Switchboard upgrades and replacement services
Solstra is a licensed electrician in Melbourne specialising in electrical switchboard upgrades.
We build and install switchboards for residential homes, units, apartment blocks, new builds and more. We also do larger switchboards, for commercial and industrial premises.
Our switchboards are built with quality workmanship and carefully designed to adequately and capably serve the power needs of your home or business.
With over 20 years of technical and industry experience, you can be assured that your switchboard electrical installation will be 100% safe, effective and compliant with Victorian switchboard upgrade regulations.
Solstra is listed with Energy Safe Victoria as a Licensed Technician and a Licensed Electrical Practice. We operate in compliance with the Australian Electrical Safety Standards and the Electrical Safety Act 1998.
If you’re a resident, property owner or business owner, contact us today for an obligation-free inspection of your current switchboard by one of our professional, fully qualified electricians.
Solstra is an established family-run business with personalised service and honest, quality advice. We provide switchboard upgrades across Melbourne, the South Eastern Suburbs and Mornington Peninsula.
Registered Electrical Contractor REC 28804
Licensed Electrician in Melbourne, Victoria providing electrical switchboard installation.
What is a switchboard?
Your electrical switchboard is the command centre of the electrical system powering your property. It controls and distributes power from your mains supply through to designated outlets within your home or commercial premises.
So how does it work? The switchboard divides the power feed supplied to the switchboard into smaller load circuits and provides a protective circuit breaker (or fuse) for each circuit.
Most switchboards are enclosed with a cover (sometimes referred to as the ‘fuse box’) and usually include your electricity meter.
Modern switchboards have safety switches, which turn off the power supply in the event that the switchboard becomes overloaded – protecting your electrical system and property. A safety switch can cut the power within milliseconds!
Domestic switchboards are normally found mounted on an exterior wall or inside a garage.
3 phase switchboards
3 phase switchboards support electrical systems with higher electricity requirements, such as for larger homes using a lot of (or more powerful) electrical appliances, or a commercial premises with many electrical systems where additional voltage is required.
3-phase power (400 to 415 volts) is commonly found in premises where multiple large appliances are in use. Single-phase power (230 – 240 volts) is the most common power connection to Victorian homes as its smaller voltage capacity accommodates an average electrical load.
Common problems with switchboards
Here are some common problems that we see in switchboards around Melbourne:
- the electricity supply regularly trips
- old and hasn’t been updated (common in older homes)
- non-compliance with current switchboard regulations
- unable to perform to the power demand, and
- hardware lacks the capacity and capability for modern power usage.
As well as being potentially unsafe, an old or faulty switchboard can mean your electrical system is not running efficiently or malfunctioning – costing money and potential property damage that you can’t yet see.
Keep alert for signs of electrical system deterioration in your home and around your switchboard.
- Have your electrical switchboard inspected regularly
- Never touch frayed or damaged wires
- Upgrade your switchboard and have safety switches installed
- Always use a Licensed Electrician for switchboard replacement or repairs.
About older-style switchboards
Do you have an older home? Because of changing regulations, changes in technology and the way we use power today, there are many older style homes that need a domestic switchboard upgrade in Victoria.
Switchboards have a long lifespan, but when are they TOO old?
Depending on the age of your home, your switchboard electrical installation might have occurred anywhere from 10-100 years ago. If your home is over 25 years old, it’s likely the switchboard will need upgrading.
Old electrical switchboards
The older style, open switchboards had ceramic switches mounted on slate, granite, or asbestos board. Here are some not-so-great features of some older switchboards:
- open (uncovered) switchboard
- no circuit breakers on the switchboard, and
- no safety switches on the switchboard
Circuit breakers protect our wiring systems and appliances from excess electrical currents. Safety switches protect the switchboard and electrical system in the event it becomes overloaded and they enable us to turn off and restore the power if needed.
Not having one can pose a potential fire risk and serious (potentially fatal) electrocution hazard. Pretty vital things, hey?
Older switchboards can be much slower and more dangerous due to lacking these important features.
Older wiring may also be an issue if your house was built more than 30 years ago. Many domestic electrical fires each year are caused by old degraded wiring within the electrical system, unable to cope with the modern power usage demands of the property.
It may be necessary to upgrade your wiring as part of your switchboard upgrade.
What are the signs of an outdated switchboard?
If you’re seeing or hearing these tell-tale signs, it could be time to consider a switchboard upgrade.
- Regularly ‘blowing’ fuses
- Lights flickering
- Flashes/sparks in power points or switches
- Fuse box is uncovered with outdated ceramic fuses
- Circuit breakers tripping frequently
- Discolouration and smells around the switchboard
- Household appliances regularly cut out.
The presence of old switches and power points can also be a sign that a switchboard inspection hasn’t taken place for some time.
Get peace of mind. Contact Solstra today for a thorough inspection of your electrical system and switchboard by a Licensed Electrician.
Appliances often ‘trip’ the power because the older, lower voltage switchboard does not have the capacity to handle the higher voltage needed for modern power usage. Here’s why.
- Modern appliances like computers run on more electricity
- Modern homes have more lighting and heating
- The number of (and types of) appliances we own has increased
- The intervals and timing that we use our appliances has broadened.
This is due to developments and changes in technology, comfort, convenience and lifestyle. Older switchboards must also ‘get with the times’. It makes sense.
Why should I upgrade my switchboard?
The health of your switchboard is important! But even more so is your safety and protection of the lifestyle and assets you have worked so hard to build.
You should look at organising a switchboard installation for these reasons:
- Health and safety for your family
- Prevent insurance from becoming void
- Enable safe, varying power usage
- Save money with an efficient electricity system
- Reduce outage inconveniences
- Protect your home from fire.
Imagine you are working from home with an important deadline and you suddenly lose power due to switchboard failure – requiring repairs by a licensed electrician. In the interim, you would be scrambling to relocate, potentially fighting traffic, weak wi-fi connections and travel time.
And that’s only one scenario of significant inconvenience that a switchboard failure could cause.
More severely, fire can destroy your home and possessions, frighteningly suddenly and quickly. Unfortunately, many sentimental items such as antiques and family heirlooms are lost in house fires. In addition to that, a faulty electrical system may mean you are not covered by insurance, should the worst happen.
Switchboard upgrade regulations
In Victoria, electrical switchboard installation must be completed by a Licenced Electrician and comply with Victorian switchboard upgrade regulations, the Australian Electrical Safety Standards and the Electrical Safety Act 1998.
Solstra is listed with Energy Safe Victoria as a Licensed Technician and Licensed Electrical Practice.
It’s important to have a technician with the relevant qualifications and knowledge of current codes working on your switchboard installation.
Attempting to do this work yourself could result in gradual damage to the electrical system of your home in your walls or ceiling and electrocution risk.
What’s sitting behind your walls? If it’s been a while, arrange an inspection today. It’s worth it.
When should I upgrade my switchboard?
Our families, our home and we ourselves grow and evolve as we progress through life. This results in changes to our needs, lifestyle and power usage.
The power needs of your home or commercial premises often change due to:
- home extensions and renovations
- installation of an EV charger
- a new external structure (garage or home office), and
- major changes to power needs.
You might have an elderly relative living at the property in a granny flat. Perhaps you’re upgrading heating and cooling. The summers are definitely getting hotter.
If your renovation includes additional major appliances and a significant increase in power usage, a 3 phase switchboard upgrade may be recommended.
Switchboard upgrade for solar
Solstra also specialises in designing, building and installing residential and commercial solar systems and batteries across Melbourne. We know solar!
If you’re installing solar or an EV charger, sometimes it’s necessary to upgrade your electrical switchboard to accommodate the change in power distribution, support the updated power usage and keep things running safely.
We would be pleased to offer you some obligation-free advice by one of our qualified technicians who can visit your property to discuss what you have planned or assess your current system.
We can help with your switchboard
All switchboard installations completed by Solstra come with a 12-month warranty and a Certificate of Electrical Safety. A Certificate of Electrical Safety is your reassurance that your switchboard has been installed according to Australian Standards.
Solstra is a Licensed Electrical Practice with a professional team of fully qualified electricians. We are also fully insured and police-checked.
It’s worth spending more on an experienced electrician who is licenced, qualified and insured. We are here to help.
Here are our services for switchboards:
- Switchboard upgrade and replacement
- Switchboard safety inspection and assessment
- Switchboard maintenance
An onsite inspection of your switchboard involves comprehensive assessment and safety testing of to determine that your switchboard is operating effectively, safely and in compliance with current regulations and codes.
If you have purchased a new home, your power usage has changed or you are seeing signs of switchboard deterioration – an inspection by a qualified, licenced electrician is a good idea.
Where a solar system is to be installed at your property, Solstra can upgrade your switchboard to support the health and effectiveness of your new system.
You might be unsure if an upgrade to a 3 phase switchboard is needed. Our qualified electricians will provide advice and recommendations if an upgrade or replacement switchboard is required.
Get reassurance that your switchboard is not a safety risk and informed advice on recommendations if a replacement is required.
How much does a switchboard upgrade cost?
So, you’re ready to upgrade. Now how much does it cost to replace a switchboard?
Normally, a basic electrical switchboard upgrade costs anywhere between $500- $2,000, including installation.
Many variables determine the overall cost (and can add additional costs where significant) such as:
- size and capacity of the switchboard
- whether mains need to be upgraded
- whether cabling and rewiring are needed
- whether the switchboard needs to be relocated
- upgrading to a 3 phase switchboard.
For an accurate quotation to upgrade your switchboard, call our friendly team of electricians today.
Switchboard electrical installation
Upgrading a switchboard can take anywhere between 2-8 hours depending on the location and the degree of other electrical work required to complete the installation.
If you have queries or want to know more – contact us today. We can help you with expert advice and recommendations from qualified electricians, based on your current switchboard and power needs.
Switchboard installation – here’s how to get it going:
- Submit your enquiry
- Receive a callback and quotation
- Design, plan and schedule installation
- Job complete!
Want an online quote for your switchboard upgrade? complete our simple form to get a quote.