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  • Home electrical consumer unit and rewire – what do I need to know?
  • Get the sockets right now if you think you might need more. We seem to have ever more things to plug in so it’s next to impossible to have “enough” that you never need some trailing multi blocks but what you can do is get sockets in all the places in a room you might want to plug something in.

    Get some properly thick cables run out the kitchen for future use. Induction hobs really need a 10mm supply of their own. Modern ovens need a 6mm supply (too much power for a 13A plug)

    csb
    Member

    We have issues – downstairs ‘sockets’ electricity tripped last week, fault somewhere means we now have a bodged few sockets on a radial (removing the ring) and most sockets donstairs unuseable. Lights and upstairs sockets OK.

    Electrician saying we need a new consumer box and a bit of a rewire to regain the sockets. Not in a position to disagree.

    Damp Victorian house, wont be extending, might need more sockets in future.

    What should we look at for future proofing?

    csb
    Member

    What about the boxes. Do people go with the multiple RCD versions (as opposed to the single RCD which trips all the rest if one circuit has a fault?).

    Being quoted 950 quid for a new box fitting.

    johndoh
    Member

    Being quoted 950 quid for a new box fitting.

    What – just for supply and fit of a consumer unit? That is massively high if it is.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    What about the boxes. Do people go with the multiple RCD versions (as opposed to the single RCD which trips all the rest if one circuit has a fault?).

    Individual RCDs on each circuit (RCBOs) is the best but is more expensive. A split load board with two RCDs is good enough IMO. You can mix up the circuits so you still have some lights and some power even if something trips. I don’t think anyone would fit a unit with only one RCD these days, in fact I don’t think its allowed.

    I’ve got a sort of hybrid with most of the circuits on two RCDs but a couple of choice things (freezer, workshop and outside socket) each on its own MCB/RCBO. That way anything happening outside in the cold and damp shouldn’t effect the rest of the house and the freezer stays on pretty much no matter what. I’m happy with that

    We paid £1500 for I think 13 sockets added to existing ring mains and a new unit, in Berkshire. A fair number of the sockets were deliberately positioned to make the electricians life easy though, e.g on the other side of the wall from existing sockets which kept the amount of work sensible.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Being quoted 950 quid for a new box fitting.

    Can’t be right, a consumer unit is about £60 in Screwfix and would only take a few hours to wire up..

    timba
    Member

    Shouldn’t be too difficult to fault-find the ring circuit.
    Consumer unit is a good idea, however, I’d consider another quote.

    Damp Victorian house

    In what way is it damp? Wet brickwork will rust steel backboxes if they’re mounted direct

    dave_rudabar
    Member

    For reference, I have just paid approx £500 for supply & fit of a new normal/basic MK distribution unit. There weren’t any problems with circuits though so it was a simple job. That’s in Somerset.

    DT78
    Member

    As part of a major rewire I’ve been quoted 300 + vat for the consumer unit, with 60 + vat for each double socket and 65 + vat for light switch. All cheap white plastic stuff. Probably cost a bit more if just the consumer unit in isolation. All our stuff should be easy to get to.

    Borrowed neutrals (common with lights on landings) and circuits needing to be split will add costs.

    Can’t be right, a consumer unit is about £60 in Screwfix and would only take a few hours to wire up..

    I don’t know what you’re looking at but a decent quality box with some space to expand (so 10 way or more) is over £100. Add a bit more if you’re going to put some rcbos

    johndoh
    Member

    I don’t know what you’re looking at but a decent quality box with some space to expand (so 10 way or more) is over £100. Add a bit more if you’re going to put some rcbos

    But still – £950. Even if you spend £200 on a top of the range CU that is still £750 labour which is ridiculous (unless it is a particularly complex installation job). And OP doesn’t say whether there is VAT on top of that £950 either.

    Stuart
    Member

    Can’t tell if hes being sarcastic or not…

    It should usually take up to half a day to actually wire it in place depending on the water and gas bonding and if any cabling needs extending etc. And the other half of the day to test and inspect the rest of the wiring, I usually leave half a day for this as you don’t know exactly whats involved until you take it apart and start testing.
    A lot of cowboys will skip the second half and as long as the RCD doesn’t trip when they turn it on its job done!
    The consumer units range from £75+, Mains tails and consumables will add £20-30 + any earth bonding?. The rest will be labour so you have to work out what your comfortable to pay someone for a day – in this case £800 + for a days work.

    fish wife
    Member

    Sounds a bit steep just for box alone

    I had new consumer box put in involved bit of chopping out . Mains wired smoke alarms, 5 ceiling spotlights fixed in, gas main earthed, 2 outdoor lights fitted, and oven induction hob and extractor wired in and few other minor things done just to make sure house was safe for a 1000 a month ago

    That’s in York that was 2 blokes working for about 8 hrs

    stevextc
    Member

    As its mostly labour you need to work out which parts you are competent to do.

    Properly putting in the consumer unit is fairly involved… chasing walls and replastering likewise but if your happy to add new spurs then getting suitably thick cabling from the consumer unit and you can extend yourself. (From memory I think this excludes kitchens)

    Again back to labour…. it doesn’t in my book make sense to skimp on the consumer unit when your paying a trained professional a great deal for the installation. (and doing it properly and testing is IMHO worth paying for then you can know what you are extending is safe)

    I’d also say its worth paying a bit extra to actually label the wires …. I had to move mine (without rewiring the incoming as it was just a foot) and when I did I pulled out a few kg of absolutely unused cables that were previously left live (if terminated)

    After that I spent ages cataloging what each wire did and which breaker on the CU. Truth be known i still have some I have no idea where they go…. they are just accidents waiting to happen if I drill into them etc.

    Electrician saying we need a new consumer box and a bit of a rewire to regain the sockets. Not in a position to disagree.

    Being quoted 950 quid for a new box fitting.

    Stuart’s timings seem reasonable – I’m assuming the £950 includes the ‘bit of a rewire’. Whether this is fair completely depends what’s that involves – could easily be a couple of days work once made good.

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