When and Why to Upgrade Your Switchboard

In the heart of every Brisbane home, a switchboard works silently, ensuring electrical currents flow seamlessly. But like all things, switchboards can age and become outdated. So, what does a switchboard upgrade entail, and when is it time to consider one? Let’s dive in. 

What is a Switchboard Upgrade?

Simply put, a switchboard upgrade is the process of replacing your old electrical switchboard with a new, modern one. Older switchboards often contain fuses, while modern ones use circuit breakers and safety switches, enhancing electrical safety and efficiency. Newer ones have what we call a Residual Current Breaker with Over Current (or RCBO for short). An upgrade ensures your home meets today’s electrical standards and can handle contemporary electrical loads. 

Why Upgrade Your Switchboard? 

  • Safety: As technology advances, our homes are filled with more gadgets, devices and appliances than ever before. An outdated switchboard may not be equipped to handle this increased demand, leading to potential hazards like fires or electrocution. RCBOs (or safety switches) will actually detect electricity flowing through another source, and turn the power off. This can save a life! 
  • Compatibility: Modern appliances may not always necessitate upgraded electrical conditions – most can operate on existing cabling systems. However, if you have an older fuse or circuit breaker switchboard and want to extend or add new wiring, a safety switch is imperative. This upgrade ensures your electrical system can safely accommodate the new additions! 
  • Avoiding Electrical Issues: While flickering lights and frequent power outages might have other causes, blown fuses can often be a result of an overstressed old switchboard. Upgrading your switchboard can help mitigate such issues, ensuring a more stable electrical system. 
  • Meeting Regulatory Standards: Brisbane has specific electrical standards that homes need to adhere to, especially when selling or renting. An upgraded switchboard can ensure your home is compliant. 

Signs You Need a Switchboard Upgrade

  • Old Style Fuses: If you still use ceramic fuses, it’s a significant indicator you need an upgrade for improved safety and efficiency. 
  • No Safety Switches: Modern switchboards come with safety switches that automatically shut off electrical supply during faults. If yours lacks this, consider an upgrade. 
  • Physical Damage: Any visible damage or burns on the switchboard can indicate potential internal problems. 
  • Age: If your home is more than 20 years old and hasn’t had an upgrade, it’s time to consider one. 
  • Frequent Electrical Disturbances: Regularly blown fuses, tripping circuit breakers, or dimming lights are telltale signs. 

A switchboard might not be the most glamorous part of your Brisbane home, but it’s undeniably one of the most critical. Recognising when it’s time for a switchboard upgrade can ensure your home remains a safe haven, free from potential electrical hazards. Prioritising this essential upgrade can save you from bigger issues down the line. 

Don’t leave safety to chance. If you’re experiencing any of the signs mentioned above or are unsure about your switchboard’s state, reach out to us. Let Electrical Contracting Queensland guide you through the switchboard upgrade process with expertise.