Your home's distribution board or switchboard is the heart of your electrical system. It divides the power feed into circuits and houses the breakers for individual circuits. When there's a potential electrical hazard in a particular circuitry, the breaker cuts off the power to that circuitry to avert damage. Your distribution board should be in excellent condition at all times to ensure electrical safety in your home. Therefore, always look out for the following signs indicating your switchboard may require repairs.
Overheating distribution board
A distribution board should maintain constant warm temperatures, just as an electrical appliance would. The panel should be comfortable to touch with bare hands. If it feels too hot to touch, burns you as you attempt to open it, or produces a burning smell, something is wrong. An overheating switchboard signals a problem with the wiring. It could also signal an issue with the items connected to a particular circuitry. An electrician should check the connections and repair the wiring to prevent an electrical hazard.
The wiring connecting your home's circuits to the breakers should be in excellent condition. This means the insulation should be intact, with no exposed wiring. Various factors could lead to wiring damage. These include:
- Wiring damage resulting from rodent activity
- Insulation damage due to overheating
- Physical wear during DIY repairs
- Old electrical wires
Open your distribution board and check for scorch marks on insulation and exposed wiring. This form of damage can affect the performance of the breakers and expose you to electrical hazards. Thus, repair the damaged wiring and test the connections to ascertain their safety.
Multiple breakers tripping
Circuit breakers trip when too much electricity flows through them. Since the circuit can't handle the overload, it cuts off power to prevent damage to your appliances. If multiple breakers are tripping, the problem may not lie in the power load. You probably have worn breakers or damaged wiring. Sometimes, the existing distribution board may be too old and outdated to handle the modern appliances in your home.
If you have an old switchboard, upgrading it to a new one may solve your breaker issues. Evaluate the power requirements throughout your home to determine the suitable power load for each breaker. This way, you can avoid resetting tripped breakers constantly. However, if your distribution board is relatively new and has the correct load capacity, check individual breakers for damage.
Distribution boards should function properly at all times to ensure access to power and prevent electrical hazards. Contact an electrician if you suspect your switchboard to be faulty.
For more information, contact an electrical system repair service today.