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Discuss FIRST HOME - Help with new Consumer Unit in the Electrical Forum area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. DaniQ
    Offline

    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth
    My partner and I bought our first house a week ago. We don't have much DIY experience but we are determined to learn and do as much work as we can to save cost.

    The house is a 3bed an ex-council house built in 1959 and needs a complete refurbishment.

    The existing CU is not too old (pvc wires) but we have to add sockets, electric shower...and we prefer to get it upgraded. Please see photos.

    I have had an electrician having a look a few hours ago. He said he can move the CU 180 degrees facing the hall with the length of the existing cables. He quoted me £250 for moving the CU, including new CU.

    He said he could install the following CU:
    http://www.screwfix.com/p/british-g...dual-rcd-consumer-unit/2920g?_requestid=39295

    If I replace it I would like to get a good quality one with space for more modules and individual ring per floor for the lights and sockets, 2 sockets outside, an electric shower, induction cooker, oven...

    I am thinking something Like:
    RCD 1
    32A Upstairs Ring Main
    6A Upstairs lights
    6A Smoke Detector
    16A????? Immersion heater - in case the gas boiler fails

    RCD 2
    32A Kitchen Ring Main
    32A Downstairs Ring Main
    6A Downstairs Lights
    45A Cooker

    Do you think I could reuse the RCBOs from my current CU for the new one :
    RCBO 1
    Electric Shower (9-10kw)

    RCBO 2
    Outside sockets or kitchen sockets


    My questions are:

    1. Could you recommend a better Consumer Unit?

    2. Would it be to much work and too expensive to split the existing ring socket and lights per floor? Or should just leave as it is?

    3. What do you think about using the RCBO for shower and outside or kitchen socket?

    4. Could you please arrange the two RCDs in a better way?

    5. Do you think the MCD specs are OK (amps)?

    6. What do you think about this job for £250?

    Thank you very much. We are quite stressed wih the refurbishment and your help would be much appreciated.

    1.JPG

    2.JPG
     
  2. Murdoch
    Offline

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Your fuse board can be considered obsolete So replacing it with a new unit is the way forward and it's highly unlikely that any posts from the old unit would fit a new unit.

    As for the price, I would say it's on the low side... Considering it should include a full rest of the existing unit , production of the EIC and part p if you are in England or Wales

    As for splitting the house into more circuits, this may not be possible without considerable work.

    Maybe get another quote.

    Edit. I now remember your earlier posts...... So consider all the options, and prices before you start
     
  3. davesparks
    Offline

    davesparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    guildford
    My advice would be not to have an electric shower, they are inferior to a proper plumbed in shower with a hot and cold water feed, this way you can have thermostatic control and a pumped feed for a good pressure. Electric showers are notoriously unreliable and rarely give good performance.

    Plus of course having the biggest electricity supply in the house terminated just above the bath and in the same cheap plastic box as a mains water feed really doesn't sound like a good idea.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  4. Murdoch
    Offline

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Just to add a dual rcd cu with just 5 circuits means you would lose 2 or 3 circuits if a rcd trips.... Ask about RCBO boards...
     
  5. Richard Burns
    Offline

    Richard Burns Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Business Name:
    Richard Burns
    The consumer unit you link to is fine as the circuits stand at the moment, but if you wanted to split up circuits and add circuits then you would want a larger consumer unit.
    Any of the main manufacturers consumer units should be OK.
    Hager, Wylex, MK, Crabtree, BG, MEM, Schneider, Lewden.

    Remember a consumer unit change does not cover modifying or adding any circuits, this is a completely different job.

    Changing a circuit that is spread over two floors into two circuits one on each floor would very often mean just rewiring the entire circuit into two circuits from scratch, if you were very lucky with the current wiring layout you might be able to just split the circuit up into two but generally (especially if you are already adding sockets) the rewire of the circuits is the easiest option.
    A lighting circuit is often more straightforward to separate out than a socket circuit.

    The existing parts that you have are obsolete and reusing them would not be a good idea or particularly cheaper.

    Generally a dual RCD consumer unit is split up so that lights and sockets on the same floors are separated, a downstairs ring would be separated from a kitchen ring the boiler and immersion heater would be separated.
    These separations are so that if one side fails there is still some electric power on each floor/ a way to heat water, etc. on the other side.
    Your proposed split does not do this, ask your electrician for advice on that one, you have also not listed the central heating circuit which you would need.
    Using an all RCBO consumer unit would avoid these splitting problems but would cost more to install.

    The MCB ratings are standard except a cooker would usually be 32A.

    £250 is very cheap for a consumer unit change and relocation.
     
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  6. westward10
    Offline

    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    Did you not post a very similar thread a few weeks ago about moving the consumer unit AND service head?
     
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  7. NDG Elecs
    Online

    NDG Elecs Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Tyne and Wear
    I have stopped using the BG boards due to numerous problems with them over the past year or so. I have gone back to using Hager.

    Splitting the RFC and lights is a good idea if possible. But it may not be that easy, and there are unknown aspects about the best way to do it, so it would be hard to price. There may well be two circuits on that lighting MCB so it could be split already without you realising.

    RCD protection on showers is a must. I don't know of any manufacturers that will not state that.

    Let the spark decide on the individual cct details in relation to current rating.

    £250.00 is too cheap in my view.
     
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  8. SJD
    Offline

    SJD Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Braccan heal
    For £250, I'd be very surprised if everything (or even anything) is going to be tested (which it all should be).
     
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  9. DaniQ
    Offline

    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth
    Thank you for all youur answers.

    Could you please explain me what you mean with?

    "Using an all RCBO consumer unit would avoid these splitting problems but would cost more to install."

    Thank you
     
  10. DaniQ
    Offline

    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth

    At the moment I have an old gas boiler with a small immersion tank. Then If I have a bath the next person would have to wait the water to heat. Also If I connect a Pumped Electric Shower to the water tank in the loft that supplies the water to the boiler I could have person having a bath and another having a shower downstairs at the same time. Please correct me if I am wrong.
     
  11. NDG Elecs
    Online

    NDG Elecs Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Tyne and Wear
    It means that in the event of a certain type of fault you would only lose the one circuit affected, and not 4-5 circuits that go through one RCD.
    RCBO boards are more expensive as the individual RCBOs cost around £25 each. RCBO board costs around £300, whereas a dual RCD board around a £100.

    Agree with DS that a shower off the boiler is much better than an electric shower. I have done myself out of work a couple of times recommending this instead of a new shower circuit.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  12. DaniQ
    Offline

    DaniQ EF Member

    Location:
    Perth
    The guy was an electrician in Poland and had to go to college here to get the certificate? I am not fully sure if he can do an official test after... Hopefully he will test everything.
     
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  13. SJD
    Offline

    SJD Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Braccan heal
    If you have a consumer unit changed, it is notifiable to building control. Usually done by the electrician via scheme membership (NICEIC, ELECSA, etc.). There is a good chance your work was not going to be notified, which would be a problem if/when you come to sell and the buyer wants the paperwork. Or in the event of some major problem, like a fire, when this might be requested by the insurer.
     
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  14. westward10
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    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    Your last thread in the same vain ran to over thirty posts with experienced electricians giving their opinion. A few weeks later you come back saying you have found some chancer who is not only going to replace your consumer unit but also relocate it for a mere £250 and now you want more advise, not from me.
     
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  15. Vortigern
    Offline

    Vortigern Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    England
    Business Name:
    F.H. Electrical
    You have stated you are new to this kind of building work and I fear you are going to go over budget and get very stressed about it all. If it aint broke don't fix it. If you are starting from scratch, rewire the whole house and get it the way you want it. Do not go for half measures it will be more expensive in the long run. If you cannot afford to rewire to the spec. get a report on the condition of existing wiring to see what needs to be done. I would not even get out of bed to change a consumer unit for £250.00. Unless you realistically have the money to refurb I suggest you don't go there it will end in tears.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
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