
Or even better;
Lots of little bells hanging down by about 4” to give you an advanced warning
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
What about those plastic guards that are used to protect kids’ heads from tables?
Thanks @Charlie_ I didn't know such things existed. A quick google found strips of furniture protectors that would be ideal: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Safety-Cor...&pf_rd_p=db2cb206-1547-5d02-897c-9bc3d0a7c78a

I was just reading the recent thread about someone getting an EICR and their unit was stated as not being up to 18th Edition standards.
Can I please clarify something - do I have to bring my installation up to date with the latest regulations when having an EICR? For example, say in 10 years time there was a new Edition and I had an EICR done then - would I have to bring everything up to the new Edition?
Or, providing that the installation is safe, can it remain at 18th Edition standards?
 

Simon47

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Esteemed
Hmm, not sure how you can IR test with the neutral still connected as would be the case with an SP RCBO - the neutral would be connected to the earth for a TN-C-S supply, and if you've opened the main switch, you'll still have spurious leakage paths via the other circuits.
However, it could just refer to the internals being arranged such that the RCBO itself won't be connected (to the outgoing line) and either be damaged or influence the results.

I've just fitted a board with SBS compact RCBOs - nice stuff (in terms of space to work/route the cables) and I'll be using them again.

I doubt that there's a lot of metal boxes around with rounded corners. Square corners can be made by simple cutting and folding - so is relatively cheap to manufacture. If you want nice radiused corners then that means pressings - expensive tooling to create up front, with a different tool for each case style & size. For flat sides, a CNC punch can make any size of box with just one set of tools - one punch per knockout size, cutting tool for edges and square opening on front, etc.
With plastic, each combination needed a mould anyway - so shape is arbitrary subject to design rules for moulded plastics (eg release tapers etc).
 

Simon47

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Esteemed
Can I please clarify something - do I have to bring my installation up to date with the latest regulations when having an EICR? For example, say in 10 years time there was a new Edition and I had an EICR done then - would I have to bring everything up to the new Edition?
Or, providing that the installation is safe, can it remain at 18th Edition standards?
Ah well, there's the big question ...
Assuming no faults (such as broken fittings etc) then the regs are not retrospective and the EICR would merely list items as "C3 - improvement recommended" and the overall result as "Satisfactory". Some things, such as lack of RCD on sockets likely to be used outside, might merit a C2 - potentially dangerous but not needing immediate upgrade.

I'm also a landlord, and so my reasoning goes along the lines of: if there's a "defect" listed on the EICR, could an unscrupulous tenant try and take advantage of it ? The answer in many cases is yes, and a few years ago I upgraded the CUs in my properties to all-RCBO (they previously had no RCD at all, built in mid 90s). IME, adding RCD where there's none is a no-brainer if you care about your tenants' safety.
However, now those are not completely to standard - the CUs have plastic cases. For one property the guidance is that it should not even be mentioned, for the other it should be a C3 as it's in the open-plan lounge and a fire (or smoke) from the CU would impact on the escape route from upstairs. At some point I'll probably consider replacing the latter - but I then have to decide whether to do it myself (and pay LABC handsomely to notify it), or tolerate paying someone else for whatever their work standards are and let them notify for peanuts via their scheme :mad: What I've saved not replacing the former goes towards the £300 I've just shelled out for new/extra linked smoke/heat/CO alarms in that property.
 

davesparks

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Mentor
Arms
Esteemed
Ah well, there's the big question ...
Assuming no faults (such as broken fittings etc) then the regs are not retrospective and the EICR would merely list items as "C3 - improvement recommended" and the overall result as "Satisfactory". Some things, such as lack of RCD on sockets likely to be used outside, might merit a C2 - potentially dangerous but not needing immediate upgrade.
The regs are not retrospective, however an EICR is Carried out to the current edition regardless of when the installation was carried out.
Anything which is considered potentially dangerous under the current regulations will be coded C2 whether it complied at the time or not.
For example an efli reading which complied before Cmin was brought In may not comply now, this is a C2. The regulation was brought in because a danger has been identified which was not dealt with in previous editions.
 
D

Deleted member 26818

Thank you to everyone with their information so far.
Regarding my first question:
If I quote Wylex's/Crabtree's marketing for their RCBO:

To me, that all sounds very helpful for an Electrician doing the work, verses the usual method of disconnecting the wires, but practically, would this switched neutral RCBO therefore save a lot of time when testing 5 circuits?
How much time (approximately) are we talking here in saving please?
I don’t know about others, but when I conduct Periodic Inspections, I charge for the day, irrespective of how long it takes (assuming that it’s less than a day).
Saving a few minutes of my time would be nice, but there would be no cost savings for you the client.
 
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  • #25
Thank you very much for your very helpful and detailed explanation @Simon47 - very kind of you. It explains why Wylex's NMX unit (which has all rounded corners to replicate a plastic unit) is only available in a few select ways.
Thanks also to @davesparks and @spinlondon for your added follow ups which have also been most helpful.

I am grateful for the advice and threads on this forum which will enable me to make a better, informed choice going forward - thank you.
 

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