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Understanding the ins and outs of your fuse box

In most cases, when something goes wrong with your electrics, it’s best to leave it to a qualified professional to rectify. That said, it’s a still good idea to familiarise yourself with your fuse box, just in case you ever need to turn off the electricity in an emergency.

Finding your fuse box

Whether renting a new property or moving into a new home, finding the fuse box should be top of your to-do list once you’re settled. It’s usually found in the hallway, a storage cupboard or garage, and should be easily accessible at all times.

It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3

They may look complicated, but fuse boxes are essentially made up of three things; the main switch, Residual Current Devices, and circuit breakers and / or fuses.

  1. Main switch: Flicking this switch will turn off the electricity supply to your home.
  2. Residual Current Devices (RCDs): Under dangerous conditions, these switches will trip a circuit and instantly disconnect your electricity to prevent electrocution.
  3. Circuit breakers and fuses: If a fault is detected, for example if a lightbulb blows, the circuit breaker will ‘trip’, thus breaking the circuit. Once the fault has been located and fixed, you can simply reset the switch to complete the circuit once again. Alternatively, if your fuse box is older, it may contain fuses – these contain fuse wire which will melt to break the circuit when a fault is detected or the circuit is overloaded. A blown fuse will need to be replaced to complete the circuit once again so it’s best to keep a few spare ones handy.
How do I know if my fuse box needs updating?

Fuse boxes are designed to protect you and your home so it’s important yours is functioning as it should and complies with modern safety standards.

  • If it has a wooden back, cast iron switches, a mixture of fuses and no RCD, it’s probably over 50 years old so will definitely need replaced.
  • It was commonplace for fuse boxes from this era to contain asbestos, which we now know to be extremely harmful – another reason to update your fuse box.
  • As well as a visual inspection of the fuse box, your lighting and appliances might also display some tell-tale signs that it’s time to upgrade your fuse box; flickering lights or unresponsive sockets can be clear indicators that your fuse box is deteriorating.
Why choose C Squared Electrical?

It’s important to note that if your electrics are very out of date, and therefore potentially dangerous, there may be more work required than simply updating the fuse box. Here at C Squared Electrical, we always carry out extensive checks of existing wiring before undertaking any work on a fuse box, so you can be sure there’ll be no nasty surprises when it comes to the bill.

We also pride ourselves on our meticulous fault-finding processes and will always check that the existing bonding and earthing is up to standard. We will also issue you with a copy of the Electrical Installation Certificate to give you peace of mind that all work carried out fully complies with modern safety regulations.

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of updating your fuse box, get in touch with the experts at C Squared Electrical for your free, no-obligation quote.

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