Water Damaged Consumer Unit
I recently visited a property for a generic RCD and Circuit breakers tripping. The customer had a very bad leak in their bathroom just above the Consumer Unit/Fuse Board – the cold water pipe under the bath burst out and massive amount of water gushed through the ceiling, down into the corridor below.
Of course, lot of water ran straight through the Consumer unit and tripped the board straight away. Since, it was a new built property, the owner called the Housing Team (insurance & warranty purposes) and fixed the leak but not the Water Damaged Fuse board (only visually inspected it).
Strangely, the owner stayed in the house and whilst the walls have been dried out etc. and no temporary accomodation offered. This sounds dodgy right? Baring in mind, that the Consumer Unit was still in use.
Then, all of a sudden after few months the Fuse board was started to buzzing and giving a burning smell (luckily for them, it was a metal enclosure unit and not plastic, since the Wiring Regulation Changed in 2018).
In case, if you notice water dripping out of your Consumer Unit/Fuse Board, do not panic. Make sure the water leakage is stopped and call a local electrician (so they can attend quickly) to check your electricity as soon as possible, This isn’t a problem you should try to fix yourself.
During the Inspection they will switch the power off as Water and electricity make for a dangerous combination. Circuit breakers, RCDs or RCBOs damaged by water may not trip when an electrical overload occurs.
These highly sensitive safety devices in water damaged condition will not operate intentionally but overheating and arcing. Electrical arc flashes due to exposed or otherwise damaged wiring in the Fuse Board can lead to burns and eventually House Fires.
Eventually, the corroded and the water damaged RCD failed to operate and led to continuous arcing and burning which damaged the the circuit breakers and could have caused serious injuries and property damages down the line.
Cavendish Electricals & Services Team carried out an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) and replaced the damaged consumer unit as per the new 2nd Amendment Wiring Regulation 2022 and the customer was noted to inform the Housing Association of their failure to replace the Water Damaged Fuse Board.
You must check if your electrician is qualified and also registered to carry out Domestic work under Part P and he must be registered with one of the 5 main organization, which you can check on the Competent Person scheme here.
Please Feel free to contact Cavendish Eletricals & Services and send us an enquiry through our web page. If you have any question you can email us to email@example.com or you can call us on 015 3648 3348.
We cover a wide range of areas: Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Greater London (M25).