|Posted on 22 July, 2014 at 20:45|
Do You Need an Electrical Switchboard Upgrade?
If your switchboard looks like the one in the above picture then your answer is yes you do need a switchboard upgrade.
How old is your home? More pertinently, how old is its wiring? If it’s been a while since your home’s electrical switchboard has been inspected and upgraded, or if it still uses old ceramic fuses, it could be putting you and your family at risk or be an emergency waiting to happen.
Switchboards are an essential part of your home’s electrical system. They route the electricity around your home and these days include safety switches to protect you and your family from electrocution.
All over Nelson people with older homes have recognised the need for electrical switchboard upgrades. Your switchboard should look like this image below.
Switchboards or Fuse boards
So, when was the last time you had an electrician check your switchboard? Many homeowners are unaware of the importance of switchboard maintenance, or of the triggers that signal the need for an upgrade including:
These can often be the first indicators that your switchboard is past its ‘use-by-date’.
The importance of your switchboard is that it effectively manages the distribution of power throughout your home. The age of your home and switchboard is important to acknowledge as older homes were built in an age when homes did not use a myriad of electrical appliances.
The demands on an electrical switchboard were lower in homes that needed power for just an oven, refrigerator and a heater, plus one or two other small appliances, like a toaster and iron.
These days however, we see multiple computers, printers, televisions, sound and security systems, blenders, mixers, pool cleaners – the list goes on.
For safety and appliance protection, modern switchboards now have circuit breakers and RCD's (residual current device) rather than fuses. If the circuit is overloaded the switch will automatically flip to break the circuit and avoid the affected appliance.
Do You Need a Switchboard Upgrade / fuse board upgrade?
Do you have a home that still retains its original ceramic fuse box? If so, it is time to call us at Payless Electrical for a switchboard upgrade. Fuse box switchboards and rewirable ceramic fuses do not comply with today’s standards.
Apart from non-compliance issues they can pose a fire risk and a hazard for electrical shock.
If your home has electrical switchboards dating back to a time before safety switches were included as standard, then a safety check is needed – and an upgrade to incorporate, at the very least, a mandatory working safety switch.
If you need circuits added but your meter box is too small for any additional metering – again, it is time to upgrade.
Maybe you are interested in solar panels and inverters, or have had them installed. These can involve new metering and switch gearing that can require additional space and, not surprisingly, a switchboard upgrade.
Today’s switchboards are fitted with safety switches and automatic trip circuit breakers as standard.
Is it Expensive to Upgrade?
When compared to electrocution or house fire, any investment in their prevention should be considered small. Even without the potential risks posed by an out-of-date switchboard, the time and cost investment in a switchboard upgrade should be considered to be small.
Call an Electrician
Licensed electricians are the only people able to maintain, inspect and upgrade your switchboard. This is not a home handyman, or DIY job. Hiring a certified licensed registered electrician for these tasks is not just good advice, it is law.
When we upgrade your switchboard, it provides an opportunity for us to inspect your wiring. It also means an evaluation can be made of possible future electrical circuits that may be required, and even whether there may be a need for additional power points in your home to safely accommodate your appliances.
The types of circuits that can be added to your home include but are not limited to:
-lighting, which can include security sensors also
-air conditioners, ceiling fans, and heating units
-bathroom heating and exhaust fans
-additional power points
After installing a switchboard upgrade we are able to test the running of the unit. This is an important step, and the time required and the complexity of the process can vary depending on the switchboard upgrade.
As our lifestyles change and our households are becoming more dependent on appliances, switchboard maintenance and upgrades become more important.
For your own safety, always ensure you engage the services of a licensed electrician.