Switchboard Upgrade Specialists
Do you Need a Switchboard Upgrade?
Are you located in inner west sydney?
Is your switchboard outdated in need of electrical attention?
We Specialise ONLY in domestic and residential electrical works, predominantly service works like lighting, power and switchboards.
Are these in your switchboard? Time to remove the danger...
Check out some of recent upgrades
What is a safety switch or RCD?
RCD's (Residule Current Device) or commonly known as safety switches are essentially your electrocution.An RCD is truly your last line of derence to protect against electrocution. Many people are under the impression that a circuit breaker will trip in the event of human contact with electricty, this is incorrect!
The picture showing the test button arrow is an RCD, they are easily idintified by this button. Each brand will varey but they are made obvious by the the 'T' or 'Test' button.
An RCD measures the current flowing out and back to the circuit, if, in any event there is an earth leakage to ground it will trip instantly in .04 of a second - Saving your life
7 Reasons you need a switchboard upgrade
1. Building an addition to your home, for example a granny flat, garage or next level extension. Due to the demand of everyday appliances your power consumption will go up placing your old switchboard under pressure, not being able to handle the increased load. Depending on your new electric needs you may also need to upgrade the consumer mains to three phase - the supply from the street to your home.
2. Lack of safety switches/RCD. New wiring rules state that every domestic circuit now be placed on an RCD for added electrocution protection, meaning your homes as new as '18 are most likley sub standard now and lack full electrocution protection on circuits like ovens, cook tops and air conditioners.
3. Adding new appliances to your home - ovens, stoves, induction cook tops. An induction cook top can be 32 amps... some Sydney apartments only have a 32amp supply!!
4. Adding more electrical equipment like air-condition units - These draw quite a bit of power, you may need to upgrade to three phase power.
5. Flickering lights, of intermittent power loss to power points etc.
6. Your switchboard has wired fuses. These are still so common and so dangerous, people who don't know what they are doing may place the incorrect size wire in to replace a blown wire and this can have a knock on effect and put your homes wiring at risk of fire or damage to the cabling.
7. Over crowding circuits at the switchboard - Numerous years of different electricians adding circuits, botching cables in.
Why should i upgrade my switchboard?
One Word - SAFETY!Your electrical switchboard is the heart of your electrical system. If your switchboard isn't up to date it can impose serious safety risks in your home or business. It's important you keep it maintained and up to date with current AS3000:2018 wiring rules.
In this article we will guide you through everything about switchboard upgrades, relocation, and installs. When it comes to switchboard upgrades, Westcork Electrical is here to help with it's team of expert electricians local to you sydneysiders!
Many Sydney homes still have old wiring and original switchboard which, yes, are functional but not safe and sub standard. With technology becoming imminent it is difficult for old switchboards to cope with the increasing loads. Even more, these switchboards are hardly equipped with electrical RCDs which are more commonly known as safety switches.Old switchboards use fuse carriers and ceramic fuse' with have a flimsy fuse wire in between two screws as protection for circuit overload, crazy right? On a short circuit this wire will arc, burn out and crack, breaking the circuit. not to mind having no protection against electrocution.
The next phase of this was the plug in fuse carriers, which often people mixed and matched the wrong fuses resulting in something like the picture.
The problem was when this happened back in the day. The property owner usually grabbed the closest bit of replacement wire and changed it themselves, not knowing if they put the correct wire in… We have seen 32a plug in fuses or double wrapped 16 amp wire (16a x 2 = 32a) on an 8 amp circuit this is lethal and a fire waiting to happen!
A massive problem we see a lot is when a fuse blows the homeowner (usually not an electrician) will reinstate the fuse wire themselves… why is this dangerous?.. Fuse wire has different ratings in the olden days you had 8 amp for lights and 16 amp for power points. If the light fuse blows (8 Amp), and cracks the wire, we have seen it on numerous occasions the owner will install the 16 amp fuse wire.
This is VERY DANGEROUS and often causes electrical fires. These fuses do not protect you from electrical shock, they only protect the cable! That’s safety switches have now been made mandatory for all new installs up to 32A in a domestic installation.
If your home is still using a ceramic style fuse board at your home you need it replaced quick smart!
Why should I install surge protection at my switchboard?
Recently we had a client prior to us doing work on their home have a lightning strike travel up the earth electrode and blow up a all the homes electronic components inside the TV, Aircon, Washing Machine, Oven etc etc.
This reeked havoc and caused about 9k worth of damage. Had they installed a simple master surge protector at the switchboard this could've been avoided.
The surge protector is a simple device that sits in the switchboard and takes the hit of any surges, when it blows, the cartridge can be easily replaced.
What is a switchboard?
A switchboard is the heart of your home or business' electrics. When the power comes from the street it goes firstly to your switchboard, from there gets distributes throught your home in sub circuits powering up your property.
Your switchboard is usually located on the external of your home inside the meter box with your electricity meter in older homes, generally on the front corner of your home, sometimes even outside your front door - what were they thinking? Apartments will have them tucked away in the kitchen cabinet above a fridge or similar.
Inside the switchboard there will be a number of fuses or circuit breakers - if your reading this, looking to upgrade your switchbboard, most likley it's outdated and has porcelan fuses like the pictures below. These fuses protect the cable by blowing and snaping the fuse wire inside when the circuit operating current is exceeded, but, they will not prevent you from electric shock - as many people think they do! That's where an upgrade and installing RCD or safety switches come into play.
RCD's - One of the key reasons for an upgrade is to add safety to your family and home to prevent electrical shock - scroll down to see if you've got RCD's installed. If not your at risk of electrical shock - If you have RCD's make sure you push the test button monthly to make ensure it is operating correctly.
Thinking of installing a pool, granny flat, garage, airconditioning units? You will need to make sure your switchboard is upto scratch. Westcork Electrical can inspect yours today. Give us a call, we're here to help!
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How do I know if I need to upgrade my switchboard?
If your Switchboard is like any of our before pictures on this page they are well overdue for an upgrade. We can let you know by getting in touch with us.
How much does it cost to upgrade my switchboard in 2021?
Prices can vary quite a bit depending on how complex the job is. and if the switchboard is in an apartment or house etc, apartments are generally cheaper as the main earthing is already done and they have less circuits. A House on the other hand whereas with a house extra earthing may be required. It also depends on the number of circuits and if you need to upgrade the consumer mains or relocate the meter box.
Of course, it's the law for electrical companies to do so!
To find out more, check out the details on the NSW Fair Trading website.