When it comes to our homes, we might not give much thought to our electrical switchboard. For most of us, the only time we take a peek at what’s inside the box is when there’s been a power failure.
There are times, however, when we might consider moving the heart of a home’s electrical system to another part of the house. But what reasons could there possibly be for relocating a switchboard?
Renovations – Updating our homes to reflect our lifestyles
Renovating an existing home is a great way of adding to its value. Whether it’s a small facelift to brighten up an older home, or a home extension to give more living space, a renovation can be quite daunting if it isn’t planned correctly. Occasionally, renovations will require the switchboard to be relocated. This can be due either to extending the home into the area where the current switchboard sits, or simply moving it out of the way to improve the home’s aesthetic appeal.
Property subdivision – Getting the most of your land
Another way of maximising the value of an existing property involves subdivision of the land. Subdividing a property can also lead to a relocation of your home’s switchboard based on the number of new homes being built on the existing lot. Each home will require a switchboard of its own, and without having a dedicated power dome on site, a maximum of two homes can be connected without a master switchboard.
As its name implies, a master switchboard will be the central distribution point for each home or unit on the lot. From here, the mains will run to a sub-board within the home. While this can go to the original switchboard location on the existing residence, a sub-board can be relocated to a more remote area, such as a wardrobe, as they are smaller than conventional switchboards.
Relocating switchboards – What’s involved?
Irrespective of the reasoning behind the change, the process of relocating switchboards remain the same. Bear in mind that all works MUST be completed by a skilled and licensed electrical contractor. Not only is this a legal requirement, but a critical safety precaution as well.
When relocating switchboards, the home is disconnected from the mains power supply. This means liaising with your electricity supplier and your electrical contractor. With the power safely disconnected from the home, a temporary power supply will be needed to facilitate any works. This can be in the form of a generator or a temporary power pole from your electrician. Temporary power will be needed for renovation works, as most tradespeople will require electricity for their tools and lighting.
From there, the wiring within the house needs to be separated from the meter and redirected to the proposed location. Similarly, the mains cable that brings power to the meter needs to be terminated correctly before moving the switchboard. Once it has been relocated, a new mains cable should be run from the electrical source to the switchboard.
Keeping you safe
Depending on the age of the home, there is a fair chance that the switchboard will need to be upgraded. Current regulations mandate that all Australian homes have switchboards fitted with Residual Current Devices, and this is brought into effect on homes where any major electrical works are carried out. Essentially, as soon as any works require alteration of the switchboard in any way, it MUST be upgraded to current Australian Standards.
With the relocation of your switchboard complete, and the power successfully reconnected to your home, your licensed contractor will test the board to ensure that not only will it work as it should, but that it complies with all relevant electrical safety regulations.
If you are on Sydney’s North Shore or Northern Beaches, are looking to renovate your home, and need to relocate your switchboard, we invite you to give our friendly team at Everest Electrical a call on 0410 229 139.