How do you know if your switchboard is outdated?

Your switchboard is the beating heart of your electrical system.

The majority of all issues or malfunctions that your home or commercial premises may experience are usually traced back to the switchboard – which is why it is vital this component is regularly updated and maintained.

Many premises still have old designs, though, which can be prone to failure and even unsafe. This can lead to electrical failures or worse outcomes if they are not updated.

Here are the signs you should look for to tell if your system is outdated and in need of repair or replacement:

The presence of fuses: Modern variations have circuit breakers that will instantly cut the power if an appliance, outlet or circuit fails. Older designs will have porcelain fuses that will burn and break. This is not only a less safe option, but switchboards are also required by law to have circuit breakers in 2020.

Look for modifications: An old one has likely been added to over time to accommodate new fixtures etc. New appliances mean more fuses and circuits need to be added and your switchboard can become overloaded over time, creating opportunities for failure.

There are multiple boxes: As homes are renovated or repaired over time, additions to the switchboard may have been required. In some cases, this could mean an extra box could have been added beside or inside the existing one. This is poor practice and is a sure sign your system needs to be updated.

Look for old wiring: In 2020, the wiring should be white as this means the work has been done recently. If you have black or grey wires in your unit that means it is old wiring and it is time for an upgrade.

The box itself is old: In days gone by, these boxes would be made of wood or could have asbestos present. If the box is old, the components inside most likely are as well.

There is no box at all: If your switchboard is exposed to the elements it presents a large hazard. At the very least, you will need a licenced electrician to encase the area properly.

You are experiencing power problems: If your electricity supply keeps tripping, you lose power when too many appliances are plugged in or your lights flicker, there is likely a fault in the system.

The age of your home: Any home built before the 1990s would have come with a system that is now outdated.

You have made major electrical additions to your home: A new air conditioner or a large, new fridge may be too much for an outdated system and not run correctly. If you have recently installed a pool, the pump is going to need a dedicated circuit as well.

Greenwood Electrical can provide complete, safe and effective inspections and upgrades, as well as safety switch installations, repairs and replacement.

To book an inspection and quote please contact us on (03) 9460 7077.

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