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No, you can't move or install an RCD Consumer box, yourself!

It is simply quite amazing to hear the number of cases regularly reported of attempts to carry out electrical installations or fix non-functioning systems by unqualified householders or landlords, who were trying to save money by 'doing it themselves!' and which resulted in serious injury or a tragic fatality. As has been pointed out many times, it is both illegal and dangerous and should only be carried out by those who are fully trained and Part P qualified.

The modern consumer unit is the centre, or heart, of the wiring system in the home. The unit distributes the electricity, via fuses of one kind or another, to the different circuits in the house.

The older fuse wire are being replaced gradually by their modern equivalent, the MCB or miniature circuit breaker.

This is in line with the competency expected from electrical or gas installers and goes far beyond just knowing which colour wires do what.Competency, in this case, will mean a full, qualified knowledge of electrical installations. It will mean you have the ability to thoroughly check a circuit for safety and you will be able to issue a minor works certificate as a self certified "competent person". All cables and connections to the consumer unit must be checked and tested by a qualified electrician. Do not attempt removal or replacement unless you are you are qualified to Part P regulation standards. It is also an offence to interfere with the seals on the electricity meter.

Electricity kills and injures many people every year. A great many of these people are dead or injured because they tried installations which they did not understand. The Government is also intending, it is believed, to introduce a scheme whereby domestic installations are checked at regular periods to make sure they comply, and also when a house is sold or purchased. This would mean of course that if you had an installation which was not correctly certified, your house insurance may not be valid.

From January 2005, all domestic electrical installation work in dwellings (houses and flats), whether professional or DIY, has become subject to the new Building Regulation - 'Part P', which is enforced by the Local Authorities. Failure to comply is a criminal offence.

The legal requirement is simply stated: 'Fixed electrical installations in dwellings shall be suitably designed, installed, inspected and tested so as to provide reasonable protection against their being the source of a fire or a cause of injury to persons.

'The only domestic work for which either self-certification or notification is not be required is be for some minor work (generally work not involving the provision of a new circuit). The replacement of a consumer unit does not qualify as minor work.

In kitchens and areas of increased risk, such as a bathroom or shower room, a garden or a swimming pool or sauna, all work, minor or not, needs either to be self-certified or notified.

AbleSkills provides fully accredited City & Guilds NVQ training with Part P and to NVQ level 3. You can find out all about what is involved by doing a short weekend course, or undertake certificated courses lasting from 3 weeks to 8 weeks.