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Posted By Topic: current requirements for switchboard upgrades?

Jan 05 2016 20:32

When the new regs came in a couple of years ago the general consensus was that if a modification or addition is made to old non-RCD switchboards then the whole board must be upgraded with RCDs and 3 circuits per RCD. This was to allow a part 2 safety certificate to be signed.
Another thread here talks about adding circuits to an old board, as if the new subcircuit can be signed off without touching the existing stuff.
Has the thinking changed? What is the current requirement?

Jan 05 2016 21:01

You don\'t have to upgrade/replace the switchboard, along as YOUR new work complies with regulations. Im surprised you have suggested what you have. What I have learnt from the Elec forum is that upgrading/replacing a MSB does not require inspection as it is not mains (high risk) work.

Jan 05 2016 21:05

If you are replacing all of the components on the board, ie semi enclosed re-wireable fuses with plug in mcbs etc, then you have to bring it up to current standards with RCDs. I\'m sure someone with more free time will be along with a reference.

Jan 05 2016 21:41

When the new regulations came in a lot of the training providers dished out some very poor information based on their interpretations of the new rules.

As mf51to1 has correctly stated as long as your new work is compliant and the switchboard remains electrically safe there is no requirement to upgrade the whole thing.

Your COC willl if correctly filled out identify the work that you have done, correctly tested and are responsible for.
Not many COC\'s that I see do that very well. They seem to think that detailing how many power points, lights, hot water cylinders and ranges there are in the installation is more important than allowing sufficient space to detail the work certified.

You may during your work encounter a need to install neutral and earth bars in order to allow for your new circuits to be correctly terminated.

This in some circumstances may mean that you will be replacing / creating the MEN link (in some case there would not have been an actual link) and reterminating the main neutral and earth.
Some would say that this requires inspection.

As long as the switchboard is in the same location and the work is a replacement you are good to go.
Moving the Main switchboard is an alteration involving mains work and that will require inspection.

The requirement to replace circuit protective device as an upgrade is contained in AS/NZS3000:2007