Since it serves as a central hub for your home’s electrical system, it’s important to keep your switchboard in good working order. However, like all other pieces of equipment, switchboards are bound to suffer from wear and tear, and at one point they might have to be upgraded or replaced.
Fortunately, at AB Electrical and Communications Sydney we have a team of highly-experienced technicians who know everything there is to know about switchboard maintenance, fixes, and upgrades, so we can provide excellent services for all your electrical needs.
What the client was after
One of our clients contacted us requiring a complete upgrade of their dilapidated switchboard. We dispatched a team to their location to assess the situation and install a brand-new switchboard.
What work was completed
The project involved disconnecting the supply by a level 2 electrician. We then decommissioned the existing panel and porcelain fuses. Once the old board was completely removed, we installed a new metal fire-rated box.
We then installed the following:
- a new 80-amp service fuse (main fuse)
- a current limiting main switch
- safety switches on all circuits
- a new earthing electrode
After these works were completed, power was restored to the property and the installation was commissioned.
When is it time to upgrade your switchboard?
Switchboards are designed to last for many years, but they still have a limited life span, so it’s important to inspect them regularly and determine whether they require an upgrade in order to minimise risks and keep your home safe. Switchboard upgrades are necessary for several reasons, including:
- Avoiding the risk of overload in older switchboards that have difficulties coping with the demand of modern appliances
- Lowering the risk of fire or electrical shock by installing safety switches
- Reducing the odds of tripping circuit breakers and blown fuses caused by overload
- Meeting current safety requirements and ensuring compatibility with new smart meters
- Facilitating the use of solar power equipment
- Making sure your home’s electrical system stays in good working condition
Knowing when you have to give your switchboard an upgrade can save you a lot of stress and trouble. If you’re not sure about it, here are some tell-tale signs indicating it might be time for a switchboard upgrade:
- Property age – old buildings usually have switchboards that are past their estimated lifespan
- Outdated wiring – old or overcrowded wiring can cause lots of issues, signalling the need for an upgrade
- Flickering lights – older or faulty switchboards can sometimes cause the lights in your home to flicker
- Tripping circuits – if your circuits keep tripping, especially when using new appliances, it’s usually a sign that your switchboard is not able to keep up with the electrical demand
- Ceramic fuses – outdated switchboard models still use ceramic fuses which do not comply with today’s electrical standards
- Buzzing noises – bussing or sizzling noises are never a good sign as they usually indicate a problem with your switchboard
- No safety switches – without safety switches, switchboards pose a greater risk of fire and electrical shock, so an upgrade is absolutely essential
How much does a switchboard upgrade cost in Sydney?
Switchboard upgrades vary in price, depending on the condition and age of the building’s electrical system. The types of updates that are required and the quality of the materials used for the upgrade also play a role in determining costs.
In general, costs for a switchboard upgrade range from $800 to $4000. It’s important to consult with a qualified electrician in order to assess your specific needs and provide an accurate quote for your switchboard upgrade.
Why it’s important to have a professional electrician look at your switchboard for any damage or safety hazards?
Given the complexity of the electrical components and the specialised knowledge required to perform electrical work safely and efficiently, switchboard upgrades should never be treated as DIY projects. If you require any work on your switchboard, don’t attempt to get the job done yourself, as there are many potential risks involved. Always leave it up to a qualified and licensed electrician to handle these tasks.
Where the job was completed
This project was completed at our client’s home in Wollstonecraft, NSW, 2065. Wollstonecraft is a harbourside suburb situated on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, only 4 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of North Sydney Council.
Who worked on the job?
Sam and Dylan, two of our skilled tradesmen, worked on the completion of this project.