Is it Time to Upgrade your Old Switchboard?
If you think you need a new switchboard then keep reading to find out some useful information.
Switchboards are a very important part of the electrical installation in any building. If they are correctly installed and maintained, then they protect the electrical wiring (circuits)in your home or workplace. If they are not, they can be the cause of fires.
Switchboards have evolved as technology has developed. A new modern switchboard with mini circuit breakers (MCB’s) and residual current devices (RCD’s) looks very different to an old black switchboard with ceramic fuse holders.
Is my Switchboard Safe?
There are many technical elements to a switchboard.
If you are not sure if your switchboard is safe, then you need to get it checked by a Registered Electrician. They are professionals and will be able to inspect the switchboard and provide a qualified opinion. Some of the things they might do while inspecting your switchboard are:
- Visually inspect the circuit protection (circuit breakers or fuses)
- Load test a selection of the circuits
- Check for RCD protection
- Test the earthing
- Take special photos of the switchboard with a thermal imaging camera
- Check on the type of wiring that is going into the switchboard, and check on its condition.
How Much does a New Switchboard Cost?
Switchboards in houses come in several different sizes. Most residential switchboards only supply single phase power, but some larger houses may have 3 phase power. Standalone garages and sleep-outs usually have their own sub-board (a small switchboard that is connected to the main house switchboard). Really old switchboards may have the electrical metering on the same surface-mounted board, whereas newer houses tend to have the meter box on the outside of the house and the switchboard on the inside. Other factors in determining the cost of a new or upgraded switchboard is the number of electrical circuits in the house and whether the earthing system also needs upgrading.
For some basic guidelines on switchboard costs, allow about $1500 to $2000 (incl GST) to replace a standalone switchboard in a basic 2-3 bedroom house.
If you need a free estimate for a switchboard upgrade, then contact us! We’ll arrange a time for one of our electricians to pop round and check the existing switchboard. We will then provide you with a professional recommendation on the state of the existing switchboard as well as an estimate for upgrading it (if needed).