Electrical Circuit

Switchboards

Switchboard Upgrades and Maintenance

What is a switchboard?

To put it simply, a switchboard is the control centre for your home's electricity. A switchboard acts as a central 'hub' for all your electrical wiring and directs electricity from the main supply on the street to where it needs to go around your house, such as power outlets, hot water systems, lights, etc.

It's important that your home is safe, electrically speaking, your home's electrical safety starts with the switchboard. The Wiring Rules are the technical rules that help electricians design, construct and verify electrical installations. The Wiring Rules are constantly being updated every few years to ensure safe electrical installations and practices. According to the latest Wiring Rules, AS/NZS 3000:2018, if you wish to add any electrical power outlet to your house or make any changes to your switchboard, you are legally required to contact an electrician to upgrade your switchboard.

What is a switchboard upgrade?

The integrity of the wiring in a house, especially at the switchboard, is crucial to ensuring your family’s safety. Some switchboards and fuses are very outdated and not safe. In order to provide maximum safety for you, your family and your home, you need to have your switchboard upgraded by a licensed electrician.

Here's what you can expect from a switchboard upgrade:

 

  • Before we begin any upgrades, we perform a detailed safety inspection throughout your house to check for any other safety issues or potential electrical hazards.

  • Power to your house will be isolated at your main switchboard so that we can conduct the switchboard upgrade safely.

  • We will remove all of the old circuit protection devices (fuses).

  • We install new circuit breakers and RCDs.

  • Your circuits will be reconnected into circuit breakers or, circuit breaker/RCD combination breakers. This ensures the safety of people and meets the updated electrical standards (according to AS NZS 3000:2018).

  • We will inspect the MEN (Main Earthed Neutral) system and ensure that your main earthing conductor (electrode) is still in adequate condition, as per updated electrical standards. This may also have to be upgraded, to ensure that your home is electrically grounded.

  • The entire installation will require 7 mandatory electrical tests that we will carry out. This ensures adequate protection verifying that there are no faults or underlying issues.

  • We clearly label your switchboard so that you and other electricians know which switches control areas of the house.

  • This will take anywhere from 2-4 hours to complete for a standard switchboard upgrade.

Why do I need a switchboard upgrade?

If you are looking at acquiring new or bigger appliances or perhaps you simply need a new power point in your home, then you will need to invest in a switchboard upgrade. If your switchboard is aged or you still have ceramic fuses, then your home does not meet the current Australian Standards. This is a hazard and could be potentially very dangerous.

Reasons why you need a switchboard upgrade may be:

  • If you have an older switchboard, there is a high likelihood that it will get overloaded because it wasn’t designed to cope with all the new-age appliances

  • Lower fire and shock risk, as newer switchboards have inbuilt safety switches

  • Lower risk of your circuit breaker constantly tripping

  • Lower chance of fuses blowing due to overloading

  • Older-style switchboards aren't compliant with current regulations and aren't always conducive with new smart meters

  • Solar power options require newer switchboards to function

 

As we mentioned before, your switchboard is the main control centre for your home - if it isn’t working properly, there can be more than one issue all around your home!

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The 5 Things Your Switchboard Needs to Keep Your Home and Office Safe

Every householder and business owner in New South Wales is legally obliged to keep their premises safe, including the way it uses electricity. Download our FREE Switchboard Safety e-book today to learn more about keeping your home, office and workplace safe.

Contact us today for a free quote!