Lots of electrical problems can be traced back to the switchboard. If you’re experiencing flickering lights, or fuses blowing when you’re using too many appliances, then it may be time for an upgrade. We’re consuming power at an increasing rate every day, and many outdated boards can’t handle our new needs. For that reason, choosing to upgrade your switchboard can be a huge home improvement that will make life easier for the whole family.
What is a Switchboard?
A switchboard is essentially a unit that distributes electricity to your home. The mains electricity, which comes from the street to the fuse box, then gets directed to the switchboard, which can then send it to various places around your home.
Modern boards are designed to handle our heavy usage. Even in our kitchens we are using dishwashers, microwaves and kettles all at once – and that’s on a good day. If you need to wait to boil your water while your toast is cooking, then you probably need to upgrade your switchboard.
A modern board has a safety switch, which shuts down the board if it’s overloaded. Without it, your older switchboard could become a fire hazard! While safety switches are required by law, a simple installation might not do the trick. This should be done by an electrician – it isn’t a DIY job. They’ll be able to tell you if you just need the switch, or if a whole upgrade is necessary.
How much will an upgrade cost?
Like all things, the price of a new switchboard is dependent on its size and capacity. You can expect to pay between $700 to $1500 for the entire process. While some materials are more expensive than other brands, you don’t want to skimp on quality – use a licensed electrician that doesn’t cut corners with pricing.
Unfortunately, if your home is older, you may need to have it rewired at the same time. This isn’t necessarily the case, but it’s definitely worth asking your electrician to have a look around while they are there. Homes over 40 years should be rewired, but even newer homes may not comply with Australian Standards. Even though this can cost a lot of money, it will be far cheaper than replacing a house that has burnt down.
Your switchboard is one of your family’s biggest safeguards against electrocution. We always recommend getting it regularly inspected by a qualified electrician. That way you can rest assured that you’re getting the safety and protection that you and your family need. If you want a quote on an upgrade for your switchboard, get in touch!