How to Ensure Your Consumer Unit is safe

Like any other aspect of your home, keeping an eye on your consumer unit is essential to ensure it performs well. Sometimes, malfunctions may occur due to regular use and aging or require general maintenance. But how do you tell when your unit needs maintenance when you know nothing about it.

Professional help from a qualified electrician can be one way, but you can also do it yourself with a bit of knowledge and DIY spirit.

In this article, we will look at the tell tales of a consumer unit in need of maintenance and what you need to do to avoid disaster. So before you reset your circuit breaker, keep reading to learn more.

How to Tell Your Unit Requires Repairs

Regular Tripping

Even though your consumer unit is designed to trip whenever there is a power issue with your circuit, it should not be a regular occurrence. While most people tend to reset the breaker without looking for the cause of the trip. This leads to the issue persisting and may cause more damage leading to even more costly repairs.

Cracking Sound From Your Consumer Unit

When a crackling sound comes from your consumer unit, it’s a sign that arcing is taking place. Arcking is when electricity jumps from one connection to another through the air. This is dangerous because it puts your whole system at risk of short-circuiting and can also cause burns to anyone who touches the box.

So if you hear this sound from your unit, drop what you’re doing and call an electrician.

Signs of Thermal Burns or a Burning Smell from a Plastic Consumer Unit Box

If you can see signs of burning or sense a smell of burning plastic emanating from your plastic consumer unit. It’s a sign of something more serious lurking beneath the plastic cover. For example, arcing could be occurring, or a small electric fire from short-circuiting wires could be starting.

You should contact a professional electrician to come to look at it.

What to do to Avoid Misfortune

Periodic Inspections

Having a professional electrician look at the condition of your consumer box regularly will ensure it’s always in the best condition. They can spot issues in advance and make repairs before they turn hazardous.

The law also mandates periodic inspections at different intervals for different property types. So other than being something you should be doing, it will also help you keep up to date with the condition of your electrical installations.

Visually Inspect Your consumer Unit

Make it a habit to open your consumer unit every once in a while and check everything’s condition. If anything seems out of place, notify a professional who can assist you.

RCD Testing

RCD stands for residual current devices. These are the switches responsible for monitoring the electrical current in your system. Once they detect an imbalance in your system, they trip the consumer unit and let you know there is an issue.

Testing to see that they’re still working properly every six months will ensure they keep you and your home safe.