Why should I completely upgrade my residential switchboard, it’s done the job for 50 years?

It’s believed that the meter panel/s in residential switchboards installed prior to the year 2000 were manufactured of, and comprise asbestos. In its solid state the asbestos is considered non-friable, however, when holes are drilled in the meter panel during alteration in order to fit equipment and pass through cables, dust is created, potentially releasing asbestos fibres. This dust then settles in your switchboard and potentially blows around your garden.

Since your switchboard was installed significant advancements have been made not only in electrical protection but also in the legislation that ultimately determines the electrical safety of your switchboard. Old switchboards contain little electrical protection other than short circuit and overcurrent protection (if it has been maintained correctly).

Even well maintained old switchboards are susceptible to high resistance joints (“hot joints”…or loose connections) which can ultimately cause a fire and while you might have had a Safety Switch fitted, who maintains it, does it work and if it does, will it plunge your home into darkness?

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by Guy Jenkins