Published in Which? 18 September 2014
Which? asked Peter Evans (Hay Electrics) for his advice on updating household fuseboxes.
Member question: My house was built in 1965 and I need to update its fusebox. How much will this cost, and will I need to prove that a Part P-registered electrician did the job when it comes to selling the house?
A new consumer unit (fusebox) costs between £100 and £150. As well as changing the fusebox, the electrical installation also has to be tested to ensure that it is operating correctly and the installation is safe. Depending on the number of electrical circuits and electrical points, this testing can take longer than fitting the new unit.
A quote should cover the cost of the materials, installation labour and a labour charge for the testing. We normally complete the testing before the old fusebox is removed to facilitate any necessary remedial work before starting on the replacement.
The testing results are recorded on an Electrical Installation Certificate and a copy is given to the client. The Part P electrician will also log the works with the Local Building Control – you should receive a letter from the relevant registered electrical body (NICEIC, ELECSA, etc) to confirm this.
- There is no regulatory reason to have an ‘old’ fusebox replaced with a new consumer unit. An Electrical Installation Condition Report will confirm if it is safe and can function correctly.
- Replacing a fusebox is deemed a ‘one-way’ type of work – the old one cannot be re-installed if the installation goes wrong.
- For the purpose of issuing the Electrical Installation Certificate, adequate earthing of the incoming services (gas, water, oil pipes) have to be considered, hence the pre-inspection testing.