A guide to the consumer unit

Your consumer unit is a key part of the way your home operates, so it is vital that you know enough information to keep you and your home safe. When you look at your consumer unit, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the different components, but there are a few main parts for you to focus on. Keep reading to find out more.

Main switch

The main switch does exactly what it says- it controls the supply of electricity in your home. Your mains switch needs to be turned on and off manually, compared to other components that will trip automatically. If you are carrying out any repairs in your home, it is important to switch off the mains switch first. This prevents electric shocks and fires, keeping you as safe as possible.

Residual current devices

Also knows as RCDs, these switches are used to monitor the electrical currents passing through your home. If an RCD finds an issue with your circuit, it will trip automatically and stop the follow of electricity. 

Circuit breakers

Circuit breakers are very similar to RCDs, although they are slightly more specialised. They focus on a smaller area of your home, for example just one room. As a result, your consumer unit will store several different circuit breaks that can all trip individually when they find an issue. They can detect overloads and overcurrents, to keep you safe.

Bus bar

The bus bar is a piece of metal that resembles a comb, with all the other components slotting into the teeth. The only role it has it to hold all your components together.

Socket outlet

Socket outlets are the wall mounts that you plug appliances into. Each one leads directly to your consumer unit.

Main panel

The main panel is the protective covering for your consumer unit. As well as being protective, it also tends to have clear plastic areas so you can view your switches safely, without having to open the panel.

Need help with your consumer unit in Maidstone?

We offer a range of electrical services (including consumer unit repairs and replacements) across  Maidstone, Chatham, Sittingbourne, Rochester, West Malling, Aylesford, Gillingham, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, East & West Malling, Detling, Bearstead, Thurnham, Rainham, Faversham, Swanley, Ashford and Lenham. To arrange your free quote today, give us a call on 07999456793