The latest switchboard consumer units are the beating heart of the electrical wiring systems in your home.

If you are wanting a new air conditioner, induction cooktop or a swimming pool installed you will need a qualified electrician to check that your switchboard has sufficient capacity for the increase in demand. This might mean that the service cables to your property may need upgrading.

To replace a switchboard the installation must be de-energised or isolated so the work can be completed safely. Only a qualified Level 2 ASP can assist with this.

We always recommend removing and replacing an asbestos panel if your switch gear is mounted on one with a new compliant panel to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

There should also be a main switch circuit breaker that protects from over current. Many old switchboards still contain a manual switch that will not trip or open circuit if too much current flows. This can be extremely dangerous! We have seen many burnt and damaged cables inside switchboards that would have been protected if a correctly rated circuit breaker had been installed.

The switchboard should have circuit protection on all circuits to protect the cables from overheating and causing fire, for this circuit breakers are essential.

Every sub circuit should also be protected by an Residual-current device (RCD). These offer protection from electric shock. RCD’s or residual-current circuit breaker’s (RCCB’s) are electrical wiring device’s that disengage a circuit when it identifies that the electrical current is unbalanced.

Surge protection can also be installed to protect cables and equipment from lightning strikes – diverting the current directly to earth.

Another recent component that can be considered is an arc fault protection device. This is a piece of equipment that can trip if there is a bad connection or a connection that has become loose causing an arc, this device can potentially stop a fire from starting.

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