Signs You Need a Switchboard Upgrade

Your switchboard is the central hub for all the electrical circuits in your home. Most properties have separate circuits for the downstairs lighting, upstairs lighting, appliances, and plug outlets, all controllable from this unit. 

Just like any type of equipment, however, switchboards eventually reach the end of their usable life, at which point they require upgrading. 

In this article, we discuss the signs that your switchboard is becoming unsafe and when you require a replacement. 

It Operates Using Ceramic Fuses

Fuses might still be commonplace in electrical equipment, but they’re outdated technology and provide you and your family with very little protection if something goes wrong. The problem is this: ceramic fuses provide very limited protection to your property and essentially, no protection to you personally from electric shock / electrocution.

Getting your old ceramic fuses replaced with modern safety switches helps to improve safety while reducing the risk of fire. A safety switch can shutdown electricity in 0.03 seconds after a change in the electrical current is detected.  Modern safety switches and circuit breakers work almost instantaneously to cut the electrical circuit and stop electrocution from occurring.

The Switchboard Panel Contains Asbestos

Many older switchboards require upgrading because the backing panel is made of asbestos. When this material is used, electricians cannot apply or drill into the switchboard to make repairs due to the risk of asbestos particles becoming airbourne and potentially entering the lungs. Most switchboards installed before 2004 contain asbestos and so require a qualified electrician to remove them before installing a new backing panel. Removal requires specialised techniques and training to avoid serious health risks.

You Notice A Burning Smell

Switchboards should never smell. If you notice fumes coming from yours, it could indicate that the electrical wiring is overheating and could potentially catch fire. This occurrence requires immediate attention and the switchboard will require replacement. Remember, faulty wiring can be extremely dangerous. 

You Notice Your Lights Flickering

Lots of things cause flickering lights. It could be a faulty light bulb, an overloaded circuit or a random power surge from the grid. However, it is also often the switchboard itself. Sometimes old boards are unable to regulate a constant flow of electricity. 

Here are some more signs people living in Wollongong should look out for: 

  • Dropped circuits (the lights keep going off, or sockets regularly trip).
  • Overcrowded wiring on the switchboard itself
  • Melted or blackened fuses

Your switchboard isn’t coping with current demands

The way we’re using switchboards is changing over time. Thirty or forty years ago – when many switchboards were installed – people only used a fraction of the appliances they do today.

Over the years, though, electricity demands have increased substantially, yet switchboards have remained the same. Most homes are using the same number of circuits as they were decades ago and they are now unable to cope with the increased load.

The problem with outdated switchboards is they have both aging components and increased demand – a potentially hazardous combination. 

Using A Licensed Electrician In Wollongong

If you’re looking for electricians to replace your switchboard in Wollongong, the South Coast, or the Southern Highlands, then you’re in the right place. 

JME offers a team of professionals who can expertly remove your old switchboard and provide you with a unit that is more fit for purpose. 

We send out qualified electricians to your location promptly and carry out all work with the highest regard for your privacy. 

It’s time to stop putting your family at risk and swap out your current board for something safe and efficient. Get in touch with us today and see what we can do for you.