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Fuse Box Upgrades – Everything You Need To Know for Your Sydney Property

If you are experiencing repeated electrical issues within your home, then this is a strong sign that your house may need a fuse box upgrade. The main reasons for needing this upgrade is that many fuse and switch boxes used in Sydney properties are old and might struggle to keep up with modern appliances. For safety reasons, it is recommended that if your fuse box is more than 10 years old, that you consider having an electrician assist with a fuse box upgrade.

Fuse and switchboards will need to be replaced when they become unsafe. Some common reasons include: they are more than 10 years old, have repeated trips and can no longer handle the extra demands of new electrical appliances. By Australian law, when an electrician upgrades your fuse box, they will need to bring up to date the complete rewiring of your house. This means that the costs for a fuse box upgrade will vary depending on your existing fuse box, house’s age and house’s wiring.

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What Is A Fuse Box?

A fuse box is a wall mounted unit located on the exterior of Australian homes. It contains every houses’ main power switch, circuit breakers and switchboard which distribute power throughout your property. 

When Should I Replace My Fuse Box?

Fuse boxes will need to be replaced when they become an electrical hazard and become  unsafe. If they are more than 10 years old, then they will also need to be replaced. Older fuse boxes have experienced great wear and tear and can potentially become a serious fire hazard. For instance, a lot of Australian homes which are more than 40 years old have aluminium wiring. This wiring is considered a fire hazard and needs to be immediately replaced by copper wiring.

Signs indicating that you should replace your fuse box include:

  • Repeated trip switches
  • New appliances short circuit regularly
  • Overheated cabling
  • Outdated circuit breakers
  • Repeated flickering lights

If you wish to learn more about switchboard upgrades you can read our latest article on When To Upgrade A Switchboard

From our professional experience, we have discovered that the most common modern appliances that cause trip switches include air conditioners, pool pumps, refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers.

How Much Does A Switchboard Upgrade Cost?

As every switchboard is different based on each house’s requirements. This makes it difficult to give an exact figure. However we can give approximate estimates from our previous switchboard upgrade jobs.

  • A basic fuse box upgrade will cost between $500-$1800*
  • If your home’s mains need to be upgraded, cabling needs to be carried out or the fuse box needs to be relocated. This will cost approximately between $2000-$4000.

It is also important to bear in mind that replacing a fuse box is a complicated process as Energy NSW instructs that electricians are legally required to update your house’ entire wiring. For instance, homes that have aged more than 40 years need to be rewired. Your house will need to be rewired if it shows any signs mentioned below.

  • Your power points are discoloured
  • Your power points are hot
  • There is an electrical burning smell
  • Sparks appear when you plug in any appliance (New or old)
  • You receive electrical shocks when plugging in appliances

For an entire house to be re-wired you are looking at an approximate quote from $4000-$8000 as these houses are rewired with copper wiring. Copper wiring is the safest for home wiring.

How Long Does It Take To Replace Fuse Boxes?

As mentioned earlier, it hard to give an exact answer as every house is different and the job’s completion will depend on the electrician’s proficiency. But we have listed some common scenarios that you may be experiencing.

  • If you gave a standard outdated fuse box and want to upgrade to a modern one. This will take less than 4 hours.
  • If your house is older than 25 years, then this is a strong indication of you having outdated mains to cope with increase power requirements. The work involved within this upgrade will include cabling and re-wiring and can take up to 8 hours.

What Are Ceramic Fuses

Ceramic fuses or otherwise known as SERF (semi enclosed rewire-able fuses) are the most outdated form of home electrical protection. SERFs typically involved running fuse wires around screws and then plugging these back into your fuse box. As they are extremely outdated they often short circuit and can pose a serious electrical hazard when connected to modern appliances. It is highly recommended to get a fuse box upgrade if you have a ceramic fuse.

What Is An RCD Switch?

Residual Current Devices (RCDs) switches are a safety switch which provides an immediate way to cut off power in emergency situations. They work by monitoring the current flowing in circuits. When everything is fine the current is equal, however when a fault occurs the RCD picks up on this and cuts the power. There are still many Australian homes that do not currently have RCDs safety measures in places which poses a major safety hazard. Although RCDs costs more upfront. They offer you and your family a safety barrier, better and stronger electrical performance and they will save you more money on your next power bill.

Sydney Fuse Box Upgrade

If you are located within Sydney and need your fuse box upgraded or switchbox replaced then contact The Local Electrician today. We operate as a 24 hr Emergency Electrician which proudly services every Sydney suburb. We are also an accredited level 2 electrician which enables us directly work on Ausgrid and Endeavour energy’s power grids if you have received an electrical defect notice or if you need a 3 phase switchboard upgrade. This comes in handy when you need the complete fuse box service regardless of whatever the issues may be. You can contact us directly on 0439 823 190 or alternatively email us at info@thelocalelectrician.com.au.

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Our skilled electricians are qualified to carry out any electrical repair or installation within Sydney. We strive to deliver absolute customer satisfaction by offering electrical services that are affordable, safe and long lasting.

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