A switchboard upgrade brings many benefits and maybe urgent in some cases. You require a qualified electrician to properly inspect older systems and determine what needs to be updated.
Multivolt Services has been working on electrical panel upgrades throughout Brisbane.
Australian standards require homeowners to have up-to-date switchboards, as electrocutions and house fires are more likely to occur with older boards.
A new switchboard can cost between $800 and $4000, depending on the current wiring system and the age of your building.
What is a Switchboard?
It is the electrical hub for a building receiving power from the power grid and then dispersing it through out the building where power in needed. It routes the currents to the individual circuits and the various household appliances in the house.
A safety switch or RCD switch is also installed in the electrical panel to cut off the power supply to the building if a change in the current is detected.
The presence of an up to date switchboard with a safety switch is mandatory under the Australian Wiring Rules and Laws AS3000:2018.
Do I need to upgrade my switchboard?
As technology advances, household energy consumption will also continue to increase. As a result, Australians now have more household appliances than ever before, requiring more energy. Old switchboards, such as old ceramic and porcelain fuses, are simply no longer able to meet the ever-growing demand for electricity.
Reasons for upgrading your switchboard
There are many reasons why the electrical panel may need to be upgraded.
Some of the most common are:
- The electrical panel is older, and the older the system, the more likely it will experience problems.
- The circuit breakers trip regularly.
- An outdated fuse box, most likely with ceramic fuses.
- The lights flicker at irregular times
- When too many appliances are in use, the fuses blow more frequently
- Appliances are frequently short circuiting
- A buzzing or strange noise is coming from the electrical panel.
- Cables get overheated in the control panel, causing them to overload.
- New Power Points are needed.
- More old appliances are being replaced with newer models that have with more significant power requirements
As electrical requirements and appliances have evolved, older switchboards can no longer meet today’s demands. Electrocution, fires and other negative consequences can overload older electrical panels. Upgrading to a newer and safer board prevents these problems and protects equipment, buildings, and people.
Why are ceramic fuses not safe?
Ceramic fuses, also known as porcelain fuses, were installed in many Australian homes in the late 1900s as safety devices. They only trip the current if there is an overload or short circuit in the ceramic fuse wire as it overheats.
If your home is more than 25 years old and you have not yet replaced your switchboard it is very likely that you currently have ceramic fuses installed.
They are no longer safe because they gradually start to fail to keep up with current power demands and fail. They do not offer the protection that modern homes and appliances require.
How much does it cost to upgrade to a new switchboard?
This is typically the first question we get asked and we get it!!
A switchboard upgrade is not something a house owner budgets for.
Please note these are approximate prices only for a residential electrician!
The cost of upgrading a switchboard varies from property to property. However, after years of doing upgrades this is a rough guide to the usual cost of upgrading a switchboard in Brisbane.
*These are approximate averages for Brisbane.
A regular switchboard upgrade will cost between $800-$2000.
If your home’s needs rewiring wiring or the switchboard to be upgraded and moved – The cost of this is around $2000-$4000.
If you need a 3-phase switchboard, this will cost between $3000-$5000 and you may need a commercial electrician to install these.
It should be noted that electricians will have their own pricing methods.
Always be cautious of electricians who are pricing below these prices as they may not be qualified for the work.
Avoid companies that are charging well above these prices as you are paying above and beyond what you should be.
Costs will increase if additional work is required, such as asbestos removal and wiring upgrades.
How to upgrade a switchboard with Multivolt Services
Replacing an asbestos switchboard
Switchboards may have been built with an asbestos panel for older homes over 25 years old or built before 2004.
Asbestos is a highly hazardous material that a professional electrician may encounter.
We will ensure that the asbestos panel is removed and disposed of under all current health and safety laws.
What is an RCD?
A residual current device (RCD) is installed in switchboards and acts as a safety device that prevents extreme electric shocks, fires and electrocution risks in homes. They constantly monitor the current flow in the neutral and active conductors and switch off the current immediately if an imbalance occurs.
From January 2019, safety switches became mandatory on all circuits in new homes. They are designed to cut the power to an electrical circuit in the event of an electric shock.
Safety switches on all circuits in the switchboard will increase the overall safety of the home.
However, if your home was built before 2000, we strongly advise you to install them in your panel as they provide protection that conventional ceramic fuses and simple circuit breakers cannot.
Safety devices – fuses, circuit breakers and RCD switches
Several safety devices can be installed in an electrical panel to protect both your electrical systems and your family from electrocution. A fuse will cut off the flow of electricity if a device causes too much current to flow. A circuit breaker is basically a re settable fuse that trips the breaker when it senses a larger than usual current.
Affordable and reliable switchboard upgrades.
Multivolt Services has been upgrading electrical switchboards all over Brisbane.
Our team of trusted emergency electricians have the experience and accreditation to carry out all switchboard upgrades.
We can work in all residential, commercial and industrial buildings and upgrade all types of switchboards.
Contact our team today for an accurate and detailed estimate.