Have you ever been told that you need to upgrade your fuse-board? This is a common suggestion from electricians, and there are many reasons that a fuse-board should be upgraded to a new switchboard.
Following are a few tips on when it is really required and not.
A few of the more common reasons for needing a new switchboard are:
• A fuse is blowing when you use more than one or two standard appliances
• Your lights are flickering and you don't know why
• Your fuse-board is too small and doesn't suit the modern appliances in your home
• You want to install safety switches to protect your family
• You want to install a new power point and have been told you don't have enough room on your existing fuse board for the new safety switch
• The existing fuse board has had cabling that has overheated and has burnt out one or more of the fuse holders
• A previous owner has put oversized fuse wire in the fuse holder and has burnt out a wire behind the fuse board panel
• Your about to install solar panels and the installer has asked you to upgrade your fuse board to a new switchboard
• Your home's wiring is quite old, you can't afford a complete rewire but you want the added protection of safety switches and correctly rated circuit breakers
We were recently called out to investigate a fuse that had blown. The home owner (let's call him George) had changed the fuse twice but on the third time every time the home owner put in a new fuse it would keep blowing. George decided to put a larger wire in the fuse holder and voila the power stayed on! Happy in the knowledge that he has got the power back on, George proceeded to turn on the three new electric heaters he had just bought on special at the local electrical goods store. So George was very warm and happy.
This worked for a day or two however then the cabling started to heat up and deteriorate behind the fuse panel. On the third day, the heaters stopped working. George was not happy but thought "I knew these heaters were on special for a reason". After a little further investigation, he has realised there was no power at the power-point. So once again, George went out to the fuse board with his oversized wire to replace the fuse. On arrival he was shocked to find smoke coming out of his fuse board and small licks of flame. Luckily for George, the asbestos in his old fuse board prevented the fire from going any further.
George put in the new fuse but alas, no power.... and after risking life and limb, finally he called an electrician!
The fuse board and the cabling hidden behind that nearly put George's castle on fire is beyond repair. We gave him a quote to replace the fuse board with a new switchboard and have the works inspected by an independent inspector.
George, as would be expected, compared this quote with two others. George used Fuse Electrical to undertake the works, why? We are licensed electricians, cost effective and take pride in our work. You can rest assured that when the works are completed by Fuse Electrical.
Important Note: Although we live so closely to it, we should always remember that electricity is dangerous and can kill even when precautions are taken. Always use a licensed electrician, to help minimise the risks.
Iain Sibbald is a registered electrical contractor and is the proprietor of Fuse Electrical 1300 221 223.