Clarity on the need to ensure the consumer unit is at a suitable height has been introduced and clarified in Approved Document M 2015 (with 2016 amendments), (volume 1 Dwellings) where it states:
“Services and controls
1.18 To assist people who have reduced reach, services and controls should comply with all of the following.
Diagram 1.5: The Building Regulations 2010 – Access to and Use of Buildings – Approved Document M
Consumer units should be mounted so that the switches are 1350-1450mm above floor level.
Switches and sockets, including door bells, entry phones, light switches, power sockets, TV aerials and telephone jacks, serving habitable rooms throughout the dwelling have their centre line 450-1200mm above floor level, as shown in the diagram below.
Consumer units must be in an accessible location that can be easily reached to enable day-to-day and emergency operation. Under stair cupboards and downs stair toilets/bathrooms have historically been the home for a consumer unit, but are not the best place to achieve compliance
In Wales, the height of the consumer unit is not stated in an Approved Document, however, the IEE recognise the need to ensure equipment is at accessible heights for all. In its guidance notes (cited in Approved Document P for Wales), it states the heights to comply with Part M of Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations.
A consumer unit’s switches should be between 1350mm and 1450mm and the above diagram is provided as a guide for the height of equipment. It should be remembers that Residual Current devices need to be operated by the householder on a regular basis to ensure they are operating correctly.
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Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication.