Don’t risk it! Upgrade your old and unsafe switchboard today,
with our highly trained, licensed electricians.
Do you have old porcelain fuses and unprotected circuits on your current fuse box or switchboard? If so, they are most definitely unsafe and noncompliant with the current regulations (BS7671:2008). You should also seriously consider upgrading your fuse box if it is old and has fuse wires. Modern switchboards have safety switches, which act as RCD (residual current device) protection or RCBOs (residual current circuit breakers with overcurrent protection). Safety switches will literally save your life in the event of a fault or power surge.
Every home, office and commercial property should have dedicated safety switches, one on each circuit, to protect users against electric shock. Safety switches monitor the flow of currents running through the circuit upon which they’re installed. When the flow is normal, the switches are disengaged. If the switch detects a difference in power flow or a power surge, it will be immediately engaged, switching off the power supply in .003 of a second. This feature protects people within the property from electrocution, as the power is switched off as soon as anyone comes into contact with the electrical system.
It is also important to upgrade your fuse box or switch board because older models can cause a fire hazard. Electrical fires can start from your switchboard if the circuits overheat without protection.
Your electrical switchboard may overheat for many reasons, including loose connections, overload, excessive dust and an infestation of vermin such as ants. Overheated switchboards can remain undetected by normal fire detection systems, such as smoke alarms, until excessive smoke or an actual fire develops in your switchboard. Any circuits with safety switches installed will immediately shut down in the event of overheating, negating the risk of a fire starting in the switchboard.
Asbestos was used in Australian switchboards right up until the 1980’s due to its fire-resistant properties. As we all know, asbestos is now a banned substance due to its lethal health consequences.
If you suspect that your existing switchboard or fuse box contains asbestos, upgrading it with help from a licensed electrician will ensure that this substance is removed safely. At McIntosh Electrical, we have an active safety system in place to deal with asbestos and replace it with fire-resistant panelling. This is crucial for the safety of your home or office, as well as the occupants’ health and wellbeing.
The safety switch monitors the movement of the current. When there is a fault in the current, or if it begins to flow into a person rather than into the circuits or equipment, the safety switch will detect this shift in movement. The safety switch then engages and instantly shuts that particular circuit down.
It takes approximately four hours to upgrade and change over your current home switchboard to a safer and more modern option. However, this length of time is dependent upon the fuse box and switchboard themselves, as they tend to vary from property to property. The length of time can also be different for commercial versus residential properties.
Fuses and circuit breakers operate in the same basic way — they detect a problem and then open the circuit to stop the current. The difference between the two devices lies in the time they take to react, the types of faults that trigger their reaction, and what it is that they protect. The modern switchboard consists of combination safety switches and circuit breakers (RCBOs). These protect single circuits from shorts, overloads and electric shocks. RCBOs are installed on each individual circuit so that any problems that occur will be confined to one circuit. This means that issues such as nuisance trips or power faults will not take out all the connected circuits and cut the power for the entire building.
If your house or commercial space still has ceramic or plug-in fuses, you should get your switchboard upgraded to comply with the current standards.
Don’t risk it, call our friendly team today for a quick and competitive quote on upgrading your switchboard. It’s easier than you think!