All You Need To Know About Switchboard Upgrades To Ensure Optimal Safety
A switchboard is more than the box you go to when you have a fuse or a circuit overload. It is the main control panel for the distribution of electricity in your living or workspace. The switchboard directs the supply of electricity wherever needed, safely and without disruption.
Why do you need a switchboard upgrade?
10 years ago switchboards were built to withstand a low electrical load. Today, a modern household can have more than 15 internet devices at one time, ranging from gadgets to smart TVs. That doesn’t include the multitude of electrical appliances and household security and intercoms.
Industrial and commercial factories require even stronger switchboards to deal with high power demand. Your entire business operations can come to a screeching halt if your commercial switchboard refuses to bear heavy loads.
A switchboard upgrade therefore becomes essential to adapt to modern usage if your switch board is out of date. A switchboard upgrade provides the necessary protection for your home and workspace to safeguard against electrical hazards like fire, electrocution and damaged equipment.
Signs that call out a switchboard upgrade
If your space is a part of old construction, have a level 2 electrician check your switchboard to see which parts need an upgrade. The most telling signs include:
- Overcrowded or old wiring- if you see a tangle of wires and grey and black coloured wires, it indicates that your wiring needs to be sorted and the older wired replaced
- Short circuits and blowing fuses- Regular short circuits and blowing fuses mean that you need to get the wires connecting to your fuse changed and altered. If you have ceramic fuses, they must be changed as they can’t bear high loads
- Discoloured and overheated power points are also an indication of a power overload on switchboards
Other tells include sparks, flickering lights, and an electric shock when you plug in an appliance.
How does an upgrade work?
An electrical contractor will start by gauging the size and capacity of your switchboard. Industrial properties require continuous upgrades to their switchboard capacity to deal with the increased demand for power. Older properties also need bigger switchboards to handle the new age gadgets and appliances.
Overcrowding wires, as mentioned above, are a fire hazard. They can easily spark and lead to accidents and costly damages. Your electrician will clean your wiring, installing new ones according to your power requirements.
The installation of an RCD (residual current device) is a crucial element of any updated switchboard. It is a safety device that protects from electrical shocks and provides a safety trigger for overloading circuits. An RCP monitors the electricity supply and immediately shuts the power off when it senses it going down the wrong path or when the cables overheat. It protects your machinery and appliances from blowing up and short-circuiting, which causes electric fires and serious injuries.
Further upgrades will include the replacement of ceramic fuses with safer circuit breakers, installation of smart metres and asbestos panels. The electrician will also install new service fuses and upgrade the mains cables. He will finish off with the mandatory testing to ensure that your switchboard upgrade can withstand the increased power loads. And the optimum working of the RCDs and check any remaining underlying faults and issues.
How do upgraded switchboards function
It will give your residential and commercial properties adequate protection against electrical hazards. You will also be able to monitor your electricity usage with smart metres and monitor your power load. The inbuilt safety switches will warn you against overloads and prevent injuries and accidents.
And lastly, you will have uninterrupted business operations and a more secure business and home environment.
Switchboard upgrades require specialised technical expertise that includes disconnecting and reconnecting the electricity supply. A level 2 electrician has the experience to check and update your mains electrical system from the ground and ensure it meets the legal safety requirements.
Integrum Power Group has certified and reliable electricians that provide professional switchboard upgrades and a range of other electrical services for your installation and maintenance needs. Whether you require overhead or underground services, new connections, or alterations to your existing power supply, we can help you stay safe with an upgrade.