Why Should I Upgrade My Switchboard?

Why Should I Upgrade My Switchboard?

"If it aint broken don't fix it" might sound like the right way to go about deciding when to upgrade your switchboard. But this phrase has no place when working with electrical cause if your home's electrical systems are not properly installed and maintained, they pose a serious life-threatening danger to the inhabitants of your home. There is no more important part of your home electrical systems than the switchboard. The switchboard acts as the control centre of your electrical system it is where mains or solar electricity enters your home and is where this electricity is divided up to go to where it is needed. It also acts as a major line of defence against electrical faults and electrical safety hazards. It is for these reasons that when it comes to your switchboard you should always air on the side of caution and even if "it aint broken" doesn't mean it is safe.

What to look for?

There are some key things to look for when it comes to deciding to upgrade your switchboard to ensure your home is safe and your system is operating as it should be.

  • Age of the Switchboard:

    If your home is older or the switchboard looks old and you are unsure when it was last upgraded it might be worth having an electrician inspect the switchboard to determine whether it needs an upgrade and whether it is safe. Old switchboards pose several risks as some used asbestos backing plates which pose huge risks if they get damaged or work needs to be conducted on them. Another reason is ceramic fuses, as ceramic fuses were not built for the current electrical consumption and currents that modern homes require leading to them tripping at even the most minor change in current. On top of this most old switchboards didn't include circuit breakers making them extremely unsafe.

  • Constant tripping or Blown fuses:

    If you are having to constantly replace fuses or your switchboard is constantly tripping chances are it the demands of your electrical system are proving to be great for its capacity and can increase our risks of electrical faults.

  • When upgrading or replacing the electrical meter:

    This is a great time to upgrade your switchboard as it's hitting two birds with one stone and will ensure both these systems work effectively and efficiently together.

  • When installing new major appliances:

    When you install new appliances such as ovens, fridges, dishwashers, and other major energy-hungry appliances especially when the new appliances require a new circuit (i.e. solar panels or pool pumps/heaters) as they will increase the load on the switchboard and could exceed its capacity.

  • Switchboard is getting crowded:

    If your switchboard is starting to get crowded or there is a mess of cables everywhere it might be worth getting a licensed electrician out to check on your system as this may mean previous owners took it upon themselves to do some incredibly dangerous DIY electrical work or the system is getting old and requires upgrading to modern safety standards.

  • If you notice any faults or areas of concern:

    If you notice crackling sounds from electrical sockets or the switchboard; you get an electrical shock from a socket; or there is discolouration around the socket; or worst case you have had an electrical fire. These faults may mean your switchboard is being overworked and requires immediate electrical work. If this happens at your home contact an electrician or after-hours electrician immediately as these faults pose a serious risk to your safety.

In the end, the major things to consider with your switchboard are, whether it's safe and have I noticed any of the above things. If you have it is time to upgrade your switchboard, but how expensive is a switchboard upgrade? Well if you live in the Melbourne area First Call Electrical Services offer switchboard upgrades for upfront pricing starting at $1,064.64 for up to 4 circuits and $1,426.43 for up to 8 circuits. Our team are renowned for our service with over 250 5-star reviews on Google we are your one-stop electrical shop in Melbourne.

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