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What Does A Switchboard Actually Do?

Every household has one, but do you really know just how important the switchboard is to your home’s electrical system? Despite it being such an important electrical feature in every Australian home, many homeowners are unaware of how a switchboard actually functions and what it does. Because of this, many switchboards go unchecked, creating the potential for some serious problems.
What Does A Switchboard Actually Do?

Electrical Switchboards

So, what is a switchboard, and why is it so important?

The electrical switchboard is an essential electrical distribution device. It contains various electrical components such as busbars, safety switches, relays, fuses, and circuit breakers, which all enable the power flow to remain controlled, regulated and, most importantly, safe.

Should any of the parts begin to falter, you could easily be dealing with electrical overloads or faults, all of which can become quite dangerous for you.

How Does a Switchboard Work?

As said, the switchboard works as an electrical distribution device. Power is originally transmitted from a main source, generally a utility provider, to the switchboard where it is then divided among the separate circuits to be sent to power demand points.

The current flowing through each branch circuit depends heavily on the amount of power each demand point requires.

The Main Safety Elements of a Switchboard

The elements in a switchboard, such as safety switches, circuit breakers, and fuses, all help to control the power output of different circuits. Though each has its own specific role.

For instance, the safety switch is designed to completely cut power for a specific circuit, which stops you from being electrocuted. So, generally speaking the safety switch is designed to protect you.

Now the circuit breakers are programmed to trip at the sign of a power overload or electrical fault.

For instance, if the electrical demand is too high for one particular circuit, the circuit breaker will disconnect it from the power source in order to protect the circuit itself.

Similarly, the fuse is designed to melt when it detects a possible fault or power overload. This disconnects the circuit from the switchboard, meaning the fuse’s role is to protect the switchboard.

Switchboard electrician

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Switchboard?

The switchboard is essential for your home’s electrical distribution. Not to mention, the numerous electrical elements housed in the switchboard are incredibly important for your safety.

So, if you happen to notice any of the following problems with your switchboard, it could be time to look into an upgrade or replacement.

  • It is an older switchboard that is beginning to show noticeable signs of wear and tear.
  • If you notice certain circuit breakers tripping regularly, appliances short circuiting, or lights flickering.
  • If you have recently completed or are planning any home renovations or extensions that may increase the power output requirements.
  • If the switchboard still uses outdated components like old circuit breakers and fuses. This is more likely to occur in switchboards over 10 years old.

In any case, if you are unsure of the functionality of your switchboard, our electrical professionals are more than happy to help.

From maintenance checks, to upgrades and replacements, we’ve got you covered. So, stay safe and call us on 1300 453 871.

June, 2024
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