Online assistance for electrical trade people Login  |  Register  |   Forgot Password
Assistance for electrical trade people




Click here to send Ron a pdf document for publication on this Topic

Documents must be less than 200k in pdf format

Posted By Topic: Switchboard replacement

Mar 27 2018 15:46

Hi I know from previous posts if a new switchboard is replaced to a modern boardin the same location it is low risk so no inspection if I move the board 200 meters along the wall and reroute the main cable that runs to the switchboard from the meter box without any joining does this then need inspection and c o c

Mar 27 2018 15:56


That's a long wall; but even down at 200 mm technically yes - though could be arguable

Mar 27 2018 16:08

Sorry I meant 200mm to 300mm and it’s domestic

Mar 27 2018 17:53

This is one of those areas that the board seems to have a view on that is not the same as everyone else .
AlecK says technically yes - though could be arguable.
Where I would say technically No - but the board may argue that.

It comes down to the words of Reg 6A.

section "a" would seem to cover the replacement of a fitting which is what you are doing with the fittings on the switch board including the board itself.

and section "b" would appear to cover the minor relocation you need to do to install those new fittings.

6A Meaning of low-risk, high-risk, and general prescribed electrical work


In these regulations, low-risk prescribed electrical work—

means prescribed electrical work that comprises the maintenance or replacement of a fitting in an existing installation; and

includes relocation or extension of a conductor to facilitate replacement of a fitting; but

excludes maintenance that involves the adjustment of protection or gas monitor settings of mining electrical equipment.

There is probably going to be some general risk work associated with the switchboard replacement as well as the low risk stuff because if you are going to add RCD's which you have to do if your replacing all the existing circuit protection then thats not replacement , but even that does not generate the need for an inspection, as an inspection is only required for the high risk aspects of the work, and based on Reg 6A there is most likely none .

However that said it doesn't hurt to get an inspection then your backside is covered .


Mar 27 2018 18:15

It will all come down to being able to get the power reconnected by the local network after your PEW - and without a ROI.

There have been so many incidences of reverse polarity, that some networks will not reconnect after certain electrical work without an inspection. They have their own network rules which cover this requirement.

Of course if you have some local isolation available to you to enable you to do the work and reconnect, then you're going to have to make up your own mind about inspection.

Mar 27 2018 20:00

So if it can be isolated at meter box and I supply coc for general work is it fine to reroute mains and sub circuits to new board without inspector

Mar 27 2018 20:43

The key to the grey area is the wording of a and b above.

B says you can relocate conductors to facilitate relocating a fitting, eg the cable entries are on a different face.

A doesn't say you can relocate a fitting, only replace it. Otherwise it's not low risk.

So how do we define relocate? If the MSB was on the wall adjacent to the HW cupboard before, and that statement is still true after, then I would argue it hasn't been relocated. It may have moved a little to fit with the new framing but it hasn't been relocated. If it was moved to the other end of the hallway or to another room then it has clearly been relocated.

Mar 27 2018 21:37

Based on the description of the intended work you could argue that the work is General Risk and proceed as you want to.

But given the recently published disciplinary hearing regarding a similar situation (insufficient data to call it the same situation) it would be prudent to have it inspected and a ROI issued.

You will never have to defend having the work inspected in front of the Board and it really shouldn’t be a major cost item in the scheme of things.

As you are replacing the switchboard you will be upgrading the protection to MCB, RCD or RCBO’s so the replacement of fittings becomes contentious.

Sure it will be better and safer after you finish but having a fresh set of eyes check it out and supply an ROI should make you and your customer happy that everything is correct.


Mar 28 2018 06:58

In my view, if the switchboard is in substantially the same location, then it's replacement and not relocation. That would cover it having a larger footprint; also minor repositioning of cables, but not to the extent of for instance) pulling them up nto ceiling, and bringing them down through a different bit of wall.

Sarmajor is correct that if in any doubt you can't get into trouble for having something inspected when you didn't need to; but this is essentially a judgement call and as long as you're prepared to justify your decision - in court if need be - then the call should be made based on what you believe is the intent of the regs, not on the basis that someone else may disagree.