Understanding your Switchboard, Fuse Box and Circuit Breakers
If you’re experiencing regular blackouts and power outages, it’s time to do something about it. Domestic electrical issues should never be ignored and that means checking out your switchboard. Metropolitan Electrical Contractors specialises in electrical switchboard installation and can provide you with the essential service you need.
To the untrained eye, knowing what a switchboard is can be a touch confusing. It’s not an isolated piece of equipment, but rather a part of your home’s entire electrical system.
When something goes wrong with the power, you can trace it to the source at the fuse box, or electrical meter box. This houses the switchboard, main switch, RCD safety switches and circuit breakers. The fuse box is typically near the front of a house, on an internal or external wall. It may contain the electricity meter, too.
Inside your electric meter box you’ll find the following key components:
- Switchboard: This is the overall unit that houses the main switch and circuit breakers. Think of it like the control panel for the power supply to household circuits.
- Main Switch: The electrical main switch is the overall master control. When it’s switched off or is tripped the whole home loses power.
- Circuit Breakers: Circuit breakers provide protection for fuses. They prevent short circuit and excess electrical current distribution and will trip and turn off to stop the power supply. There are often individual circuit breakers for lighting, hot water systems, air conditioning, etc, to prevent any one circuit from overloading.
- RCD Safety Switches: Designed for human safety by preventing electric shock, residual current devices (RCD) cut off the power instantly when an imbalance is detected in the circuit. Although they essentially work the same as a circuit breaker, RCD safety switches react to more sensitive changes in current.
Each element of your electrical switchboard can be broken down and assessed individually when you’re having issues with power. However, Metropolitan Electrical Contractors will always look at testing your entire electrical system for a thorough fault-finding analysis.
We pay attention to the fine details so you can receive a detailed assessment. This will help you understand the best course of action and long-term management. So if you’re dealing with any electrical switchboard woes, contact us to book a local licensed electrician.