What is an RCBO consumer unit?
An RCBO consumer unit is a fusebox with RCBO's insalled rather than a dual rcd board with MCB's. RCBO stands for ‘residual current breaker with over-current’, and it combines the functionality of a MCB (miniature circuit breaker) and RCD/RCCB (residual current device/residual current circuit breaker) into one unit.
An RCBO will trip the entire circuit whenever there is a problem or earth leakage. RCBO consumer units are becoming more of a standard since the 18th edition regulations came into place. In this article we have a look into what they do and why they are best option when buying a consumer unit.
What is an RCBO and How Does it Work?
As already mentioned, RCBO stands for 'Residual Current Breaker with Over-Current'. It protects electrical circuits against two types of fault, it does this by combining the capabilities of both an RCD and MCB.
The two types of fault they protect from are Earth leakage and over current.
- Earth Leakage (Also known as residual current) - Occurs when there is a fault in one of the electrical circuits. This can happen due to poor electrical wiring or DIY accidents such as cutting through a cable with the lawn mower. If you do happen to mow over the electrical cable the electricity being used needs to go somewhere. The RCBO consumer unit in this example would prevent the electricity running through directly to the human.
- Over-Current Overload - This occurs when too many electrical items are switched on at the same time. When they are all on they are using to much power than what the cable can withstain. Short Circuit - Occurs when there is a direct connection between the live and neutral conductors. This can happen when a rat chews through wiring or when water comes into contact with electrical cable. A short circuit is considerably more dangerous than Overload.
When you should use a RCBO consumer unit
Our experts here at Fusebox Shop recommend that for every new installation you use an rcbo consumer unit. Have an RCBO installed on each electrical circuit. This means when and if a problem ever occurs it won't affect another circuit like it would on a dual rcd board. Even in the scenario you can't have a full RCBO board then we highly recommend having RCBO's installed on mission critical circuits, these would be freezers, fire alarm systems or maybe even your fancy fish tank!
Where can you get these consumer units?