What is a Switchboard?
An electric switchboard is fundamentally the unit which distributes electricity to the home. It requires mains power and distributes it to different places around the home. Modern switchboards have security switches which protect the home. The safety switch was made to shut down the switchboard in case it is overloaded, but older switchboards may not have security switches and may pose a fire hazard. A safety switch may turn off power in 0.03 seconds following a change in the electric current is detected. Aged systems are much slower and may be dangerous.
Safety switches are required by legislation in Australia, but installing safety switches in an present switchboard might not be enough. It certainly is not a DIY job and just an electrician can tell you in the event that you need to replace the switchboard, too. Safety switches have a”test” button and you need to test them every 3 months. The test button will simulate an”earth leakage” and then switch off the power.
How can you tell if you need a switchboard upgrade?
We use more power today than in the past because no days we have more appliances that run on electricity and use more electricity than ever before. Even appliances that are not in use may use some power. In case you’ve got a computer, for example, it is going to use some electricity even if off just like TVs that are always ready to be switched on.
We have more kitchen appliances, also, including dishwashers, microwaves, kettles, coffee makers and other appliances. All of them use electricity and a few homes do not have switchboards that could handle the load.
Then there are different appliances, such as washing machines, dryers, electric hot water heating systems and heating and cooling methods. We also have more lighting than we did previously and frequently have overhead lighting together with table lighting. and we have more lighting in the bathroom with IXL fan heaters . All these may add up to an overloaded switchboard. In some cases, new cabling or fresh wiring may be needed. The only person qualified to assess the problem is an electrician, who will test your switchboard, cabling and existing wiring.
These are some of the signs to search for, that will tell you if you have an outdated switchboard
Dangers of an outdated switchboard
No safety switches to stop fatal electrocutions
To protect against fatal electrocutions, legislation in Western Australia requires that at least 2 RCD Safety Switches should be fitted into a household switchboard to guard all power and light circuits.
RCDs are made to decrease the power source instantly to guard you from an electric shock – which could be potentially deadly. Installing RCDS can prevent 90 percent of fatal electrocutions.
Fuses and plug-in circuit breakers
Loose plug-in links under load is arcing, melting the connected cable and eventually ignites a fire.
Perhaps not a proper dimensions Fuse-wire or Plug-in Circuit Breaker in fuse foundation overloads and burns off the cable.
Hanging out fuse-wire will shock you while attempting to substitute or test it.
Exposure to asbestos board
Many elderly switchboards contain asbestos in their mounting and pose a health risk if incorrectly removed.
The right removal of the asbestos when upgrading a switchboard is very important and must be performed by a licensed and trained plumber.
Asbestos is a hazardous and illegal material that should NOT be drilled or cut. Dust from drilling an asbestos switchboard may release fibers into the atmosphere that could get into your lungs when inhaled and may never be removed.
When was the last time you had your Electrical inspected
Once an electric fault presents itself requiring emergency attention, make sure to call Snap Air Conditioning / Electrical. Our technicians are on call 24/7 and can make an urgent trip to make sure your home and safety are restored, completing repairs and/or replacement of the faulty appliance.
Snap Air Conditioning / Electrical’s emergency electricians are trained in all aspects of electrical devices, together Air Conditioning credentials, they are able to have your appliance up and running right away. Alternately, if the error requires spare parts, it’s likely these are available from our well stocked warehouse allowing your repairs to be actioned without delay.
Snap Air Conditioning / Electrical will respond to your urgent requirements because:
Your safety is our responsibility.