A consumer unit (or fuse box) is an integral safety feature of your home’s electrical wiring – designed to protect you from electrical hazards, such as fires and shocks. It contains residual current device (RCD) protection, which works by constantly monitoring the flow of electrical currents and instantly switching off the circuit if it detects an error (for example, if someone touches a live part of a wire by mistake). When this happens, the consumer unit trips and causes your home’s electrics to turn off temporarily. Once you’ve found the problem, you can turn the electrics back on by flicking the switch that is out of line on the fuse board.
If your consumer unit trips, there are only a handful of reasons why this might have happened. Here are three of them. Of course, if you are worried about your home’s electrical wiring, it’s a good idea to contact a Part P-registered electrician for expert advice.
An electrical item is faulty
The main reason for a tripping consumer unit is that there is a fault with an electrical item in your home. This could be a larger item like a fridge, tumble dryer or washing machine, or a small device like a bedside lamp, iron or a set of hair straighteners. If you know which item is causing the consumer unit to trip, you should turn it off and unplug it immediately, and contact an electrician to take a look at it. If you’re not sure which item is tripping the unit, you could try each item in isolation. If an electrical item is causing the consumer unit to trip, it is always advisable to stop using that item until you have gained a professional’s opinion.
There is a faulty circuit
Another reason for your consumer unit tripping is that an electrical circuit within your home is faulty. This could be a circuit leading to your home’s lighting, for example, or to your plug sockets. These are controlled by circuit breakers within your consumer unit. If a circuit breaker has shut off a particular circuit, an electrician can help you rectify the issue.
Your wiring isn’t up to standard
If your unit keeps tripping, it might be that your wiring has not been upgraded to cope with the demands of modern living – as in, the need to be able to use multiple appliances, such as a TV, washing machine, phone charger and hair dryer, all at the same time. Indeed, if your electrics haven’t been looked at since before 2005 (when Part P of the Building Regulations was introduced), they might not meet the necessary standards, and should be upgraded as soon as possible.
It is so important to make sure your wiring is up to standard. We recently attended a property in Belvedere that required urgent rewiring due to a major fault with old wiring that was extremely unsafe.
Here at MD Bespoke Solutions, our expert electricians can help detect the cause of your tripping consumer unit. Contact us today to find out more.