Switch Board Upgrades

Do you have an old fuse board installed at your home or business at the moment?

Have you ever lost power or lights and spent frustrating time in the dark trying to replace old fuse wire in crumbling old ceramic fuses? This can be not only frustrating but it also presents a number of very real risks to both you and your family.

Read on to learn how valuable it is to invest in a switch board upgrade, as well as some of the practical benefits a switch board upgrade has.

SOME OF THE COMMON ISSUES WITH OLD SWITCH BOARDS:

  • BLOWN FUSE WIRE: This is usually caused by overloading circuits, such as plugging in too many appliances at the same time, but can also be caused by loose connections inside the fuse holder, or short circuit faults inside the wiring of your home
  • MELTED CABLES: Commonly if there is a loose connection, this causes excessive heat to build up around the terminal, which in turn causes the cables to get really hot and begin to melt. As this happens, the plastic insulation around the copper begins to melt away and fall off, leaving dangerously exposed cables inside the switch board or wall cavity.
  • LOOSE CONNECTIONS: As copper gets hot, it also gets soft, which allows the old screw-type connections to become loose. This creates ARCING behind the fuse – as this begins to happen, the heat builds up and if your earthing is not up to standard, it will quickly spread into a full-blown fire behind the switch board.
  • FIRE: Once the fire starts in the switch board, it will quickly spread up the wall cavity and into your roof space, once this happens you have very little time to get everyone out safely, as rooftop house fires burn very hot and very fast.

Don’t risk your family’s safety – a simple old fuse coupled with a dodgy earthing system can be deadly.

ASBESTOS:

  • The majority of old black panel fuse boards have an asbestos panel
  • We highly recommend a full upgrade if you have a switchboard or fuse box that has a black panel, as the chances are it is an asbestos material
  • If these panels are drilled into, the fibres become airborne and put everyone around at risk.
  • Asbestos panels can be safely removed if they are not drilled into or broken.
  • An electrical switchboard upgrade will remove the old asbestos switchboard panel and make it safe for you, your family as well as anyone working in and around that area.

SOME OF THE BENEFITS:

So, what are some of the benefits, other than avoiding devastating fires 😊

  • AVOID COSTLY AFTER HOURS CALL OUTS: Chances are, if the power is going to trip, it will be on a Sunday or public holiday when call outs are at least double the standard rates. With a fully upgraded switchboard, each of your circuits will have their own individual RCD protection. This means you will be able to quickly and easily identify the affected area, and find the cause of the tripped RCD. For ‘How to trace RCD faults’ see our other blog titled “RCDs – FAQ’s”
  • AVOID RISK OF FIRE AND ELECTROCUTION: As mentioned above, fire is a big risk with old fuse boards, however, so is electrocution. One of the things you get with a full upgrade is not only RCD protection on EVERY circuit, but you also get a fully upgraded main earthing system that will protect you and your family (even your pets) in case of any electrical faults.

WHAT DO YOU GET

When we upgrade your switchboard you get far more than a few extra switches and nice labels, see below for a list of what you get with EVERY switchboard we install:

  • Brand new switchboard enclosure (either metal or plastic depending on current set up)
  • High-quality CLIPSAL RCD’S on every single circuit
  • A compliant FIRE SEAL between the switchboard enclosure and any roof or wall cavity
  • A fresh new main earthing system including new main earth stake, equipotential bond and MEN Point
  • Clear, easy to understand labelling of switchboard
  • A document that will detail which part of the house is on each circuit (saving you time if anything goes wrong later on)
  • 24hour 7 days a week over the phone support if you have any queries or issues

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST:

Not as much as you might think – send us a photo of your switch board for an accurate fixed price quote, but in general most houses will get all of the above for less than $1400 including GST

Feel free to get in contact with us if you have any further queries or if you would like a free quote, or even just some friendly advice.We hope this has answered any questions you may have on switch board upgrades, why they are necessary, when they are needed and how they can help keep Perth families safe.

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