Electrical fire in an electrical switchboard | Dawson Electric

Need a Switchboard Upgrade? 7 Warning Signs to look for

Do you need a switchboard upgrade? Have you noticed any warning signs? Tripping fuses, flickering lights?

Most of us take it for granted that our electricity will work when we want it to. At Dawson Electric, we come home in the evening and flick a switch and like magic, the lights come on. But what if, one day they don’t? Or worse still faulty wiring leads to an electrical fire. 

It is better to pay attention to early warning signs before it affects the safety of your family. 

7 Warning Signs you need a Switchboard Upgrade

  1. The switchboard is overcrowded and there is no more room. Firstly you need to find your switchboard. Usually, they are located on the side of your home or near the meter box. If there is no more room in your switchboard you will not be able to add any additional circuits for solar, pool pumps or air conditioning. Overloading existing circuits is a safety hazard. 
  2. Your appliances trip the circuit. Older switchboards are more likely to short circuit as they are not as power efficient. Also in our modern society, we have many more appliances that overload the current circuits. Old switchboards were not equipped to deal with so many modern appliances. Shorting circuits are dangerous and can cause electrical fires.
  3. Flickering Lights. There are many causes of flickering lights – loose bulbs or wires or an overloaded switchboard. Flickering lights can be caused by a change in the power supply. Not only is this very annoying it can also be dangerous. Have a licensed electrician check your lights and switchboard.
  4. Ceramic Fuses. Firstly these fuses are old technology and provide limited protection. They have also been installed in your home for a long time increasing the chance of an electrical fault or fire. They provide protection against overloading and short-circuiting but not against electric shocks. 
  5. A burning Smell. If you notice a burning smell coming from your switchboard you may have an overloaded circuit or faulty wiring. This is very dangerous and you need to call your electrician immediately. 
  6. Sparks. Sparks indicate there is something wrong with your switchboard and you should call an electrician immediately. This is a very dangerous issue. 
  7. Melted or blackened fuses. This is definitely a sign of a damaged or old fuse that needs replacing. If your electrical fuses are damaged they are unsafe and should be looked at by a licensed electrician. 

If I need a switchboard upgrade how much will it cost?

A switchboard upgrade typically costs between $900-$1200 depending on the size of the switchboard and how many circuits there are. Always ask for an itemised quote and find out what brand of electrical product the company uses. This will affect the cost. Ideally, you want a known brand such as Clipsal or Hager, that way you know you are getting a quality product and the best level of safety. 

Want to learn more about what is involved in a switchboard upgrade? Read here. 

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