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Speller's Sparks at his local sports ground in Chilcompton

Your Local Electrician in Shepton Mallet, Somerset
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01761 325 007

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Upgrading Older Consumer Units and RCBOs: What You Need to Know!

Consumer Unit under strain
Consumer Unit under strain
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Do I always need to upgrade my consumer unit when getting new electrical work done?

In this blog I am not going to explain what an RCBO is, or a rewire-able circuit breaker/fuse is, and the reason for this is because it’s been covered here in this blog so if you’re unsure please check it out! This was for work I completed at a property in Bath, but new Consumer Units have been installed Shepton Mallet using the most upto date electrical components such as AFDDs - the video below goes into the different types of Circuit Breaker electricians such as myself install now. 

Below you will find a couple of videos that relate to electrical safety in your home in Shepton Mallet - one is about the role and earth plays and the other about #plug top #safety! More videos and information will be uploaded here soon, so please check back! 

So the answer to the question above is: not necessarily… I’ll explain why! Before I begin, you should be using qualified electricians when conducting any electrical work which requires electrical testing, and when new circuits are involved they should be registered with Napit or the NICEIC so that the work can be submitted to Building Control.

Consumer Units and RCBOs: The Different Types of Electrical Work I do in Shepton Mallet. There are four different types of electrical work that I mainly deal with:


  • New Circuits (Electrical Installation Certificate) - should be Part P Registered Electrician



  • EICRs (Electrical Installation Condition Report - usually requested by homeowners if they’re concerned or Landlords that need a certificate to continue to rent their properties) - should be a qualified electrician


  • Maintenance (no certificates or testing required)

If you have an older consumer unit… one that has old rewireable fuses or one with just Circuit Breakers and no RCD protection then unfortunately this will limit certain types of electrical work that can be carried out, and it’s not as straightforward as adding an RCBO to a consumer unit as in the video here, and the reason is rewireable fuses are well before the time of RCBOs. Things such as additions to circuits, new sockets or additional lighting, basically any alteration to a circuit, including new circuits, you cannot have these completed unless you have RCD protection, the only exception maybe for fixed equipment i.e. radiators.


So, can we get around this? The answer is yes, and no! In the video I explain why in this instance you don’t necessarily need a new Consumer Unit - this is a well known brand and one in which you can find replacement RCBOs, but in older rewireable fuses this wouldn’t be possible, you would need to install an RCD protection outside of the consumer unit - so if you wanted a new socket you would need to use a BS7288 which has an RCD on the socket itself. Any new RCD should also be Type A!! I will discuss what a Type A RCD is in my next blog… it’s quite a big deal for you and your home.

BS7288 RCD Protected Plug Socket

The downside to replacing a circuit breaker (BS 60898) with an RCBO (BS 61009) is that the other circuits still remain unprotected and it’s likely that the older consumer, having been installed to the previous regulations, is plastic and therefore combustible. New Consumer Units installed are metal and will most likely have SPD protection and you should also be offered AFDD protection! If you don't know what the different types of circuit breakers and rcbos are you can watch this video

Speller's Sparks LTD serves all surrounding areas, a radius of 10-15 miles of Chilcompton - watch my welcome video on my Home Page, which will introduce myself (Managing Director of Speller's Sparks) and show you the areas I work in (although I will travel further for the right customer and job). 

Some local work done in-and-around Shepton Mallet:

Speller's Sparks Electrician Background - electricians tools are specifically designed to withstand high voltage and keep you safe!

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Speller's Sparks LTD ("the professional, and local, electrical service with the personal touch"): 

I am your friendly, local electrician, serving all of the BA3 area, Chilcompton, Radstock and ALL surrounding areas… I install anything from extra lighting to garden electrics. If you have any questions please contact by clicking on the green "Request Booking" button for a free, no obligation, quote! Or, email Rich at! OR, call/WhatsApp Rich on 01761 325 007 

Speller's Sparks electrical services - all certification will be provided and this is a snippet of an EIC
Speller's Sparks Logo - your local electrician
Based in Chilcompton (BA3), Serving Shepton Mallet

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Contact Tel: 01761 325 007
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