Updated: Mar 27
Why You Need A Switchboard Upgrade & Is It Necessary To Have A Safety Switch?
Your switchboard is the central point of the electrical distribution system in your home. The electric power that comes from your utility provider reaches your switchboard and then is distributed to various points in your home.
All electrical equipment and gadgets that are powered by electricity get their power from the switchboard. Hence, your switch box must remain updated with all safety features incorporated in it to secure and protect the electrical equipment, gadgets, and tools.
The electrical wiring rules and standards are constantly upgraded and updated, and you, as the homeowner, have the responsibility to abide by the regulations. Keeping up with your switchboard's legal requirements has to be upgraded when you are making additions or alterations to your existing electrical systems in your home.
When installing bigger appliances or adding more power points in your home, it is necessary to go for a switchboard upgrade to supply electrical power to these additions in a regulated and safe manner.
If you live in an old house, your main switchboard will be outdated and will be having ceramic fuses as the main safety device and control element. But, as per the current standards having a switch box with ceramic fuses is not considered safe. And you have to go for a switchboard upgrade by installing the latest Circuit breakers and RCD devices to make your entire electrical system work as you want and offer the right amounts of safety to your home as required.
Here are the circumstances in which you need to go for a switchboard upgrade
When your fuses frequently blow, even when you are using your usual electrical load
When the circuit breakers keep on tripping when you use electricity as usual
When your lights flicker for no apparent reason, and there are more and frequent disturbances in the electrical power usage
When you hear buzzing or cracking noise coming from your switchboard
When you have ceramic fuse carriers to control the flow of electricity into your home
When your switchboard is outdated and cannot be serviced, then it is time for you to go for a switchboard upgrade.
Generally, as time passes, as you live in your old house, naturally, the household power consumption increases many folds. But your old switchboard cannot deliver such large amounts of electricity. Or the switchboard does not have the necessary safety devices built into it or does not have the provisions for adding the safety devices into the electrical distribution system. Then it is time for you to call your electrician and go for a switchboard upgrade and update it to the latest standards.
Why upgrade from Ceramic fuses?
Thus, the ceramic fuses become ineffective in offering protection against all the electrical line problems. Moreover, the ceramic fuse's efficiency depends on the use of the correct gauge and type of fuse wire as per the rated current ratings of the electrical circuit they are devised to protect.
If there is a change in the wire or there is a change in the electrical specs in a circuit, they cannot rely on it all 100% of the time. Hence, they are not effective in giving 100% protection to your home, family members, and the equipment you are using.
So, to avoid the dangers of using an inefficient protection device and replace it with a modern, more efficient protection device like RCD upgrading your switchboard is a must.
How to do the switchboard upgrade?
When doing the switchboard upgrade, please pay more attention to your electrical system's quality and the safety aspects incorporated into it. The upgrade you are doing now must be able to enhance the level of safety and performance of the electrical systems in your home. There are different types of switchboard upgrades, and it depends more on the type of electrical wiring and the existing electrical system in place and the budget you have for the upgrade.
The upgrade should be done with the following.
1. Removal of all ceramic fuses
2. Replacing old fuses with new safe circuit breakers and safety switches
3. Providing a nice enclosure for the new devices
4. Rewiring as may be needed
5. Tidying of electrical cables behind the panel board
6. Adding smart meters, replacement of asbestos panels, service fuses
7. Upgrading of main consumer cables if necessary
8. Inspection & upgrading of the MEN (Main Earthed Neutral) system as per the need
9. Conducting necessary mandatory tests and making sure the switchboard upgrade has been completed as per the current standards
Contact NZM Electrical Services today. We will send you one of our expert team to assess your electrical switchboard for free and give you an estimated cost to upgrade