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Rusted Switchboards – What To Do?
Posted on February 5, 2021
Rusted switchboards should not be ignored and certain steps are needed to prevent electrical hazards. For the building’s electrical safety, either going through an electrical switchboard upgrade or having a licensed electrician clean the rust is important. Here at The Local Electrician, we offer reliable services when it comes to electrical switchboards and dealing with dust. Our Emergency Electrician team is trained to operate with any electrical switchboard and perform repairs or switchboard upgrades professionally.
With rusted switchboards, they should most times be replaced with a new and working electrical switchboard. If a switchboard upgrade is not possible then contacting a qualified electrician to clean the rust is important. A rusted switchboard can cause them to fail and not work in preventing electrical systems and people being damaged from overloads in electrical circuits.
What Does the Electrical Switchboard Do?
The electrical switchboard is located within the main fuse or meter box of the property. The fuse box is what will contain the parts needed to gather electricity from street mains and deliver it to specific circuits that are mostly located on the outside of homes or inside utility rooms, such as garages, to be securely closed.
In the fuse box contains the main switch which will allow for power to be turned off or on. Circuit breakers and safety switches are included in the fuse box which are forms of protection devices. They help with circuit protection to prevent electrical wiring, appliances and people being damaged from surges or electrical fires or electrical shocks from occurring.
Switchboards are also installed in the fuse box where they control specific circuits which can be turned off or on. Each circuit in the home is controlled by the switchboard where a safety switch will be connected to each circuit. The power supply to each circuit can be turned on or off through the switchboard. This means that parts of the home can still have electrical power while others can be switched off, such as used during light installations.
How Does Rust Form on an Electrical Switchboard?
Rust will form on electrical switchboards mostly from water making contact with the system. If the fuse box is poorly installed or sealed then water can leak inside. When water makes contact with older switchboards then the insulation and protection are more likely to deteriorate and absorb water. This moisture can lead to the switchboard, panel boards and wiring begin to rust.
Rust can corrode the panel and can build up on the screw terminals which will damage its connections. More heat will be created from the build up of corrosion and dust which can be dangerous and start fires. Too much water inside the fuse box can lead to rust but also permanent damage to the switchboard. Electrical surges or overloads can increase and cause the circuit breakers to trip and be damaged.
Rust can also form with water by condensation due to high humidity rates. This condensation forming inside the fuse box can lead to water dripping onto the switchboard as well. Water can also leak from cracks in cement, masonry or stone walls and cause rust to develop.
What Do I Do With a Rusted Switchboard?
The safest way to handle rusted switchboards is to contact a fully qualified electrician as soon as possible. They will first find the source of why the switchboard has begun to rust to know how to safely manage the situation. There will be two main options regarding how to deal with a rusted switchboard. An electrician will either decide that the best option is to replace the switchboard or that certain actions can be made to the existing one.
Minor Rust Issues
If the switchboard has minor rust problems then an electrician can:
- Scrap off existing corrosion or rust on the wires, terminal and panels with special tools
- Seal up any cracks or holes which allow water to enter the fuse box and cause damage to the switchboard
- Replace any cables or wires which have been damaged by the rust
- Have the meter box sit on a particle or plywood board to prevent water seeping through via the wall
- Put anti-rust solutions over the switchboard and perform other anti-rust preventative measures
Major Rust Issues
If rust has caused too much damage to the switchboard then the best path to take is to undergo a switchboard upgrade. Replacing the old switchboard with a new switchboard is most times more cost-effective and safer. To know more about how the process undergoes, what switchboard is recommended and other information, read our blog article ‘switchboard upgrades – everything you need to know’.
How Can I Prevent Rust Forming on my Switchboard?
The best ways to prevent rust from developing on the electrical switchboard is to:
- Perform regular electrical safety inspections where a licensed electrician will regularly inspect the state of the switchboard.
- Ensure that the switchboard and fuse box are protected from being wet, either from the wall or rain.
- Apply special protective coatings to limit the chance of rust and moisture ruining the switchboard.
- Undergo regular maintenance on the switchboard, by performing tests and inspections to prevent rust forming.
- If possible, move the switchboard and electricity box away from high humid or moisture areas, or places which receive lots of rain.
Professional and Affordable Switchboard Upgrades
The Local Electrician offers trusted switchboard upgrade electrical services for us to replace rusted switchboards. Each fully qualified electrician on our team will be able to safely remove the current switchboard and install a new system. We will upgrade the system with modern switchboards to prevent circuit breakers, safety switches and other systems from failing.
For trusted services with rusted switchboards – contact The Local Electrician now on 0439 823 190!
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