From time to time we come across consumer units that have had cupboards built around them with very little thought to the poor old electrician that needs full access to the consumer unit. Below are some examples of what we find.


You can see the consumer unit in the top right hand corner of the picture, which is partially blocked by the cupboard. The cupboard was eventually removed by the client so the works could be carried out. The error of their ways was explained to them and the importance of clear and easy access to all electrical accessories within the property.






This cupboard was actually constructed by the landlord which looked great until the consumer unit cover needed to be removed.






Another view of the landlord job.








And yet another view of the landlord job. Fortunately the cupboard was made only of wood so it was disassembled in order to carry out the works. We also relocated the consumer unit which put up the price of the job alot as every circuit in the flat had to be tested due to the extension of each circuit. A little forethought could have saved the customer a couple of hundred pounds.




This cupboard was constructed by the previous owner of the proterty. There are a couple of things wrong with this picture but we will stick to the lack of access. There are 2 retaining screws that hold the front cover on which, fortunately, the one that can't be seen on the left side was only finger tight. The fuses also had to be removed in order to easily remove the cover.





The cover is off and there is a fuse holder to the far left which can't be used due to the poor access. The earth bar wihch is at the top of the consumer unit is very difficult to access as can be seen in the next picture below.







You have to angle your screwdriver to make adjustments to the earch termnials which means it is easy to damage the brass screw heads.





The moral to the story is THINK before you build !