Does Your Electrical Switchboard Need an Upgrade?
Do you live in an older home? If your electrical switchboard hasn’t been checked in the time you have lived there, it’s a good idea to hire a licensed electrician to perform an electrical safety audit. Old switchboards, especially the type that use ceramic fuses, need to be regularly inspected, and may need to be upgraded for safety reasons.
What is an electrical switchboard?
Switchboards are a crucial element of your home’s electrical system. They distribute electricity around your home. Modern switchboards have integrated safety switches that interrupt the power supply when a problem is detected. Safety switches lower the risk of electrical fires, and help protect your family from electrocution.
Older homes were built in a time when far fewer electrical appliances were used, and the devices commonly used in the average modern home today may place a dangerously high demand on older switchboards. Ceramic fuses may pose a fire risk, and are a considered a hazard for electrical shock. Unfortunately many older switchboards also do not have safety switches to cut off the supply if there is a problem or overload.
How do I know if I need an upgrade?
Flickering lights, fuses regularly blowing, and circuit breakers continually tripping are all signs your switchboard may need upgrading. If your home’s electrical switchboard was manufactured before safety switches became mandatory, you should have it checked for overall safety and safety switches should be installed.
If your meter box is too small to include safety switches, an entire upgrade may be necessary.
If you are thinking of getting solar panels, new metering and switch gearing will need to be installed, which requires additional space in your switchboard, so an upgrade may be needed in this situation as well.
Is it expensive to upgrade?
The cost of hiring a licensed electrician to install a new switchboard is a very minor investment compared to the cost of rebuilding your home and replacing your belongings after a house fire. Even without the potential fire risk, the cost of upgrading an out-of-date switchboard is usually small compared to other household renovations and upgrades.
Call an electrician
Tinkering with home electrics is not a job for weekend DIY warriors. Licensed electricians are the only people who are able to legally and safely maintain, inspect and upgrade your switchboard.
Modern lifestyles mean more and more electrical appliances are being used in the home, so take the opportunity of having an electrician on hand, and get them to inspect not only your switchboard, but the rest of your home’s electrical system, including the wiring, smoke detectors, power points and appliances such as air conditioners.
If you’re looking for some peace of mind and want a licensed electrician to check your switchboard, call us. We can undertake any electrical work around your home, and ensure your electrical system is operating as it should. The team is also available for residential builders, and commercial and industrial customers.
Modern switchboards are much simpler. Fuses are now circuit breakers, and with safety switches, modern domestic boards look more like the images below.