Are old fuseboxes dangerous

Have you recently moved home and into an older house or have you lived in the same house for many years?

In these circumstances, it’s worth looking at the current electrical set up your home has, to make sure that it’s safe. In this article, we explain why it might be necessary and how safe, or not, your current fuse box is.

Why would my fuse box be out of date?

A lot has happened with technology in the last 20 years, and we don’t necessarily mean with fuseboxes. WiFi has gone from not existing to being on 24/7 in many homes while multiple devices have meant the need for an ever-growing number of sockets in the home.

Smart TVs and other gadgets are being added to the new ‘interconnected home’ - many of them wireless and many requiring power or charging through USB sockets. While mobile phones have become not just an everyday part of our lives, but for many of us, they require charging on a daily basis.

These changes have meant that there have been new regulations and new fuseboxes have been designed to make our homes safer.

RCD protection

In 2015, a new law was passed requiring RCD protection for all sockets in a building. We won’t go into the details of the law or how an RCD works but effectively, a fuse box must have an RCD switch that automatically turns off the power if there is a fault to protect you and your home.

Imagine, for example, if you touch a bare wire by accident. The RCD switch will cut the power immediately, potentially saving your life. Unfortunately, some fuse boxes in the past didn’t have RCDs that protect all power fuses and while some fuse boxes were acceptable when they were installed, the increasing number of sockets and power required in a home has meant they have become outdated.

Note: While RCDs make a huge improvement to safety, it doesn’t take away the need to be careful and act safely!

Having the right capacity

The way we use electricity today isn’t uniform. We might use very little electricity during the day but the minute we arrive home from work the lights, TV, electric cooker and a whole range of other gadgets and appliances are switched on - and while devices have become more economical with power-saving features, this surge along with the increasing number of devices has increased.

Added to this, if your home has had any extensions or building work done then it’s possible that the power requirement has gone up while the capacity of your fusebox has remained the same.

Some installations also require higher rating amps including electric car charging points, jacuzzis and power showers. If you are considering any of these then a qualified electrician will be able to advise if any changes are needed to your fusebox.

Checking if you need a new fusebox

Not having high enough amp rating on fuses (in other words, requiring more power than a fuse has the capacity for) or not having full RCD protection can be dangerous. You can check if your fusebox has RCD protection by looking to see if there is a button marked ‘T’ or ‘Test’. Determine if this covers all of the fuses in your fusebox.

If you have any concerns at all then we recommend having a qualified electrician do a check. They will be able to quickly asses the current situation and advise if you need to have any changes made including the possibility of a new fusebox.

At iRewire, we have many years of proven experience rewiring homes and updating fuseboxes. We are happy to help with advising you further. If you have any questions or concerns, get in touch by calling FREE on 0800 788 0629 or read more about fuseboards

Never take risks with old fuseboards

Electrical faults are dangerous and if you cannot identify the source, then call a trained electrician. Safety around the home is paramount, call iRewire and take no chances.

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