The benefits of upgrading to a modern fuse board

  • 3rd March 2023

The fuse board is a vital but perhaps forgotten piece of equipment in most households and premises.  It’s easy to overlook the condition of your fuse board, but modern life, with all its gadgets and requirements, could mean an older fuse board is no longer reliable.  And while it may not seem immediately pressing, having a fuse board that’s fit for purpose is crucial. Reliability along with safety and improved efficiency are all benefits of upgrading to a modern fuse board.

What is a fuse board?

A fuse board is an essential component of any building's electrical system and is responsible for ensuring the safety and proper functioning of the electrical circuits in the building.

A fuse board is connected to the electrical utility supply and is the main distribution point for electrical circuits in a building. It contains the electrical fuses or circuit breakers that protect the electrical circuits from overloading and short-circuits.

Your electrical wires run from the fuse board to various parts of the building and to different electrical appliances, such as lights, sockets, and appliances.

When an electrical circuit is overloaded, the fuse or circuit breaker associated with that circuit trips, breaking the electrical connection and preventing a potential fire or other safety hazard. The fuse or circuit breaker can then be reset once the cause of the overload is corrected.

How does a fuse board work?

Your fuse board contains either fuses or circuit breakers that are designed to trip when the electrical current flowing through the circuit exceeds a certain level.

When an electrical circuit is overloaded, the flow of current increases, causing the fuse or circuit breaker to heat up. If the flow of current continues to increase, the heat generated by the fuse or circuit breaker will eventually cause it to melt or trip, breaking the electrical connection and stopping the flow of current. The electrical appliance or circuit that it’s attached to will stop working.

To restore power to the circuit, you’ll need to replace the blown fuse or reset the tripped circuit breaker.

By monitoring the flow of current through the electrical circuits in this way, your fuse board acts as a safety device, providing critical protection to the electrical system in your home or building.

What can go wrong with a fuse board?
  • Overloading is one of the most common problems with a fuse board. When too many electrical appliances are used simultaneously, the flow of current in the circuit can increase, causing the fuse to blow or the circuit breaker to trip. An older fuse board may not be able to reliably handle the increased demands of modern appliances and energy needs.
  • Over time, your fuse board can become outdated, and the components can deteriorate. This can lead to issues such as arcing and sparking, which can be a fire hazard.
  • When wires are not securely connected to your fuse board the loose connections can cause a spark and result in a fire.
  • Old or faulty fuses can blow more frequently or not trip at all, leaving the electrical circuit unprotected. This can be a fire hazard and can also damage electrical appliances.
  • Circuit breakers can trip for a variety of reasons, including overloading, short-circuits, and aging. When a circuit breaker trips, it can be difficult to determine the cause without professional assistance.
  • Electrical surges can occur due to lightning strikes, power outages, or other factors. These surges can damage the fuse board and the electrical appliances connected to it.

It's important to have your fuse board inspected regularly by a qualified electrician. This way you’ll know it’s functioning properly. An inspection can also identify any electrical repairs that are needed before they become more serious – and more costly.

Regular maintenance and repairs will also help to extend the life of your fuse board and ensure the safety of your electrical system.

Upgrading to a modern fuse board

Your home needs energy. And as the electrical system in your home is one of the most important and complex systems in your home it's critical that it functions properly. A modern fuse board is a crucial piece and upgrading to a new one can bring numerous benefits:

  • Improved safety: Modern fuse boards are designed with safety as a top priority and come with a number of features that increase the overall safety of your electrical system. For example, a residual current device (RCD) trips the circuit in the event of an electrical fault, reducing the risk of electrical fires and electrocution
  • Increased efficiency: Replacing your old fuse board with a modern one can help optimise the distribution of electricity in your home, increasing the efficiency of your electrical system. With a smart fuse board, you can even monitor and control your energy usage remotely.
  • Enhanced reliability: Modern fuse boards are made with high-quality materials and are less likely to fail. This reduces the risk of power outages and electrical surges that can cause damage to your appliances and electronics.
  • Easier maintenance: With a modern fuse board, maintenance and troubleshooting are much easier and less time-consuming. Some come with built-in diagnostic features that can quickly identify any issues, making it easier to fix problems and keep your electrical system running smoothly.
Does it need replacing?

Whether or not your fuse board needs to be replaced depends on a few factors, for example:

  • If your fuse board is more than 40 years old, it may be outdated and in need of replacement.
  • Your fuse board may need to be replaced with a modern or larger panel if you are making upgrades to your electrical system, such as adding new appliances or circuits.
  • If your fuse board is showing signs of wear and tear, such as arcing, sparking, or melted fuses, it may need to be replaced for safety reasons.

Also, over time regulations change and your fuse board may no longer match current advice. New regulations came into force in June 2020 to improve safety in homes. These are particularly relevant if you are a private landlord.

Final thoughts

It's important to have your fuse board inspected regularly by a qualified electrician, who can assess its condition and recommend any necessary repairs or replacements. Updating an outdated or unsafe fuse board can improve the safety and efficiency of your electrical system and prevent potential fire hazards. 

At Able Group we offer a range of electrical services and our qualified electricians are available weekdays or weekends too. Our fully trained electricians are on call 24 hours a day, for both emergency responses and non-emergency visits, at a time that suits you. All our electrical contractors are fully qualified and approved electricians and based locally.

We also have expert engineers in the seven trades, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ready to help with any problems that may arise.

Do you think your fuse board might need updating? Give us a call on 0330 108 4111 and we’ll arrange for one of our electricians to visit.

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