Types of Fusebox
A Fusebox is a plastic or metal box that contains all of the fuses to the various electrical circuits in your home. It controls and distributes the electricity. Your fusebox should be easy to find and it is important that you know where it is incase you need to turn off the electricity in your home.
Fuseboxes normally contain 3 things – the mains switch, RCD’s and the circuit breakers.
The main switch lets you turn of the electricity to the whole of the house. This is normally used in an emergency situation like flooding or fire.
RCD’s (residual current devices) these are the breakers that trip a circuit in potentially dangerous circumstances.
Circuit breakers automatically turn off a circuit if a fault is detected.
If you fusebox has wooden parts, worn switches or a range of different fuses its it probably very old and should be replaced on safety grounds.
Fusebox & Residual Current Devices
An RCD is a device that is intended to stop people getting lethal electrical shocks but touching live wires they can also help to prevent electrical fires.
RCD’s automatically switch off the the electricity if a fault is detected. For example if you were doing DIY and managed to cut through an electrical cable (we’ve all been there!) the RCD would cut the electricity supply.
They work by monitoring the electric current flowing through the circuit. If the RCD detects the electricity flowing though and unexpected route the RCD will cut the circuit off. This reduces the risk of harm coming to any one who has touched the wire.
There are generally used in potentially dangerous areas like the kitchen, bathroom and garden electrical outlets. They provide an additional level of protection electrical devices in these areas.
There are several different types of RCD: fixed, socket -outlet and portable.
Fixed RCD’s are installed in your fusebox and they provide protection to full circuits or groups of circuits. Socket RCD’s are wall sockets with RCD’s built into them this only provides protection to the person who is using the electrical device plugged into the socket. Portable RCD’s are the same as socket RCD’s but they are portable.
RCD’s are generally considered to be very reliable and relatively cheap. portable RCD’s cost as little as £8 fixed RCD’s are more expensive as you will need a qualified electrician to install it.