A consumer unit is basically an electrical appliance that you can hang in your garden, garage or on your porch that serves a number of purposes. It is usually connected to the power supply and it helps in creating different electric circuits. A circuit is a set of wires or more commonly, a collection of wires that are connected to produce some electrical output.
The consumer unit consists of several parts like fuse box, input box, main electrical power supply, input wires, and many more. Installation of this equipment may sometimes be confusing and hence the help of a qualified electrician is advisable. There are two types of these electrical appliances. First is load sensitive and second is not load sensitive. Load-sensitive units use circuit breakers to detect the overload whereas non-load sensitive units do not have any such safety device.
Before commencing the installation of a consumer unit you should give importance to various factors like safety of wires, fuse box and insulation. Safety of wires is more important as it helps you prevent fire accident as they are the conducting part of the circuit. The chances of a short-circuit or fire accident are less if the wires are safely attached to the board. Fuse box serves as a safety cover for all the circuits so that they are not damaged during the installation process. The amperage of circuits that is required to be installed in consumer unit greatly depends upon the amperage of the main electric supply.
It is always better to consult an electrician before replacing any part of the electrical system especially if you are unfamiliar with it. A qualified electrician can advise you about the right type of fuse box to be used, the location of its location and what type of protection it has against electrical shock. He can also install a new fuse box on your own.
Many of the circuits in consumer units are susceptible to overloads. In case of some circuits, thermal overload results which causes short-circuits and fire accidents. So, thermal fuses are used in many consumer units. If the existing fuse box or thermal fuse does not have the required amperage, an experienced electrician can replace it with a different type of amperage and fuse box.
Electrical components take a lot of space, so they need proper space for installation. A big Consumer unit will occupy a lot of space. Before commencing the installation process, take around 30 minutes to plan out where you want to place the consumer unit and where you want it to be placed. After you have all the details worked out, it is time to contact a reputed electrical company for installation.
An electrician inspects the Consumer unit and determines the correct amperage needed to handle the electrical load. The fuse box is then mounted to the circuit panel. When the new consumer unit is ready, the electrician disconnects the electrical connection from the circuit panel and slips a new one into place. It takes about three to four hours for the new Consumer unit to be fully installed.
After installing the fuse box and electrical connection, the next step is to install the consumer unit. The Consumer unit consists of a switch, circuit breaker and a contact. The switch controls the power to the circuit breaker supplies power to the switch. Normally, there is only one contact, which is placed at the center top of the consumer unit. The location of the contact ensures that the Consumer unit does not pose any hazard during the operation period.
It is recommended that the Consumer unit should be installed during the winter season. During this time, inclement weather can prevent the process of mounting the units. Electricians use high quality thermal tape to secure the Consumer unit and switch. After the installation is completed, a thermal insulation is also added to the back of the unit to reduce any heat loss. High quality electric wires are also used to ensure that the process is safe and efficient.
Since there is an electrical connection from the Consumer unit to the main switch, it is important to install the wires correctly. The Consumer unit is connected to a main switch through copper strands and high quality wires. If there are mistakes, the Consumer unit will not function properly. For safety purposes, it is highly recommended that a qualified electrician supervises the installation. An electrician who has more than five years experience in the field can also give you advice on how to wire the Consumer unit.
If the wiring in the Consumer unit is not done properly, the wiring may result to short-circuits and accidents. The Consumer units are very useful for domestic and industrial applications; however, the installation of the consumer units is quite different from residential circuits. An expert electrician will always make sure that the wire is correctly insulated and securely mounted in the appropriate location. Most of the consumer units have terminals with three terminals and a fuse box. A fuse box serves to protect the electrical appliances during overloads. Proper insulation and security of the fuse box is very important to prevent accidents.