Knowing a bit about your new home’s electrics will help to keep you and your family safe, and minimise inconvenience if things go wrong.
Getting to know your consumer unit
You might know it as a fuse box – it’s the place where the electricity for your entire home is controlled.
- The position of consumer units and electric meters differs between house and apartment types. You will have been shown the location of these for your own home during your demonstration tour.
- Your consumer unit and electricity meter will often be found near the front door of your house.
- In an apartment the electricity meter may be in a service cupboard outside your door, but your consumer unit will be inside your home, normally near the front door.
- Under the hinged front cover there’s a row of switches, each controlling a different aspect of the electricity in your home.
- Each switch will be labelled to show which area of the home it controls.
- These are known as miniature circuit breakers, or MCBs. You can use them to cut power to a particular appliance or part of your home.
- It’s good practice to turn off power to your lighting circuit when changing a bulb.
- The large ‘main switch’ on the far right can be used to completely isolate the electricity to your home.
- You may notice the row of switches is split into two groups, each ending with a slightly different looking switch and a small button. These are RCDs, devices that immediately cut off the electricity supply if a person comes into contact with a live electrical connection
Knowing what these different switches are for will help you to know what to do in the event of an electrical fault.
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