Adam Bushell is a professional electrician in Sydney with more than ten years of experience in the industry. Adam’s business, AB Electrical & Communications offers smart electrical tech and environmental-friendly solutions to clients across Sydney, servicing both residential and commercial properties.
What the client was after
Full switchboard upgrade, including consumer mains upgrade from point of attachment (POA).
The client needed help with an electrical system that was faulty due to an outdated switchboard and other electrical issues, such as faulty wiring. We sent Benny and Matt to assess the situation and identify whether it was necessary to replace the switchboard, or if the problem could be fixed through different means. After careful evaluation, our skilled technicians decided that a complete switchboard upgrade was the best course of action.
What work was completed?
In order to complete the switchboard upgrade, we took the following steps:
- Disconnected and reconnected consumer mains by Level 2 electrician
- Ran new 16mm XLPE consumer mains
- Removed all old equipment, including asbestos boards
- Cut existing hole larger to fit new 600 by 600 board
- Installed lintel
- Installed all new electrical gear and protection devices
- Rendered and sealed around fire rated switchboard
- Tested and commissioned power and final subcircuit
When do you need to upgrade your switchboard, and why is it important?
Switchboards are an essential component of an electrical system, often referred to as the central hub for all electrical circuits. Just like any other electrical equipment, switchboards are subject to wear and tear, which is why sometimes upgrades are necessary. If you’re wondering whether it’s time to invest in a new switchboard, here are the tell-tale signs you should be looking out for:
- Overcrowded wiring – a switchboard that is overcrowded with a multitude of wires and cables can affect the proper functioning of your appliances and pose a major safety risk. If you’re hearing a slow humming sound coming from your switchboard, or if there are too many cables inside to make sense of what’s going on, a switchboard upgrade is a good idea.
- Flickering lights – flickering lights are not only extremely annoying but can also signal an underlying problem with your switchboard. An older switchboard model or one that has too many circuits can easily get overloaded, trying to cope with the power demand, and that can cause your lights to flicker.
- Burning smells – a burning smell coming from your switchboard is never a good sign. It often indicates that there’s faulty wiring or an overloaded system causing the fuses to overheat and burn out. That can turn into a major fire hazard, so a switchboard upgrade is a must.
- Tripping circuits – as you install new appliances in your home, the pressure on your electrical circuits increases, causing them to trip. If you’re dealing with repeated tripped circuits or blown fuses it might be because your old switchboard can’t keep up with the current power demand and that means you probably need to upgrade it.
- Your switchboard has ceramic fuses – if you have an old switchboard model that still uses ceramic fuses, you should definitely consider an upgrade. Ceramic fuses are outdated and can put your electrical system at risk, which is why in certain states they are no longer installed.
- The switchboard contains asbestos – up until 2004, asbestos was commonly used in the manufacturing of electrical panels. Asbestos exposure is associated with serious health risks, so if you suspect your switchboard contains asbestos, you should reach out to a licensed specialist to have it removed from your home.
- Lack of safety switches – safety switches are essential electrical components that protect you and your home against the risk of fire, electrical shock, or fatal injuries. If your switchboard lacks safety switches, you should waste no time upgrading it to ensure safety and peace of mind.
Investing in a new switchboard is important for a variety of reasons. The main benefits of a switchboard upgrade include:
- Avoiding overload and making sure your switchboard is able to keep up with the demand of modern appliances
- Reducing the risk of fire and electrical shock through inbuilt safety switches
- Lowering the likelihood of tripping circuits and blown fuses due to overload
- Ensuring compliance with current safety regulations
- Enjoying peace of mind and a higher level of safety
Where the job was completed
This project was completed at our client’s property in Carter St, Cammeray NSW 2062. Cammeray is a residential suburb of Sydney’s Lower North Shore. The suburb is located five kilometers north of the Sydney Central Business District and is part of the North Sydney Council local government area.
Who worked on the job?
Benny – Tradesman
Matt – Apprentice