Do I need to update my house's fuse box?

My house was built and wired in the 1980s and has an old-style fuse box. The old fuses have all been repeplaced with cirquit-breakers plugged into the fuse sockets. A couple of people, such as estate agents and electricians have raised eyebrows on seeing the box, telling me it should be changed for a modern RCD unit. Is this true? I've never had any problems with the existing setup, and I rarely get any inexplicable tripping of the circuit breakers. As far as I am aware, the old fuse boxes (even when fuses contained fuse wire) did what they were designed to do, with no problems.
My fuse box has circuit-breakers for: Upstairs ring main Downstairs ring main Upstairs light circuit Downstairs lighting circuit Electric shower circuit External security lights circuit
Obviously, I'd like to avoid the expense of updating it if I'm not under any legal obligation to change anything. Is there really a significant increase in electrical safety with the modern RCD units?
What about if I rent the house to tenants? Will it then need to comply with the latest electrical regulation specs?
THanks for some help.
Jim
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On Sunday, 21 June 2015 23:20:25 UTC+1, Jim x321x wrote:

then no, in most cases

no

you're not

There are 20 something deaths from shock a year, mostly due to people doing idiotic things. RCDs reduce the risk. This is a long way down the list of Risky Things in Life, so is the oposite of a priority.
NT

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So what what would you prioritize?
Smoke alarms would be my number 1 - even if they are just battery powered ones.
Number 2 would be to have an escape plan if there was a fire and the smokes sounded.
And number 3 for safety in the home IMHO is RCD protection at the CU (at least for the socket circuits).
--
Adam


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On Monday, 22 June 2015 20:40:40 UTC+1, ARW wrote:

Look at the top 10 killers. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm
The top 2 are heart disease & cancer. They kill half the population. Expert concensus is half these deaths are readily avoidable by healthier eating, not smoking & some exercise. These are the number 1 priorities.
The rest of the list is different here versus US. Traffic accidents, septicaemia & medical errors featuer highly here, all of which are fairly straightforward to reduce.
Accidents: diy causes no lack of those, so getting informed re power tool risks etc.
Diabetes risk can be reduced by avoiding high sugar diet.

There were 1000 deaths a year in house fires before they became the norm, now its about 200.

20 odd deaths a year there.
I think we suffer warning fatigue. 'Yes I know I've heard it 1000 times but don't know how to' sort of thing. Its good to look at diy specific risks but I think its good to slot them into the big picture.
NT
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A lifesyle choice is not relevant to diy or general risks in the house.
--
Adam


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On Monday, 22 June 2015 21:51:09 UTC+1, ARW wrote:

Risks and the cost of avoiding them are 100% relevant to risks and the cost of avoiding them
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On 23/06/2015 13:07, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Let see if we can avoid the great throng of straw men wandering this way...
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I do not consider telling a fat bastard to eat less less food to be DIY related.
Fitting a lock on a fridge is DIY related.
--
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On Tuesday, 23 June 2015 22:58:13 UTC+1, ARW wrote:

use

wn

es.

.
So what. A DIY safety improvement is only worth doing if its not way down t he list of what one can usefully do. RCDs have their upside, but at 20 some thing deaths versus over 100,000 a year they're just not the priority. Eat healthily, learn advanced driving, treat infections promptly & vigilantly, take proper precautions with power tools and so on. If all those plus dozen s of others are done, then an RCD becomes worthwhile.
Funny how so many think electricity & gas a big risk, when really the most dangerous things we do are food shopping & smoking.
NT
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So what. A DIY safety improvement is only worth doing if its not way down the list of what one can usefully do. RCDs have their upside, but at 20 something deaths versus over 100,000 a year they're just not the priority. Eat healthily, learn advanced driving, treat infections promptly & vigilantly, take proper precautions with power tools and so on. If all those plus dozens of others are done, then an RCD becomes worthwhile.
Funny how so many think electricity & gas a big risk, when really the most dangerous things we do are food shopping & smoking.
What is not so funny is how many people do not realise how dangerous electrcity is.
It takes 20 to 30 years of smoking or shoveling chips down a big fat gob to cause the damage. If they cannot see what is coming then it is their problem - the NHS spend a fortune on preventative medicine and yet people still live unhealthy lifestyles.
Electricity is unseen and kills in less than a second and may not be the fault of the person that is killed. The IET have decided that RCD protection is the future. It's not expensive and it saves lives - so much so that there are thousands of people who did not receive the smallest of shocks when the RCD operated saving them from becoming a minor statistic.
--
Adam


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I wish they were in common use around 35 years ago when I got "stuck" across live to a less than correct earth on a metal handled drill;(...
Remember it to this day still, the pain and not being able to do anything about it and that terror that this was going be my last day alive!:(
--
Tony Sayer


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On 22/06/2015 21:51, ARW wrote:

Not only that, as had been pointed out at various times, one insures against losses that one can't otherwise replace. I would include wife and children in that category, so a one off premium of a couple of hundred for smoke alarms and RCDs sounds like a very worthwhile investment.
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On Tuesday, 23 June 2015 17:20:21 UTC+1, John Rumm wrote:

2 different issues lumped together, and a non sequitur. Maybe some of us just aren't into risk assessment.
NT
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On 23/06/2015 22:52, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Smoke alarms and RCDs are different - however the risks associated with not having either are comparable (although injury from fires per years are far fewer than from electric shock). I seem to recall someone round here was very fond of plastering domestic fire safety stats into every wiki article given the chance. Why the double standards?

Explain

You think... I wonder who?
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On Friday, 26 June 2015 16:23:39 UTC+1, John Rumm wrote:

ple

n
1
e.

ment.

200 something deaths a year in fires now, 20 something from shock

why the claim of double standards? how would stating the known facts possib ly be that? Its not even worth answering.

I already have. I've shown how I assessed whether RCDs were worth fitting. You simply did not address the necessary points in order to reach a reason based case on the question of whether its a good things to install your RCD s.

I've offered a clear risk & cost asessment, plus placed it in the list of a vailable risk reductions, thereby determining if its a priority or whether there are far bigger priorities. Yours has so far been an assessment of the risk followed by an illogical conclusion.
Unfortunately the approach you've shown is common today. It results in peop le spending on tiny risks and consequently neglecting the big ones. No-one has the resources to address all risks, so the sensible approach is to prio ritise the ones we can reduce the most. That is evidently not RCDs, unless you've effectively tackled a fairly long list of others already.
NT
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On Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:54:47 -0700, tabbypurr wrote:

In a nut shell, humanity's short sightedness when it comes to deciding how we should spend effort and resources on tackling 'problems'. The Green Party's obsession with wind turbine, solar voltaic and tidal sources of energy is a classic case in point.
They regard these sources of Mother Nature's 'energy bounty' as being 'Low Tech' eco-friendly ways to solve the world population's energy demands when they're anything but 'eco-friendly'.
They choose to ignore that other 'energy bounty' on offer from 'Mother Nature', Nuclear Fission, on the basis that it requires ingenious high tech methods of extraction involving, at the point of energy extraction, highly dangerous radio active materials that have to be properly handled and processed to reduce the risk to the environment at large by two or three orders of magnitude compared to a conventional coal fired power station of equivalent energy output.
Their thinking has been coloured by their experience of the earlier nuclear powered station technologies driven by the needs of the cold war demands to build up stocks of weapons' grade plutonium using power stations sited in remote locations, seemingly to reduce the impact of a Chernobyl like event on the population at large.
The plain fact is, it is now possible to upgrade existing coal fired power stations to nuclear power, based on a Liquid Fueled Thorium Reactor (LFTR) design that was first experimented with half a century ago as a potential method of powering a USAF 'Always Aloft' Bomber Fleet.
Only the American Military had a big enough priority and the budget to bankroll such 'Blue Sky' research projects. ICBMs sidelined the concept of an always aloft bomber fleet so the technology, so promising a solution as it was for civil nuclear power station design, was simply left to languish.
If the 'Green Party' membership were to truly compare the *actual* cost/ benefit ratios of *all* the 'Green Options' Mother Nature Provides, LFTR would win hands down on energy generation, environmental impact *and* pollution costs. They wouldn't be able to tear down all those pointless Wind Turbines fast enough!
Sadly, as you pointed out, it's humanity's propensity to short sighted obsession with seemingly 'nice warm cozy 'cheap' 'feel good factor' solutions that leads to wasted time and resources on sub-optimal solutions. A shortsightedness that's invariably taken advantage of by the "PT Barnum" "Get Rich Quick" type of individual or major corporate business.
At the heart of all this, of course, is a nation's educational system which, in the UK and America at least, is seriously lacking in teaching the fundamental skills required to question gift horse offers and other dubious claims such as that rather outrageous idea that the damaging effects of nuclear radiation levels follow a totally contrary curve of damage versus level which apply to all other forms of radiation exposure such as UV light from solar radiation and the effects of microwave radiation which have lead us into believing that almost impossibly expensive anti-radiation precautions are required in Nuclear Power Station design, making the Nuclear Power option infeasibly expensive.
Actually, the most expensive part of a Cold War type of Nuclear Power Station is its Containment Vessel. A modern LFTR based design totally does away with the need of such containment measures (along with an expensive re-fueling process industry) whilst offering a 200 fold improvement in energy yield from the nuclear fuel itself. As always, "Ignorance"(tm) strikes again at the heart of the matter.
BTW, many a conspiracy theory nut would lay claim that the Oil and Petrochemical industry are doing their best to scupper the idea of a "Nuclear Powered World"(tm) when in fact it would be in their best interests to branch out (diversify) into Nuclear Power Station design and proliferation so they can corner the market in *synthesised* petrochemicals and save the costs in dangerous exploration and drilling for a dwindling natural resource.
--
Johnny B Good

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On 21/06/2015 23:20, Jim x321x wrote:

There is no legal requirement to change it.

They did what they were supposed to - and will still do so. The main thing your current setup lacks is RCD protection.

RCDs represent a significant improvement in safety. Especially if you ever use electrical tools / appliances outside. The lack of RCD protection would also make adding or extending your existing installation in a compliant way more difficult, should you need to do so.
(some will argue that the chances of being killed by an electric shock in the home in the UK is vanishingly small, and indeed they are correct. However that misses the significant number of non fatal injuries per year (>200K hospital admissions), the vast majority of which would have been prevented by a working RCD).

As long as its basically sound, then not necessarily. Many landlords would take the view that replacing rewireable fuses is worth doing since it removes the ability for tenants to abuse them, and possibly prevents some call outs to the landlord / maintainer because they can't work out how to replace a blown fuse.
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John.
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Well, I've never come across any rented property that has the very latest fuse box/rcd. But that may just be coincidence. I do not go around checking everyones houses I visit for rcds, only that a blind person can safely reach the reset buttons! In any case if you are using an outside applience, you use a plug in rcd and then its as safe as anything can be. Brian
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"John Rumm" < snipped-for-privacy@nowhere.null> wrote in message
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On 22/06/2015 09:06, Brian-Gaff wrote:

Indeed - how would you cope with re-wireing a BS3036 style fuse?

Yup that will help.
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John.
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On Mon, 22 Jun 2015 10:54:02 +0100, John Rumm

I bet Brian could do that with no problem. I bet you and I could do it blindfolded it we tried, I never have!
I've re spooled plenty of 35mm cassettes using a changing bag, and loaded various film sizes into the spiral if a developing tank in complete darkness.
I'm not suggesting for a moment that a sighted person in the dark equates to a blind person. That would indeed be arrogant.
--

Graham.

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