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Posted By Topic: Old S/board Meter combo relocation

May 18 2015 00:26

Hey guys,
Wondering on the legalities involves in a straight relocation of an old aesbestos panel board complete with meter attached.
Obviously I\'d prefer to install new gear but I\'m anticipating the customer will ask about a relocation to save costs.
Is it permissible to extend circuits to new positions and reinstate rewire-able fuses?
I\'m aware it will trigger an inspection/reseal of the meter. Likely new Main Earth will be installed. Earth bar required for the extended sub-circuits.
But its not a case of adding outlets to the installation so RCD protection shouldn\'t be triggered. S/board protection is being re-instated, not replaced etc. What are the thoughts on this?
Thanks all.

May 18 2015 07:44

By the time you do that amount of work, you would only be looking at the additional cost of the RCDs, CBs & enclosures to mount on the existing board, to bring it up to current standards. You\'re already doing all the labour in reconnecting the circuits, testing & inspection anyway.

The only thing you would be saving, is the cost of a new switchboard enclosure. You could easily negate that saving in the additional labour required to work on an old board.

Personally, I wouldn\'t do it, but I don\'t think there is any reason why you can\'t do it.

You said \"Earth bar required for the extended sub-circuits. \"

I would be ensuring that all neutrals & earths are connected to separate bars, not just the extended circuits. You will need to separate them for testing in any case.

Then there is the problem of health risks if you need to drill the asbestos board.

Don\'t let the customer force you into doing this, just to save a couple of hundred dollars.

May 18 2015 09:08

Nothing wrong with extending the circuits.
BUT no you can\'t use SERFs to protect the new bits of cable, so you WILL have to replace the circuit protection.
And therefore you WILL have to fit RCDs.

After all that, I doubt there will be any saving; the small cost of a swbd enclosure will be more than outweighed by the additional labour of fixing up the old panel - even assuming it\'s got room for the extra devices.


Note this prohibition on using SERFs applies equally to extensions / additions at the other end of circuits exactly the same. Even a simple back-to back addition is NOT permitted to be protected by a SERF.

The relevant clauses are 2.4.3 fault protection (assuming this is by automatic disconnection), and 2.5.2 short circuit protection.

May 18 2015 17:10

So, that\'s off the table...
Quoted to shift meter to exterior, and install a domestic S/board in the new location.
Trouble is, it gets pretty expensive no matter how you approach it.
So, a modern meter/Switchboard combination seems like a fall back option to consider.
Anyone know a good enclosure/board, bearing in mind that I have a Smart meter and ripple to house. Minimum 21way required. Vynco have a fairly industrial type of range but maybe it is the only option out there. Perhaps there are separate flush/surface mount housings designed for meters that can be placed next to a domestic 30way board? Thanks for posts AlecK and DougP!


May 18 2015 18:25

Try and get he retailer to install one of the new smart meters that have the ripple relay built into the meter. Had one installed last week. It was a Landis+Gyr E350. The installer pointed out that the switch contacts for the ripple controlled supply are rated at 40 amps.
This option keeps the real estate required for the metering to a minimum.

May 18 2015 18:43

Must the smart meter sit within the same enclosure as everything else? They don\'t need to be readily visible to meter readers anymore. The metering could be in a small enclosure of its own above the switchboard. Not the prettiest solution, but it may be the cheapest.

May 18 2015 20:33

some smart meters are quite compact, others are huge, so you would need to know what the meter size was before you could offer any solutions regarding its placement

May 19 2015 08:12

You may find that the network has specified minimum provision for metering.
Or the retailer.

With retailers moving to out-source metering, maybe we\'ll eventually get one standard spec, but we\'re still some ay away from that and failing to allow for metering being changed / upgraded - either when the user decides to change retailers, or when hey opt for a different configuration, or when the 15 year certification on the metering runs out - would be a mistake.