The switchboard in your home is the ‘heart’ of your homes electrical system. For your homes electrical system to work effectively and safely it is vital that your switchboard be modernised.
It is estimated that approximately 40% of homes in Adelaide still have the old ceramic fuses controlling the electrical system. These fuse boxes were installed when wiring standards and codes as well as power needs were very different today. Older switchboards simply cannot cope with volume and power needs of todays modern appliances. If you think about the power needs of your home with air conditioners, cooking appliances, lighting, hot water services and other modern day appliances that require power it is no wonder that old out of date fuses boxes simply cannot cope.
Electrical fires are surprisingly common with the greatest cause stemming from an outdated fuse box, particularly outdated ceramic fuses and overloading of circuits. Heavy electrical use over winter and summer can also cause damage to the wiring and electrical components of your home. Ceramic fuses are less sensitive at detecting hazardous faults and ultimately damage the wiring of your home and increase the risk of an electrical fire.
Whilst circuit breakers will protect you against high current overload they will not prevent against electrocutions or appliance faults, this is why the installation of safety switches is so important. Since 1993 it is required that RCD (Residual Current Device) safety switches be installed at the time that a house is sold or leased. The installation of a safety switch has saved many lives and is absolute necessity to safeguard your home and family.
How do I know if my switchboard needs upgrading?
- Do your fuses blow or circuit breakers frequently overload or trip?
- Do you have old ceramic / rewireable fuses?
- Have you had your fuse box inspected or recently serviced?
- Do you have safety switches?
- Do your lights flicker from dim to bright?
If you notice any of these or you simply want your switchboard inspected please contact us.
How much will a switchboard upgrade cost?
Generally the cost of a switchboard upgrade will be determined by the size and requirements of your homes electrical system. The size of the enclosure required, the number of circuit breakers and the number of safety switches will directly influence that cost of a switchboard upgrade. The average switchboard upgrades that we complete mostly cost between $700 to $1300 dependent upon the requirements of the home.
At BMS Electrical the vast majority of emergency after hours call outs relate to fuse boxes / switchboards and safety switches. The tripping of safety switches is extremely common, highlighting their importance in protecting life and property. In a large number of homes there is only one safety switch installed to protect all the electrical circuits. In the event that a fault occurs the safety switch turns off the power to all electrical circuits meaning that the home may be without power and lights. In this common scenario the only way to get the power and lights back on is to find the fault on one of the numerous circuits of the home. This can take time and cost you money as the electrician traces and then isolates the source of the fault. It will also mean that during this time you will be without power or lights or both until the fault is found.
However there is a solution, by installing combination safety switches RCD’s and miniature circuit breakers (MCB’s), called RCBO’s on each of your homes electrical circuits. Then if a fault occurs it will only trip the circuit the fault is on. This means the other power and lighting circuits will still be working and it will make it easier for the electrician to find the fault, as the RCBO that has tripped will be specific to the one circuit with the fault. To find out more about installing RCBO’s on all of your electrical circuits please contact one of our work co-ordinators.