When it comes to electrical work, safety is a top priority. That’s why there are specific standards and regulations in place for electrical installations. And that’s also why you have to make sure your property complies with these requirements. With electrical safety regulations constantly changing, it’s important to reach out to a qualified electrician to have your electrical installations updated to the latest Australian standards and ensure the safety of your premises.
The expert electricians at AB Electrical & Communications Sydney provide comprehensive electrical service upgrades for both residential and commercial properties to help you meet these changing requirements and keep your property free of electrical hazards.
What Was the Client After?
Our client required a main switchboard upgrade given that the electrical equipment he had on his property at the time he contacted us was well under what meets today’s requirements. Old and aged switchboards lack many of the safety features that newer models have, and they’re prone to a variety of electrical issues, which makes them a real safety hazard. Therefore, it’s best to upgrade a switchboard sooner rather than later. So, we dispatched a team to our client’s location to take a look at the equipment and carry out the necessary upgrades.
What Work Was Completed?
Arriving on-site, our electricians inspected the existing switchboard and, after explaining to our client what solutions were required to bring it up to date with current Australian standards, they proceeded to upgrade the switchboard. The work included:
- Main Switchboard Upgrade
- Lowering to a height that meets Australian regulations
- Installation of Safety switches (RCBOS) on all final subcircuits
- New Consumer mains (Liaising with Level 2 Electrician)
- New Installation of earth stake
How to Know if Your Switchboard Needs Upgrading
Not sure whether your switchboard requires an upgrade or if it isn’t a necessity just yet? There are a few tell-tale signs that can make things clearer for you and alert you that it’s time to consider an upgrade, as follows:
- The age of your home – older homes are more likely to have outdated switchboards that don’t meet the current standards for electrical installations and pose a serious safety risk
- Old wiring – old wiring can lead to a plethora of electrical issues, and that means you have to give your switchboard a much-needed upgrade
- Flickering lights – there’s a high chance that your flickering lights are caused by an old or faulty switchboard, so the obvious solution is an upgrade
- Short-circuiting appliances – if your switchboard can’t keep up with the demand of modern appliances, there’s no doubt about it – you have to upgrade it
- Rewireable fuses – switchboards that have ceramic rewireable fuses, instead of circuit breakers require an immediate upgrade given the large safety hazard posed by the copper wiring inside the outdated fuses
- Overcrowded wiring – not enough real estate in your switchboard for the amount of wiring you have? Then it’s time to give your electrician a call and get ready for a switchboard upgrade
- Fuses keep blowing – if you’ve lost count of the fuses blowing on your property, chances are you need a switchboard upgrade
- Powerpoints – discoloured or overheated powerpoints are often a warning sign of an overloaded switchboard that needs upgrading
- Buzzing noises – buzzing or sizzling noises coming from your switchboard are a good reason to contact your electrician
- Sparks – powerpoints that spark when you plug in an appliance are a sign that your switchboard requires an upgrade
- Shock – similarly, experiencing a mild electrical shock when a plug is inserted means you need to call your electrician ASAP
Switchboard Requirements for Meeting the Australian Standards
If you want to make sure your switchboard is upgraded correctly and meets current Australian standards, you have to call in a professional electrician to inspect it and carry out the necessary work. If you want to learn more about the boxes that your switchboard has to check in order to comply with safety regulations, here’s what you need to know:
- Circuit Breaker Main Switch – starting 1 February 2022, the requirement for the main switch to be a circuit breaker has become mandatory for all new or altered connections, in order to provide overload protection and short circuit protection.
- Safety Switches / RCDs / RCBOs – it’s necessary to have RCDs and RCBOs, also known as safety switches, installed on your switchboard. These features reduce the risk of electrocution, overload, earth leakage, and short circuit.
- Main Earthing System – according to the updated Australian wiring rules, the earthing system on a property must measure less than 0.5 Ohm and follow specific installation requirements.
- Surge Protectors – surge protectors are very handy devices that protect against sudden voltage spikes, keeping your home electronics and appliances safe.
- Correct Labelling – it’s important to have each circuit in your switchboard labelled clearly and correctly, as per the latest regulations, both for convenience and safety reasons.
Where Was the Job Completed?
The switchboard upgrade was completed on our client’s property in Queens Park, Sydney NSW. Queens Park is a small suburb in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, surrounding a park of the same name. It’s located approximately 6 kilometres east of the Sydney central business district.
Who Worked on the Job?
The upgrade was carried out by our experienced tradesman Benny and our skilled apprentice Matt.