Average Cost to Replace a Fusebox
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Prices Updated For 2021
Fuseboxes and their modern counterpart, the consumer unit, are key safety features of every home and are designed to cut the supply of electricity in the event of a fault.
Old fuseboxes contain small wires which snap when a surge of electricity is detected, they aren’t particularly sensitive but once the fuse has blown, it needs to be replaced with a new one.
Modern consumer units have a switch making them more user-friendly. Consumer units are also more sensitive, can cut the supply of electricity instantly, and have more channels, meaning you won’t lose power to your entire home if there’s a fault in just one area.
But how much does it cost to rip out and remove an old fusebox or outdated unit and install a new consumer that meets the current regulations and standards?
Keep reading to see how much we think it will cost you, we also look at the cost of the materials, how long it normally takes to replace a fusebox and some unexpected costs you may incur.
We contacted 32 electricians in 2021 and provided them with photos of our existing fusebox and details about our electrics and the property’s age. We then asked for a price to replace the old fusebox with a new consumer unit.
The property in question was a 2-bed rental, and it was brought to our attention (via an electrical safety inspection report) that the fusebox doesn’t meet the current regulations. As the landlord was legally required to upgrade the fusebox to a compliant consumer unit, this seemed like a good time to update our guide to the cost of replacing a fusebox that we originally published in 2014.
We also asked our chosen electricians questions about the installation and any extra work that might need to be costed.
Project 1 – Cost to Replace an Outdated Unit With a New Consumer Unit
Our property was a 2-bed home with an outdated unit that didn’t meet the current regulations, as the property was a rental, the landlord was legally obliged to have it upgraded.
This type of installation is fairly common and straight-forward, the property is around 30 years old, and apart from the unit and an outdated light in the bathroom, the electrics were in good condition.
Below you’ll see an average price, this is calculated from the figures given to us by the electricians and is displayed by region:
|South, SW and Midlands||£475||£575|
|Outer Region and North||£350||£450|
Project 2 – Replace an Old Fusebox With a Modern Consumer Unit
Fuseboxes (as in those with physical fuses you can pull out and replace) are often found in older homes with very outdated electrics, and in many cases, the customer will need more than just the box replaced.
Most of our chosen 32 electricians told us that before an old fusebox can be replaced, an electrical safety inspection should be conducted to determine if the new consumer unit will function properly with the older electrics.
When pressed, we were told that the average cost to carry out such an inspection is between £150 for a smaller home and up to £350 for a larger property.
It’s worth noting that without a safety test, there is no guarantee that the new consumer unit will function correctly as it may trip frequently. The consumer will then have to pay for unexpected electrical upgrades to the wiring and possibly the fittings too.
Below is the average price to conduct an electrical safety test and upgrade the old fusebox in a 2-bed home to a modern consumer unit. It doesn’t include any extra remedial work that could’ve been picked up in the safety inspection.
|South, SW and Midlands||£750||£950|
|Outer Region and North||£550||£650|
The Prices Above Exclude the Following:
The prices shown on this page do not include any of the following:
- Relocating or moving the box from its original location.
- Moving the incoming supply cables.
- The installation of or changes to earthing and bonding within the home to meet building regulations. Any issues here should’ve been highlighted in the safety report and quoted for if needed, hence why it’s a good idea to have this check done if your property is old.
- Any upgrade works to electrical installations away from the consumer unit.
The Prices Above Do Include:
The prices on this page are for standard consumer unit installations and include:
- Removal of the old box or unit.
- Installation of the new consumer unit.
- Testing of all the circuits.
- The issuing of certificates and registration of the work with the local authority to meet part P of the regulations.
Factors That Affect The Cost of a New Fusebox/Consumer Unit
These factors can increase the cost of replacing a fusebox or old consumer unit:
- The age of the property.
- Additions or alterations to the original wiring in the home.
- The size of the property.
- If you want the unit relocated.
- The type of unit.
- Any extra electrical work.
- An electrical inspection (almost certainly required if your property is old).
Can An Old Fusebox In An Old House Be Replaced With a New Consumer Unit?
When electricians upgrade fuseboxes and old consumer units, they must be sure that each circuit from the unit is safe and meets a minimum safety requirement. That doesn’t mean the entire house has to meet the same standard as a new-build home, but it must meet a minimum safety standard.
To give you an example, should an electrician install a consumer unit, he must make sure that the circuit to the bathroom (a known danger area due to moisture) is safe, that means light fittings, light cords and extractor fans must be safe and up to a certain standard. The earthing should also be checked and upgraded if necessary.
To answer whether a new consumer can be fitted to an old house; yes but how much the extra work will cost depends on the existing installation. In some cases, only minor upgrades might be needed while for some older homes, it might be better to rewire the entire house.
How Long Does it Take to Replace a Fusebox?
We know from experience that it takes around half a day to replace an old consumer unit with a new one.
How long it takes to replace an old-style fusebox in an old house will depend on how much extra work is required but expect the work to take at least a day.
Where Can I Get a Price Online For a New Fusebox/Consumer Unit?
Tap the button below and fill in the form with details of your location and your electrical project.
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Fuseboxes and Consumer Units
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Fusebox and Consumer Unit FAQs
Below you’ll find answers to common fusebox and consumer unit installation questions:
When Were These Prices Published?
We sourced prices to remove a fusebox and replace it with a consumer unit in early February 2021.
I Think That Your Prices are Wrong, Inaccurate Etc, How Do I Let You Know?
We are often asked this question.
Please bear in mind that the fusebox/consumer unit prices we’ve suggested are based on quotes from a sample of firms and individuals from various UK locations.
Prices fluctuate all the time, and you may find them different from the figures we have published.
Our prices are a snapshot of what a select number of electricians charge at publication time.
Do also consider that every project is different, and while some installations go smoothly and quickly, some take much longer and are more complicated.
What's the Difference Between a Fusebox and a Consumer Unit?
A fusebox holds fuses that contain a wire which burns out when too much electricity is passed through it. When a fault occurs, the fuse blows and needs to be replaced.
A consumer unit contains devices that are far more sensitive and monitor the electrical current more precisely. When a surge or fault is detected, they automatically switch off the electricity to that circuit. Once the fault is repaired, you can flip the switch, and your electricity comes back on.
What is Bonding and Earthing?
Earthing is a cable that takes electricity from a fault into the ground where it can disperse. Bonding is where a part of your gas pipe and water pipe (if made from metal) is also connected to the ground, so they don’t become electrified due to a fault.
Earthing and bonding should be checked before the installation of a new consumer unit. This is usually done as part of an overall inspection of the electrics prior to any major work commencing.
Who Can Replace a Fusebox?
This type of work is notifiable meaning your local authority must be notified of the work. This can be done by an electrician who is part of a registered scheme; this allows them to self-certify their work. Qualified electricians who are not part of a scheme will need to notify building control before work commences. The authority may instruct an independent electrician to inspect the work; a fee will be charged for this service.
Can I Install a Consumer Unit DIY?
You can legally carry out any work in your property except to gas installations.
However, should you install a consumer unit yourself you would first need to notify building control prior to the work starting, and they will ask about your qualifications and experience. If you aren’t or have never been a qualified electrician, they will almost certainly want to have the work inspected, a cost you will have to cover.
In reality, the cost of the materials and the inspection will be about the same as it costs to get a qualified electrician to do the work and self-certify it with Building Control.
Don’t forget that replacing a unit isn’t just a case or removing an inserting a few wires, all the circuits need to checked and tested with dedicated equipment that you would probably need to hire at more cost.
It’s worth noting that most home insurance policies exclude claims resulting from DIY work to gas or electrics.
Where Can I Get a Custom Price to Replace a Fusebox Online?
We have partnered with Rated People who have hundreds of qualified and rated electricians on their books who can help you with your project.
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Visit our electrical price guide to see how much electricians are charging for other projects inside and outside the home.
Landlords in England must get the electrics in their rental properties inspected every 5 years, it’s also a good idea for domestic homeowners to have theirs checked every now and again.
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I’m an electrician working in the south of the UK and your prices are about right, I charge about £500 to install a new consumer unit. Having previously worked in Scotland, I can confirm that the prices local electricians are charging up there is much less than us down near London.
Thanks, your prices were spot on and your tips saved me £££!!!
Why only rely on three or four quotes for comparison? This website called Quotation Check gathered prices from hundreds of firms for various home improvement tasks and published their findings online.
A very enlightening insight into how much specialists are charging for home repairs, maintenance and improvements in the UK. Try [Quotation Check]
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