The trip switches will cut out if a very small current (eg 80 milli amps) passes between the Live and Earth connection, preventing damage and protecting people.

 

Consumer units come with varying numbers of trip switches dependent on the number of electrical circuits that need to be protected.

Over the past few years consumer units have been updated from the old style units with fuse wire to the new modern 'trip box'.

The advantages of having a new consumer unit installed are primarily for safety reasons, this is due to each circuit being individually protected. These circuits will then instantly trip / cut out for your safety.

For example, if there is a fault with any electrical appliances or lights etc. The circuits can then be reset with a flick of a switch enabling you to investigate the fault or replace the 'dead' light bulb etc.

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