Electrickery

Replaced a garage consumer unit in my SILs shed last weekend.
Easy enough because we could kill the breaker in the house.
But I wondered, how is it done if you change the CU in a house?
There isn't an outside 'stopcock' for electricity.
Is it done 'live'?
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Dave - The Medway Handyman www.medwayhandyman.co.uk

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Isn't there a main breaker you turn off?
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

It's not uncommon to have a two-pole isolator between the meter and the CU.

No, if there's no isolator, the main fuse in the cut-out before the meter would be pulled (officially or otherwise) at that point it's a good idea to fit an isolator.
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You pull the main fuse on the riser.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 03/08/2014 09:50, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

After I rewired my first house, the SWEB guys just connected my tails to the distribution point "live". These days, "Oh the seal wires on the main fuse seem to be broken".
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On 03/08/14 09:36, The Medway Handyman wrote:

5 ways:
1) Pull the cutout fuse;
2) Disconnect CU tails from henley block if you have one;
3) Work live;
4) Operate main isolator if fitted;
5) Operate meter's built in isolator if the right type.
1 - EDF charged me 35 squid to pull and refit the fuse - they took all day to come back. This would be the most painful way, but arguable the "correct" way in the absence of other options. My seals were newish.
If the seals are broken or are not new looking, they might "fall off" allowing you to pull the fuse. HOWEVER be warned that old and flaky cutouts fed by paper insulated cable dating to 1940 show never be touched as a) The cutout may break up in your hands or b) the cutout comes off the wall, bends the now brittle and dried out cable and it dumps a short circuits worth of metal plasma in your face.
2) Technical working live, but with the right tools, good access and done carefully is not particularly dangerous. I have done this. I do not recommend anyone else does.
3) The most dangerous option - so much as to be a non option for anyone who is sensible. It is probably done sometimes. But there is no need.
4) Some supply companies do fit these. I fitted my own. EDF were not hugely keen but they put up with it anyway.
5) Do check - certain makes/models of meter do have an isolator built in - some Siemens types.
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You still have to cut the seals on the meter to access the isolatior switch.
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Adam


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On 03/08/14 10:05, ARW wrote:

Really? Seems stupid... And somewhat pointless. Undoing 2 screws live to remove the CU tails is not hugely risky.
I also read somewhere that the new smart meters will not have isolators either...
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Tim Watts wrote:

Well they contain a contactor that can disconnect the supply. Even if they offered a facility for you to call them and arrange a temporary disconnection, would you trust it not to reconnect when you least expected it?
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On Sun, 03 Aug 2014 10:02:23 +0100, Tim Watts wrote:

But isn't 2 "working live" as the henley block terminals are live? Admitedly you then have dead tails to work with rather than live bare ended live ones waving about.
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On 03/08/14 11:05, Dave Liquorice wrote:

Yes - I was going to footnote that but forgot.
You said exactly what I was going to.
Live working on something fixed does not bother me. Having a live bare ended wire flapping around does.
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On 03/08/2014 11:36, Tim Watts wrote:

I replaced a secondary extra CU once where the main cutout was decidedly dodgy looking. So opted to disconnect the tails to the CU in question at the henley. Its very minimal live working since once the tails are free, they are not live and you can stick the lid back on the henley.
The only challenge with that one was the henley had allen headed screws, and I don't have any VDE allen keys. So I used a hex bit in a mag holder cocooned in insulating tape, and stuck it in my cordless drill.
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Nothing wrong with that.
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On 03/08/2014 11:05, Dave Liquorice wrote:

Just screw them into spare henley blocks or the isolator you are going to fit.
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On Sun, 03 Aug 2014 09:50:57 +0100, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Incomer, risers are water. B-)
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Or a cut out.
http://www.thefusecompany.com/fuses/house-service-cut-out-units/
I have heard the term dry riser used for electrical supplies in flats. It's not a name I would use.
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On Sun, 03 Aug 2014 09:44:33 +0100, Tim Streater wrote:

Most installations have that as part of the CU that is being changed...
No one has mentioned the pole fuse outside. Ours was only about 8' off the ground until they came round replaced it, the stays and capping over the earth bonding etc. It's now about 16' above the ground. It only feeds us so pulling that wouldn't cut anybody else off.
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There is actually, the fuses on the mains supply. Just pull them.

Nope.
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er.co.uk> escribió: >I have heard the term dry riser used for electrical supplies in flats. It's

I thought the term 'dry riser' referred to a hollow vertical shaft in multiple-storey buildings used to carry services such as gas, water, power, drainage, telecomms, etc.
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That is where I have head the term used. However the water supplies would be in a wet riser (IMHO) and things get more complicated in high rise flats where there are dry riser pipes intended for use by fire fighters.
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