Switchboards are the focal point of any property, where the entire electrical distribution of wires comes together. You may even want to look at this as the brains behind the mains electricity; it brings electricity from an outside source and then distributes it across every electrical power circuit around the property.
In today’s Digital Age, homes require much more power than they used to.
The switchboard itself contains various RCD safety switches, circuit breakers, and fuses, which reduce electricity overloading, possible fire, and reduce electrocution hazards. However, over time, this can become old, outdated and upgrades are needed for numerous reasons such as :
Are you adding further Air conditioning, Pool equipment, Spa or a solar installation that requires additional capacity for the circuits to be added ?
To discover more about switchboards to stay risk-free and in current regulation, let’s dive into the specifics of switchboard upgrades and why you might need one.
Do I Need to Upgrade My Switchboard ?
Switchboards are incredibly important for residential and commercial properties, as they control the distribution of power to lighting, various appliances and outlets.
An old, outdated switchboard can lead to several risks like electrocution, fires, etc., which generally appear from overloading it with new appliances or damaged wiring.
Old fuse carriers with re-wirable fuses can become a fire risk. They are also difficult and time consuming to change especially for the elderly or inexperienced. Changing fuse wire in the dark is a thing of the past.
Fuse carriers are now obsolete and do not meet the current regulations for new installations.
Noises or Flicking lights - When you can hear a buzzing, crackling, coming from the switchboard, or lighting issues it could suggest that the wiring could be loose, damaged, or not connected correctly.
Tripping appliances - An upgrade might be needed when your appliances are constantly tripping. Washers / Dryers and other high loading equipment overloading the circuits, upgrading to a modern switch board can evenly distribute the power over several circuits to ensure you have enough power throughout.
Switchboard upgrade for solar - Lastly, most non-modern switchboards aren't compatible with solar energy, so it'll need upgrading if yours doesn't have this compatibility.
What Are The Benefits of a Switchboard Upgrade ?
If you have an old switchboard, the benefits for upgrading are excellent - not only for safety but also for convenience.
Some advantages you can receive from going ahead with this upgrade consist of the following:
Fulfils the current WA electrical requirements for RCD protection.
Faster tripping times to protect your electrical goods and appliances from damage.
Prevents, protects, and allows you to have peace of mind knowing it's unlikely the switchboard can cause any harm because of the newer upgraded safety measures installed
Includes new, modern equipment like RCBO (Residual Current Circuit Breaker with Over Current Protection) switch for ease of use, RCDs (residuals current devices) that switches off electricity automatically if there's a fault.
Convenient flick of a switch to reset, no more difficult fuse wire in the dark.
Better main electrical earthing system
Clearly marked circuits for identification
Additional capacity for future upgrades such as solar panels or EV chargers.
What Are Current WA Electrical Requirements ?
The Government of Western Australia has electrical requirements mandated for anyone looking to sell or lease a property in the region.
Currently, their primary focus is on RCD and Smoke alarm laws. An RCD is a sensitive safety device that can switch the electricity off automatically and quickly if there's a
Residual current devices (RCDs) are the single most effective measure to prevent electrocutions, serious electrical injuries and fires.
In WA, all properties require two RCDs to ensure optimal protection. Therefore, if you're a homeowner looking to sell or lease a property, you must ensure that the property adheres to these strict regulations.
What Does a Switchboard Upgrade Cost ?
The upgrade costs for a switchboard vary on the number of phases and the property type.
Typically, a smaller, two-bedroom apartment or house has a basic single phase. In that case, it'll cost anywhere around $800.
Properties larger than two-bedroom with three or more power phases can cost roughly $2,000, depending on various factors.
Contact us if you're looking for a switchboard upgrade in Perth, book your free inspection and quote by our fully qualified, experienced technicians.
How Long Does a Switchboard Upgrade Take ?
When upgrading a switchboard, installation times can vary. That's because it truly depends on the comprehensiveness of the job. Every job is different as it's dependent on the number of circuits and switchboard currently installed.
In most instances, you'll only experience a power outage for around four to six hours, so food in fridges or freezers are not affected.
However, when one of our expert technicians comes along for the free inspection and quote, they can estimate how long the process can take more accurately.
Switchboard Upgrade in Perth
Our highly skilled tradespeople are eager to provide comprehensive services from the free inspection to project completion. If you're ready to upgrade the switchboard on your property, book the job online or call us today.
Check out this Clipsal switchboard video to show how the new RCD technology integrates into a neat upgrade package -