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Fuse Box/Consumer Unit Information

A distribution board (also known as panelboard, breaker panel, electric panel, DB board or DB box) is a component of an electricity supply system that divides an electrical power feed into subsidiary circuits while providing a protective fuse or circuit breaker for each circuit in a common enclosure. Normally, a main switch, and in recent boards, one or more residual-current devices (RCDs) or residual current breakers with overcurrent protection (RCBOs) are also incorporated.

Distribution Board Services

In the United Kingdom, a distribution board designed for domestic installations is known as a consumer unit or Fuse Box. In the United Kingdom, BS 7671 defines a Consumer unit as " A particular type of distribution board comprising a type tested coordinated assembly for the control and distribution of electrical energy, principally in domestic premises..." These installations usually have single-phase supplies at 230 V (nominal standard) and historically they were known as fuse boxes as older consumer units used fuses until the advent of mini-circuit breakers (MCBs). A normal new domestic CU used as a main panel might have from 6 to 24 ways for devices (some of which might occupy two ways), and will be split into two or more sections (e.g. a non-RCD section for alarms etc., an RCD-protected section for socket outlets, and an RCD-protected section for lighting and other built-in appliances). Secondary CUs used for outbuildings usually have 1 to 4 ways plus an RCD.

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Electrical Fuse Boxes

Recent (pre-17th edition wiring regulations) CUs would not normally have RCD protected sections for anything other than socket outlets, though some older CUs featured RCD Incomers. Before 1990, RCDs (and split busbars) were not standard in CUs.

Fuse Boxes normally use cartridge or rewireable fuses with no other protective device, and basic 4-ways boxes are very common. Some older boxes are made of brown, black Bakelite, sometimes with a wooden base. Although their design is historic, these were standard equipment for new installs as recently as the 1980s, so they are very common. Fuse holders in these boxes may not provide protection from accidental contact with live terminals


The popular 4-way fusebox normally had two lighting and two socket circuits, with heavy or sustained loads such as immersion heater and oven on a socket circuit. This arrangement is not recommended practice today, but it is common for existing installations. Larger boxes with more ways will have separate fuses for large loads such as immersion heater, oven and shower. Source:

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MCS Accredited Solar Panel Installers

Using an MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) accredited installer offers several benefits. Firstly, it ensures that the installer has undergone rigorous training and assessment, demonstrating their competence and knowledge in the installation of renewable energy technologies. This means that you can be confident that the installation will be carried out to a high standard and will comply with all relevant regulations and safety requirements. Additionally, using an MCS accredited installer may make you eligible for financial incentives such as the SEG (smart export guarantee). Finally, choosing an MCS accredited installer can provide peace of mind as the scheme requires installers to offer insurance-backed guarantees on their workmanship and products, providing protection for the customer in the unlikely event of any issues arising.


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