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Benefits Of Modern Consumer Units
A new modern fuse box greatly decreases the risk of fire in the house due to its ability to detect wiring faults and disconnect the electricity before any heat builds up.
RCD’s: Modern fuseboxes incorporate RCD’s (Residual Current Device), a safety device designed to protect against personal electric shock. These trip when a circuit overloads, protecting the wiring from burning out and your family from nasty electrical shocks.
Circuit Breakers: In the event of an electrical wiring fault the circuit breakers will trip whereas in the old type of fusebox there is the potential that the electricity supply would stay connected until a fire occurs. The built in circuit breakers will trip within 40 millionths of a second if you accidentally touch any live cables, this will save the life of the person touching them.
Fuse Box Upgrades:
Many older fuse boxes use a piece of fuse wire which is designed to burn out under load.
The wires needs replacing every time they are overloaded or become brittle and break due to everyday usage.
If you have a fuse box like those shown on this page you could benefit from an upgrade to a new modern consumer unit (fuse box) with circuit breakers instead of fuse wire and RCD's for additional protection.
A Residual Circuit Device (RCD) protects by constantly monitoring the current flowing in the live and neutral wires supplying a circuit or an individual item of equipment.
Under normal circumstances, the current flowing in the two wires is equal.
When an earth leakage occurs due to a fault in the circuit or an accident with the equipment, an imbalance occurs and this is detected by the RCD, which automatically cuts off the power before injury or damage can result.
A Circuit Breaker (MCB) has two automatic disconnect devices, as well as magnetic coil which detects overcurrent, it also contains a bimetallic strip which the current passes through.
The two metals are chosen so that as they heat up in response to the current flowing, as the temperature raises the strip curls, if a large enough current flows disconnection occurs.
This thermal type of circuit has the added benefit of detecting even small overloads.
The ease of re-tripping MCB's as opposed to re-wiring a blown fuse wire and the additional protection in a new consumer unit gives you peace of mind and safety that far outweigh the cost of replacement.
For more Electrical Safety information and advice please visit the Electrical Safety Council website.
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