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Last edited 30 Dec 2022
|A particular type of distribution board comprising a type-tested co-ordinated assembly for the control and distribution of electrical energy, principally in domestic premises, incorporating manual means of double pole isolation on the incoming circuit(s) and an assembly of one or more fuses, circuit breakers, residual current operated devices or signalling and another control devices proven during the type-test of the assembly as suitable for such use.|
Successive evolutions of BS 7671 over the last few decades have seen the requirements for consumer units grow substantially – not only in what they may house, but also their construction – particularly in recent years with regards to increased fire safety.
The most recent version of BS 7671 in 2018 (the 18th Edition) now imposes much greater emphasis on ensuring that all such equipment that may be housed in such a consumer unit, often to fulfil specific individual purposes, is properly considered with respect to how it performs alongside other equipment in its vicinity. This will include attributes such as thermal performance, magnetic effects, fixing details and terminations, ability to withstand fault levels as well as current carrying capacity.
NB Housing statistics and English Housing Survey, glossary, published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in 2019, states: ‘…in older systems, each individual electrical circuit was fed through an individual switch and fuse box. From 1960s through to the 1980s, fuses were collected together into a small number of smaller boxes, normally with a switch on the front which controlled all the circuits leading to the box. These boxes were normally fitted with a cover, the removal of which gave access to the fuses hidden inside. From the early 1980s, the newly named consumer unit (some dwellings have 2) catered for the whole dwelling and was also designed to accommodate modern safety measures namely circuit breakers and residual current devices.’
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- The Future of Electricity in Domestic Buildings.
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