Do you live in an older home (30 years or more)? If so, have you had your electrical switchboard checked? If the answer is ‘no’ it might be time to have your switchboard checked over by a licensed switchboard upgrade electrician. Why? The older style switchboards, particularly those with ceramic fuses, are not really conducive to the electrical demands of today’s appliances and gadgets.
Perhaps you are experiencing issues with the power in your home or have old fuses and plug-in circuit breakers. It is quite possible that you have problems with your electrical switchboard. We have taken the time to give you the lowdown on all you need to know about your switchboard.
What is an electrical switchboard?
First things first, let’s take a look at what an electrical switchboard actually is. Sometimes referred to as the fuse box, meter box, electrical box and breaker box, the switchboard is the ‘central hub’ for your home’s electrics. From a technical point of view, the switchboard is an electrical device that disseminates electricity from your electrical supplier to other areas of usage in your home.
So, having such significant importance, the switchboard is a device that must be kept up to date as far as your safety is concerned. Electrical switchboards must also be compliant with Australia’s electrical standards. We will touch on this later.
What’s inside a switchboard?
Now that we know what the switchboard is, let’s explore what’s inside. Your switchboard is most likely enclosed in a steel box at the front of your property.
Inside the box you will find a panel of circuit breakers which are easily controlled by an ON/OFF switch. The circuit breakers are normally labelled so that you know which part of your property they account for. Safety switches will look just like the other circuit breakers but will be labelled ‘TEST’ or ‘T’.
If you are thinking about getting inside the box to replace or install new circuit breakers, think again. Installing, replacing and upgrading your switchboard must only ever be handled by a licenced switchboard upgrade electrician.
Why hire a switchboard upgrade electrician ?
Picture smart home features, endless appliances and other gadgets all vying for power consumption in your home. It is hardly surprising that our energy usage has increased dramatically over the years.
So, it is crucial that your switchboard is always in working order. Electrical Safety Standards Australia has updated its safety regulations to indicate that people are encouraged to increase the protection of people in their homes.
The dangers of relying on outdated switchboard are terrifying. Fuses and old circuit breakers are accountable for many household electrical fires. Without the all-important safety switches, you and your family could be subjected to electric shock.
What signs do you look for if your switchboard needs an upgrade?
There are some clear signs that indicate your switchboard is heading towards serious problems, but there are also some subtle signs you may not recognise. And actions such as renovating, renting out or selling your home might prompt you to update your switchboard as a legal requirement. Let’s take a look at some of the most common signs revealing you might be in need of a switchboard upgrade.
System faults and electricity outages
One of the most noticeable signs of a switchboard problem is your circuit breakers tripping. This means that the power cuts out in a specific section on your property. You might be experiencing flickering lights or have appliances that are short-circuiting. This indicates there is the excess electrical current flow which could impact your appliances.
There are no safety switches in your switchboard
If there is an issue with short-circuiting, circuit overload or fault with an appliance, the safety switch is responsible for turning your power off to prevent electric shock. If your switchboard is missing a safety switch you are putting your life and your family’s lives at risk.
Your switchboard still uses fuses
If you live in an older house that still has the old-style ceramic fuses, this indicates your electric system has the potential to be a high risk. The main culprit of house fires is an old switchboard and old-style fuses. So, make sure you put switchboard upgrades at the top of your to-do list.
While upgrading your electrical appliances such as a new washing machine and dryer or larger TV and surround system, is thrilling, it is not so thrilling for your old switchboard. Adding a new system or appliance is likely to put a lot of pressure on your circuits.
The older switchboards were installed at a time when far fewer appliances were installed. Overloading the switchboard can result in overheating and in the worst-case scenario, fire.
It may mean that you require new wiring, switches and cabling. Only a licenced switchboard upgrade electrician is qualified to assess your electrical requirements and come up with a solution.
Switchboard upgrades are required by law
The Australian Government frequently reviews electrical standards to conform to current day electrical needs, safety and usage. All lighting and power circuits are required to have safety switches installed to prevent electrical hazards. Safety switches protect not only your home but your life too. And the switchboards of today host highly effective safety switches.
Is it costly to upgrade your switchboard?
Compare the cost of a fire damaged property and its contents with a switchboard upgrade and you have your answer. The cost of installing a new switchboard is minor when you compare it to other appliance upgrades and renovations. One of Vision Electrical Solution’s highly skilled licenced switchboard electricians in Northern Beaches will happily do the upgrade at competitive prices.
Can you upgrade the switchboard yourself?
Not unless you are a licenced electrician! According to Australian laws, only qualified and licenced electricians are legally permitted to perform major electrical upgrades, repairs and installations.
If you are concerned about your electrical switchboard or feel that now is the time to have your switchboard checked out, contact our expert switchboard upgrade electrician and friendly team at Vision Electrical Solutions. We would love to hear from you and help you out with all your electrical needs.