Consumer Unit News
Hager Responds to Amendment 3 with ‘DESIGN’ Range of Metal Consumer Units
- Published: Thursday, 05 February 2015 15:36
In response to Amendment 3 to the wiring regulations, Hager UK has launched its Design Range of metal consumer units aiming to alleviate electricians’ fears that they will be more difficult to install than the preceding plastic version.
Following various investigations from the London Fire Brigade, involving fires originating within plastic consumer units, it became apparent that changes relating to consumer units would be included in Amendment 3 to the Wiring Regulations. The manufacturer started working extensively to ensure that these changes would have minimum impact on their customers. The new regulations, which have now been officially released explain that all domestic consumer units fitted in the UK from January 2016 will have to be made of a non-combustible material. Initially there was speculation that this would include plastic enclosures made from thermoplastic (960°C glow wire) material, however this is classified as ‘not readily combustible’ in the context of this regulation hence would not be compliant.
Working with the London Fire Brigade, BEAMA and Electrical Safety First, Hager UK kept up to date through the various consultation stages of the process.and continued its support during the development of the amendment. Additionally Hager created a comprehensive communication strategy to keep all industry professionals up-to-date with the changes. It also invested heavily into an R&D programme developing a new product range that would allow compliance with Amendment 3 and utilised the laboratory at its Telford headquarters to ensure that these products meet all requirements.
Steve York, Residential Market Manager at Hager UK commented on their findings: “It is through extensive discussions with customers that we have come to realise that one board no longer fits all requirements. The Design Range offers multiple solutions based around applications. Whether it is required simply for functionality or whether aesthethics are to be considered, Hager has a suitable option.”
The Design Range of consumer unit enclosures are made from metal in order to comply with the regulations calling for a ‘non-combustible’ material. There are three options: Design 10, Design 30 and Design 50 offering a range of solutions to suit every application.
The Design 10 is the entry level compliant board, designed for functionality and simplicity. As with all models in the range, there is maximum cable space available, even when a Residual Current Circuit Breaker with Overcurrent protection (RCBO) is fitted. It also has a top mounted terminal rail to make the wiring of the neutral and earth connections neat and simple, multiple fixing points, and a full metal DIN rail to ensure the devices sit square and securely. Additionally Design 10 also includes cable entry knockouts designed to accommodate 25mm x 40mm, 50mm x 50mm, 100mm x 50mm trunking which allows access to the board when surface mounting cables.
Next the Design 30, an enhanced version in the range designed to be more aesthetically pleasing for applications where the board is on show, allowing compliance and style. Included is a health and safety lock that allows the board to be isolated, for the safety of tradespeople during construction of a building. A key feature is the introduction of a cable clamp in the Design 30 meaning incoming meter tails can be safely secured, eliminating stress within the switch terminal. A rear cable protection plate is comes as standard in the Design 30, minimising the risk of damage from sharp edges. The design of square knock-outs and a ‘locate and hold’ cover are further features that aim to make the installation of the unit as simple, if not easier, than the original consumer units. Additionally you can request the Design 30 without knockouts, to ensure the board continues it sleek and clean look.
Furthermore some of the features that come as standard in the Design 30 board are available as optional accessories for the Design 10.
At the higher end of the range sits the Design 50, a stylish premium board suitable for energy distribution combined with smart services all in one enclosure discreetly fitted into the wall.
Steve York commented: “Hager works closely with customers to ensure that our products and services adapt to the changing needs of the market. Last year, we spoke to electricians and installers on-site, at various events and at our Telford manufacturing plant about the implications of the upcoming Amendment 3. We consulted them on their concerns, installation methods and requirements to enable us to develop products that are as easy and efficient to install as our existing range and continue to incorporate the features that they would usually associate with a Hager product.
“With the Design Range, Hager UK has demonstrated its role as a responsible manufacturer by not only responding to regulation changes efficiently, but by considering and supporting installers throughout the whole process.”
For more information on the Design range of metal consumer units from Hager UK, visit: www.hager.co.uk/design