Switchboards & Rewiring
A professionally-installed safety switch are integral to the protection of your property and the safety of people in your home or workplace.
Whilst conducting our free safety inspections on site or checking for compliance of switchboards when completing electrical upgrades for clients we come across aged switchboard throughout Darwin with either fuses or circuit breakers installed and no safety switches.
When adding to or modifying any power or lighting circuits in an existing installation the installation of a safety switch is mandatory for compliance and safety reasons.
Essentially, fuses and circuit breakers will only protect against short circuit fault conditions and are in place to prevent electrical fires or dangerous situations occurring. However, technology has come a long way since these devices were designed and we now have the option to protect against earth leakage with safety switches.
Safety switches monitor the flow of electricity on the active and neutral conductors and ensure that there is no leakage to the protective earth conductor. When leakage is detected which means that either the active, neutral or both conductors have a path to ground a safety switch will detect this and disconnect the supply of electricity to ensure that human beings and properties are safe and protected.
When an active or neutral conductor has a path to ground this means that these conductors are in contact with the protective earth conductors or bonds within an installation. This could be either, steel frames in your home or roof, the roof sheets, taps and plumbing pipes, the protective earth cabling and many other items.
When this happens there is the potential that these items are livened with power and can be touched and therefore creating a dangerous situation or electrocution.
Safety switches have been proven throughout history to safe lives and protect properties from dangerous electrical faults, the importance of safety switches cannot be stressed enough.
Does your Darwin home have safety switches installed?
Would you know how to check or test these devices?
Please visit our Facebook page for helpful videos that explain how to find out if you have safety switches installed and also how to test if these devices are operational! In your search for these devices, if you identify that there are fuses installed in your properties switchboard it is imperative that you look into having these replaced as soon as possible as these devices are even more dangerous than circuit breakers.
Fuses are re-wirable (to replace the fuse link) and are easily removed by simply pulling them away from the fuse base mounted to the switchboard. Behind this fuse, the fuse base has live electrical conductors that can be accidentally touched and could lead to electrocution or an electric shock. Typically, aged switchboards with fuses installed will also have an asbestos insulating panel installed protecting the cabling behind the switch and allows these fuses to be mounted to the fascia of the switchboard. If you are unsure
Need some advise with understanding about these devices more? Contact us today a free, no obligation quote and free safety inspection. Your families and your safety are our priority.
It is now mandatory that safety switches be installed on all sub-circuits in a domestic switchboard when adding to or modifying the circuit, including but not limited to: stove, hot water, air conditioners, power circuits and lighting circuits. Does your switchboard comply with today’s electrical standards? Get in contact with us today by simply clicking the live chat messenger icon to talk with a qualified electrician for free advice and help.
Main Earthing Electrode
It is also important to check the earthing system of an electrical installation as many aged installations carry a 4mm equipotential bond to the water pipes in place of a main earth electrode, which is no longer compliant. In many years past and several standard changes since this used to be a compliant way of bonding an electrical installation to ground.
This standard was updated some time ago as when plumbers were cutting the main water copper pipes in order to complete repairs they were unbeknownst disconnecting the electrical installation from ground. If a premises had a fault on a circuit when this happened it would cause voltage to be present on one side of the copper pipe and sadly resulting in the electrocution and death of many plumbers.
Further to this, if there is no fault existing in the installation and repairs are completed to the main water copper pipe but when this has happened the copper was replaced with poly/plastic pipework the electrical installation would be no longer connected to ground. Therefore when a fault occurs within the electrical installation a very dangerous situation occurs as the fault has no way of grounding and plumbing pipe’s and taps etc can become live with electricity.
For compliance with AS/NZS3000:2018 electrical standards, our most recently updated electrical standards it is now required that a main earthing electrode be installed that is independent to the copper water pipes that was previously used as the main earthing bond. This item is a long copper stake that is driven into soil that is exposed to the elements so that it remains in reasonably damp conditions to provide a good path to ground for the electrical installation.
Typically this can be found below a meter box and can be identified by a marking tag naming the main earthing electrode.
If you are unsure of your electrical switchboard or main earthing conductor book your free safety inspection today and rely on the advice of our friendly and professional electrician’s.
Don’t wait until it’s too late or put your property or families safety at risk by not ensuring that your electrical switchboard is safe and compliant.
Upgrading systems from small domestic switchboards to large industrial three phase switchboards rest assured that no matter the installation we are here to help!
Our team of Darwin electricians are available 24/7 and experienced at installing safety switches in residential, commercial and industrial premises.
Re-wiring Electrical Installations
Are you thinking of renovating or are just wanting to install more power points throughout your home or business? It should be known that all electrical circuits are not made equal!
In order homes or areas typically circuits are installed using smaller conductors that have a lower currency carrying capacity meaning that they cannot provide the same amount of power through the circuit for your additions as modern day homes with larger cabling can.
This is not usually a problem in the Darwin area as the majority of homes are newer as Darwin is not a very old city. Occasionally we do come across homes such as this though and in those instances we have to look into what the existing cabling can handle safety without causing issues such as circuits tripping due to overloading.
For an example, found in Darwin despite it’s relatively young age as a city can be single strand 1MM conductors used to install lights, this cabling have a much lower current carrying capacity than what is typically used in a home today for a lighting circuit which is 1.5mm multi strand conductors. Due to this, we must protect this smaller existing cabling with lower amperage protective devices which could limit the amount of new lights you can install or lights that can be upgraded to higher wattage lights. In circumstances like this it would be advisable to upgrade the circuit cabling to ensure that it is adequate for your requirements and safe.
In the past our demand for multiple appliances, automation, lighting, air conditioning and hot water was much less than it is today and some homes simply cannot the increased load without upgrading the existing cabling including the consumer mains to ensure that enough amperage can be supplied to the electrical installation.
Do you have a problem with circuits overloading and tripping circuit protective devices? We can help! Contact Florance Electrical Darwin today for free advice and a quotation onsite with an experienced electrician.