Switchboards: Everything you need to know
Heard a lot about switchboards but don’t know much about them?
Here’s a beginners guide!
What is a switchboard?
Every residence that is connected to electricity has a switchboard.
Your switchboard is connected to the mains electricity. It receives the electricity and distributes power safely through different circuits in your home.
Each of these distribution points has a protective circuit breaker or fuse (in older switchboards).
They are usually located near the entrance of a building for easy access.
What can go wrong if my switchboard is rundown, outdated, faulty or damaged?
Here a just a few things that can happen if your switchboard falls into disrepair:
- The switchboard can become overloaded leading to power outages.
- It poses a higher risk of electric shock.
- Old and faulty switchboards can lead to electrical fire if left unattended.
Hence why it is so important to get a professional technician out to inspect your switchboard if you are unsure.
Do you need to upgrade your residences main switchboard?
If your switchboard has any of the following issues, consider having it inspected, replaced or upgraded immediately:
- It’s getting old and starting to fall apart. The circuits can become loose creating a potential hazard.
- Your switchboard is mounted on hazardous or non-compliant materials including asbestos panels or chipboard.
- If your current switchboard was installed prior to 2000. At that time switchboards were not required by legislation to have safety switches installed. These safety switches are vital for the protection of your property.
- If you have recently completed or are planning on starting a home renovation or extension. Home upgrades like this can result in a higher power requirement and may cause the switchboard to overload.
- If an old circuit breaker or ceramic fuses are still being used. Elements like these can crack or stick meaning they do not work as intended. This is more common in switchboards that are over 15 years old.
Consistent maintenance and upgrades are essential to ensure safe and consistent access to power.