The Fuse Board 101

The fuse board is the heart of your wiring and electrical systems within your home. It’s crucial to your home’s electrical, and without it, you’d be stuck completely stuck.

Because a fuse box is so important, it’s a great idea to try and learn some information about it. This blog post will break down the constituents of your fuse box and what they do. Before you read this, remember that you should never approach your fuse box without feeling confident and comfortable. If you aren’t sure about something, it’s smarter to leave it to the experts like the team at East Kent Electrical.

What Is Your Fuse Box?

A fuse box can also be called a consumer unit, or an electricity board. Fuse boxes play a crucial role in helping to prevent electric shocks and preventing electrical fires. It’s important that you know where it is, and to try and learn what the contents are.

Fuse boxes are often found in utility rooms, under the stairs, hallways, porches, or garages. It’s very important that you can access the box, so when you locate your box make sure you leave space around it. Remember that if the lights go out, you want to be able to find your fuse box in the dark. There’s a small chance that the box will be too high to reach, make sure you have step ladder to hand near it.

Your fuse box will have three key switches, that all serve a different purpose, circuit breakers, RCDs, and the mains switch.

The Mains Switch

The purpose of the mains switch is to turn the electrical supply to your property off. This switch is important to know, so you can turn the electrical supply to your property off, when intended.

Some properties may have more than one switch, this is certainly true if there are multiple fuse boxes in the property. This may be the case if, for example, you heat your home with electric storage heaters you may find you have two fuse boxes.


RCD stands for ‘Residual Current Devices.’ These switches will turn off the electricity supply to a circuit when a dangerous fault is detected.

These switches are responsible for saving countless lives since there invention. They cut off the electricity supply when there is a fault in an electrical appliance, or someone touches a live cable. Because of this, it’s a good idea to test these switches regularly to ensure that they are working and working correctly. To do this you will need to press the ‘test’ button located next to the RCDs. This will throw a test fault to trip the RCD switch. If RCDs are working, the switch will move into the down position, you’ll need to flick it back on before using any household appliances.

It’s advised that you test these switches every two to three months. Do not try to fix your electric board yourself, this is a job that you need to be a qualified electrician to attempt.

Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are similar to a wire fuse, they are designed to detect any faults or issues with the mains electricity and trip, to turn off your electricity supply, if they detect something is wrong.

Your electricity board will contain several circuit breakers (sometimes called fuse switches), which are sized according to the type of circuit and load it can handle, some larger and some smaller depending on the circuit (so a cooker will have a larger one than a two socket system).

If a fault is detected in one of the circuits, the fuse box switch will trip and move into the downwards ‘off’ position.

To turn the power back onto the circuit, you will have to flick the switch to the ‘on’ position. It’s quicker and more convenient than having to replace a fuse wire, like in an old-fashioned fuse box. However, make sure you find and correct the fault with the circuit first or the switch will keep tripping.

If The Fuse Box Keeps Tripping

If the fuse box trips several times, you will have something wrong with your wiring or you have a faulty appliance in your home. Try to avoid resetting the circuit breakers multiple times, as doing this will cause long term damage to your wiring.

This is the correct point to get in touch with East Kent Electrical, as we’re fully qualified electricians and will be able to fix the issue and give you complete peace of mind.

East Kent Electrical are electricians based in Thanet supplying a wide range of electrical services such as rewires, lighting, smart technology and security. Contact us to discuss your requirements.

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