What The Client Was After:
For this project, the client contacted us because they needed to upgrade from unprotected fuse protection to the appropriate safety switches required by Australian regulations.
At AB Electrical we are familiar with the new Australian standards and were ready to help this client bring their system up to par.
What Work Was Completed:
1. Installation of a New Enclosure
The first thing that needed to be done to get the client’s switchboard up to Australian safety regulation standards was replacing the old enclosure.
Once that was complete our team member could move on to the next step in the installation process.
2. Installation of New Main Switch
Once the enclosure was replaced, we replaced the switchboard’s main switch.
The main switch is the device that connects the power source to the switchboard which then feeds the power to the rest of the building. This switch is important because it allows us to block electricity from entering the switchboard and home so it can be safely worked on without risk of electrocution.
The main switch is also the first safety feature in the system. If it senses that the consumer mains are pulling too much power from the power source it will trip and cut off the power, preventing a power surge from ever reaching the switchboard.
3. Installation of 7x Safety Switches
After the main switch was installed we installed 7x safety switches in the client’s switchboard. These switches are placed in the switchboard at the start of every individual circuit.
The purpose of safety switches is to prevent an excess amount of electricity which could damage the circuit and eventually cause a house fire.
Just like with the main switch, if the safety switches detect a surge in electricity above what the circuits are capable of handling they will trip, cutting off the power supply to that circuit. This prevents too much power from entering the circuit which can create an increased risk of electrocution and fire.
4. Labelled, Tested, and Commissioned
After we completed the installation we checked to make sure that everything had been properly set up, then turned the power back on.
With the power back on we made sure that all of the switches were working properly and could cut off power to the circuits. Then we checked to ensure electricity was still flowing through all circuits to all home areas.
How to Know If Your Switchboard Does Not Meet the Australian Standards
To know if your switchboard does not meet the new Australian standards you’ll need to read the AS/NZS 61439 switchboard standard which was released back in 2016.
This standard is a regulation that affects manufacturers of switchboards. It states that they are no longer allowed to manufacture switchboards that do not meet the requirements detailed in the standard.
Although it was released in 2016, the new standards did not become mandatory until 2021.
How can I find out if my switchboard meets Australian standards?
To find out if your switchboard meets the new Australian standards you’ll need to get the model number and look it up on the manufacturer’s website. Once you do that you should be able to see whether or not your particular switchboard meets the new industry standards.
If your switchboard was manufactured and installed before the year 2016, chances are it is not up to date with the new standards. However, even if your switchboard was installed after manufactured after 2016 it’s important to check because the regulations did not become compulsory until 5 years later.
Call an Electrician
If you’ve tried to look at your switchboard and you just can’t seem to figure out whether or not it meets regulations you should call an electrician to come to take a look.
An electrician can help you identify the model of your switchboard and tell you whether or not its features are up to date with the current standards.
If it’s determined that it is not up to date they can also help make recommendations about which up to date switchboard will be right for your electrical needs.
Benefits of a Switchboard Upgrade
There are many benefits to a switchboard upgrade outside of the new safety standards, although that is definitely important. Some of the other benefits of a switchboard upgrade include the following:
- Reduce maintenance costs
- Compliance with Australian standards
- Reduce the risk of electrocution
- More power output
Where the Job Was Completed:
Esther Rd, Balmoral, NSW
Who Worked on the Job:
Benny – Tradesman