Have you noticed electrical issues around your house? Tripping fuses, flickering lights? These are common warning signs that your home switchboard may be in need of repairs, and quickly.
A switchboard, or switch box, is the box at the front of your house that acts as the central point from which all circuits in your home run. It’s also where they connect to your electricity meter – which is connected to the mains power.
Your electrical switchboard needs to be handled by qualified electricians for repairs or replacement. It breaks down electric current and sends it to the rooms in your home including the kitchen, laundry, bedrooms, bathrooms, and living room.
Electrical switchboards are very important. They keep the electricity supply flowing to your home and help protect you from loss of power and even electrical fires. You should always keep an eye on your switchboard to make sure that it’s running properly.
Warning Signs Of A Malfunctioning Switchboard
If you notice any of these common switchboard warning signs you should contact a licensed electrician immediately to repair or replace your switchboard.
If your switchboard is running out of space
This is something you should deal with now before it’s too late. If your switchboard is running out of room you should upgrade it now to future proof your home’s electrical network. If your switchboard runs out of room, it’s not only a safety issue, but you won’t be able to add circuits for solar, pool pumps or air conditioning. Overloading existing circuits is a safety hazard.
Old and outdated switchboard
If your home is more than 20 years old then you most likely have an old and outdated switchboard. If this is the case then you’ll need to replace that switchboard as it will no longer be compatible with many modern appliances. While these appliances make our lives comfortable, they require more power than old switchboards can handle. If you think your switchboard is over 20 years old, contact your electrician to see if it needs upgrading.
Burning smell around the switchboard
Another symptom of a faulty switchboard is a burning smell around the switchboard. This can mean there are loose or incorrect cables, poorly fitted electrical devices or faulty equipment. If you notice a burning smell around your switchboard you should immediately contact a licensed electrician. Heat damage can occur over a period of time and if it’s not caught early enough it can cause damage to your home’s lighting and power outlets and, in worst case scenarios, it can start electrical fires.
Buzzing, charred or discoloured outlets or switches
If you notice any buzzing, charred or discoloured outlets or switches on your switchboard, this indicates that there is a potentially serious problem in your electrical system that needs rectifying straight away. A buzzing sound indicates that there is a loose connection in a joint and the subsequent vibration causes heat and leads to a fire. Charred and discolored outlets are a definitive sign that the cable is overheating, usually caused by a fault on the system and the safety device not operating correctly. Having the right safety devices in place will eliminate any of these problems.
Flickering lights in your home
Flickering bulbs can be caused by a wiring fault however a faulty switchboard can also cause your lights to flicker more than usual. This could mean that your switchboard can’t handle the power demand of your household appliances and will cause your lights to flicker constantly. In either case, you need to call your electrician to find the cause of the issue and fix your flickering lights.
Circuit Breakers That Keep Tripping
A circuit breaker comes in handy in terms of dealing with overloads and power spikes. However, if your circuit breakers keep tripping, then you need to check your switchboard. A damaged switchboard may cause frequent tripping, especially if it cannot handle the high demand for power to the smaller circuits. Any licensed electrician will be able to determine the cause of a tripping circuit breaker and fix the issue for you.
These are some warning signs to be on the lookout for around your home; any of them can signify a malfunctioning switchboard. If you do notice any issues with your home switchboard, please don’t try to fix it yourself. Contact a licensed electrician immediately to identify and fix the problem.