Why Is Proper Switchboard Maintenance Important
A switchboard is an integral part of the electrical distribution system as it helps ensure the proper flow of power to electronic devices and appliances which you use. And like other electronic units, the switchboard also requires maintenance; otherwise, it becomes susceptible to failure, which could prove dangerous and expensive.
A poorly maintained switchboard could, in fact, give rise to numerous problems, such as electrical fires, equipment damage, power interruptions and much more. Therefore, we highly recommend that you check the insulation, inspect the circuit breakers, keep it cleaned, and upgrade the essential parts according to the latest Australian standards.
Still not convinced? Then make sure you read this article till the end.
Advantages Of Switchboard Maintenance
Switchboards are prone to daily wear and tear, and over time they deteriorate. However, certain factors can speed up the process, like the condition or the environment in which it is used.
Regular maintenance is an absolute must for the switchboard to distribute power effectively, guaranteeing safety. Here, we have mentioned a few of the advantages of switchboard maintenance to help you:
1. Minimised Costs
There is no denying that routine switchboard maintenance is another expense added to your list; however, it can help you save a hefty amount of money down the road. Believe it or not, the future savings that you could potentially accomplish easily outweighs the extra cost that you are bearing right now.
It will also give you peace of mind knowing that your switchboard is working fine and that there are fewer chances of electrical faults.
2. Mitigate The Chances Of Device Failure
If you do not maintain the switchboard, you put the electronic devices and appliances in the house at risk of being damaged because of sudden outages and surges. So, make sure that you get your switchboard serviced regularly to help tackle such issues.
3. Prolong The Lifespan
Routine switchboard servicing is bound to prolong its lifespan, meaning fewer repairs and replacements down the road. Needless to say, it helps you make the most of your electrical distribution system.
Your and your family members’ safety is undoubtedly the most crucial reason for routinely maintaining the switchboard. Otherwise, you might put everybody at risk of electrical fires, electrocution and explosions. Regardless of whether your switchboard is old or new you must never skip maintenance, asking electricians to provide tips so that you can keep them in good condition.
Here, we have listed a few maintenance procedures that you should follow to prolong the lifespan of your switchboard:
- Checking control wirings and replacing the faulty wirings
- Ensuring the panels are tightly secure
- Keeping switchboards dry at all times
- Checking whether or not the circuit breakers are working properly
- Cleaning the internal parts of dirt and dust
- Inspecting the tightness of the screws on the switchboard
What Are The Types Of Switchboard Tests?
These are the types of tests you should perform to ensure that the switchboard is working properly:
1. Continuity Tests
These tests are performed to check whether the current flows from one point to the other without any interruption.
2. Insulation Resistance (IR) Tests
An insulation resistance test, known as an IR test, checks the resistance between two points divided by electrical insulation. The test is performed to find out how efficient the insulation is in resisting the flow of current, and one would require a megohmmeter to measure the insulation resistance.
3. High Potential (Hitpot) Test
As far as high potential tests are concerned, they are not a must, but they could be required to check the insulation after modifications and repairs have been done. The main purpose of this test is to ensure that current flows are not isolated and that the current is not flowing from one point to another. It is the opposite of a continuity test.
Additional Maintenance Tips
In this section, we have provided a few additional tips for switchboard maintenance:
- Contact only experienced electricians to fix issues in your switchboard
- Buy switchboard parts in advance to avoid wasting time when a problem occurs
- Maintain a proper record of all the past inspections
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here, we have tried answering some of the most frequently asked questions about switchboard maintenance to help clear any doubts that you might have.
1. What are some of the safety devices included in a switchboard?
Some of the safety devices in a switchboard are:
- Busbars (overcurrent protection devices)
- Safety switches
2. What is the main difference between a switchboard and switchgear?
The basic difference between a switchboard and switchgear is the amount of voltage each is developed to handle. While a switchboard is developed for voltages under 600V, switchgear is developed to handle voltages up to 350 kV.
3. What is the importance of a continuity test?
A continuity test is critical for evaluating whether a circuit has broken conductors or damaged components. It can also help you find out if the soldering is up to the mark or if a wire connecting two points is damaged.
That was pretty much everything you needed to know about the importance of proper switchboard maintenance. But before we call it a day, we want to mention a couple of important things.
Firstly, you should only let professionals do the switchboard servicing as it is a risky job, leading to fatal accidents if people don’t know what to do. Licensed electricians have the required tools and experience under their belts to mitigate the chances of mishaps. Other than that, ensure that your switchboard is designed according to the latest Australian standards for safe power distribution.
That is all for today, see you later!