I’ve moved into a new build flat built by Barratt London. Inside the utility room is a neat white fuse box, but there is also a bright orange cable running down the wall to a piece of MDF board. The meter is attached to the MDF, which is then screwed to the wall.

The thing is, this piece of MDF looks like it has come from a skip. It isn’t even painted to match the wall colour, so it sticks out. I know its in the utility room, but it still looks like a poor quality job.

I’m wondering if this is ‘normal’ or should I ask them back to do it properly?

Thanks for any advice.

  • Tony Taylor

    Dear P,

    It sounds like they have thrown in a piece of MDF at the last minute for the meter operator to install the electricity meter and even though it is in the utility, a little pride in their work wouldn’t have gone a miss.

    Historically this meter board was provided by the Distribution Network operator (DNO) for your area, so that the meter could be fitted to a fire retardant board, the key point being ‘Fire Retardant’.

    MDF in its standard form is not fire retardant, however it can be treated.

    In the first instance I would speak to the developer to see if you can get this backing board changed for something more suitable and ideally finished to a reasonable standard. If that is falling on deaf ears, start asking questions about the fire retardant rating for the backing board or the treatment they have applied, including any data sheet.

    I bet you they have just installed painted MDF. This should get some reaction from them.

    The problem is that the developer will need to employ an electrician to disconnect the wiring and the meter operator (different to the DNO and your electricity supplier) to remove the meter, before they can replace the backing board.

    If all else fails, is it possible for you or them to fit a cupboard over the meter?

    If you need to find out who your electricity provider is or would like further information, have a look at my website http://www.smartgreenengineer.co.uk



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