Do you know when your electrical switchboard was tested last? This month Fully Wired Electrical share their expert knowledge on why it’s important to ensure your switchboard is tested regularly
Below is an excerpt from an insurance Policy regarding Electrical Wiring for the main switchboard
– Electrical switchboards and/or wiring failures can be catastrophic and costly and often occur without warning, particularly in older properties. It is vital that the electrical wiring and switchboards are of a condition that minimise any potential risk to both property damage and/or personal injury
– This policy is issued on the condition that all switchboards and associated wiring within the insured property have undergone a physical safety inspection by a qualified and licensed electrical professional within the last 10 years and that any recommended repairs or upgrades have been attended to.
Having worked in the Strata industry for the last 10 years we have seen all types of switchboards ranging from good to very poor condition. Every so often we attend emergency jobs where the switchboard has short circuited causing irreparable damage and requires replacement. This causes the premises to lose some or all power to the complex and is very costly to replace – ranging from 5 to 15 thousand dollars and up to 72 hours downtime. Often, a simple switchboard inspection coupled with a thermal imaging scan for a cost of less than $500 can protect your switchboard from catastrophic failure.
The majority of switchboards we come across that are pre year 2000 are non-compliant with the current Australian Standards. The switchboard inspection process will pick up these non-compliant items and provide the body corporate with the recommend and enforced electrical safety requirements. A typical inspection will look for the following:
- Are the meters are mounted on non-compliant material?
- Does the switchboard contain asbestos?
- Is there safety switches on the power and light circuits?
- Is there circuit and meter identification?
- Is the main switch is an isolator only? Does it require overload protection?
- Is the earthing system compliant?
- Is there is evidence of cable fusion or badly degraded cables?
- Are the consumer mains overloaded?
- What is the overall condition of the switchboard?
- Is the switchboard damaged/dangerous?
The community switchboard is a critical piece of infrastructure yet is so often overlooked for regular inspection and maintenance. Regular testing is important to mitigate the risk of a costly disaster but more importantly, to improve/maintain the safety of a potentially dangerous electrical system.
For more information on electrical switchboard, contact your strata manager today, or Fully Wired directly on 1300 38 55 99 or [email protected]