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Posted By Topic: Switchboard Replacement costs

Sep 06 2019 13:57

Hi there I'm a homeowner and I've had a quote from sparky of $1800 to replace an existing SB with a more current one. Seems fairly high seeing I could buy a New PDL SB for $400-500. so they saying a further $1200-1300 for install. sparky $75 an hour? so that's 17 hours to install. Am I missing something here why is it such a cost I don't need upgrading of wring just replace and old one for a new board same circuit's.

Sep 06 2019 14:24

$400-500 wouldn't get you the switchboard and all the gear to go in it. Especially if there are meters on the current switchboard.

And, there could be other things to be upgraded, the main earth for example.

Then, the work probably requires inspection which is another charge of around $150-200.

The quote of $1800 is probably reasonable. Without further information about the work required - or if that includes Taxcinda's cut as well?

Sep 06 2019 14:43

Sounds about right if they are installing quality gear

Sep 06 2019 14:53

Meter is outside separate from SB and it's fairly new. You can buy PDL SB on trade me for $400 including all the breakers and yeah I know there is wiring as an extra to set up the board. Interesting I guess that's the price you pay and here me thinking a $1000 would be enough :) Ill get another couple quotes and do some more overtime to pay for this bad boy.

Sep 06 2019 17:06

Got the auction number?, I would be interested to see what's included. Keep in mind that been an auction there is no warranty. It's an almost certain bet that been a switchboard replacement that the main earthing will have to be upgraded and without specifics $1800 seems like a reasonable price for this type of work.


Sep 06 2019 17:27

Trade me listing #2303229981 - Kiwisparks
look reasonable to me. I only have a 110m2
home so this would be fine. Meterboard was only upgrade a few years back so the main earth was upgraded then.

anyway he has come back with a written quote for $1400 which is reasonable I can live with that.

Sep 06 2019 19:04

So they put together a PDL switchboard and circuit breakers, then cheaped out on the RCDs and main switch.

For that price, they should of included Schneider main switch and RCDs.

Sep 07 2019 10:01

How about you do it yourself? Can't be that hard. You're paying for his expertise. Not just for him to slap a new board in. There's a hell of a lot of testing involved if it's to be done properly. If you haven't got the expertise to do it yourself then he's got the right to charge whatever the hell he wants.

Sep 07 2019 10:15

you think that's bad, i went to a restaurant and the filthy pricks charged me $32 to cook and serve a $12 bit of steak, I could have done that at home!

Sep 07 2019 11:54

Be fair, rarrar; they also washed your dirty dishes and provided a light so you could see while you were eating.

And they have a whole bunch of compliance costs to cover, as well as whatever pittance they pay for wages to staff.

Point being every trade or other business has overheads that have to be met, and rules they have to abide by. It's never as simple as on-selling the cheapest product for no mark-up and covering just the time on site.

Sep 08 2019 18:11

So when my local sparky comes and changes my board over will they do and eicr test and check it all. Why I ask I just noticed on the quote he has certificate of compliance for $20. Do all new switchboards go through all the tests or is it slap it on and he issues a coc

I just thought it would be a seperate charge on the estimate but no mention. 🤷‍♂️

Sep 08 2019 21:48

Some electricians charge separately for them, some just include the time it takes to do the certificate in their billable hours.

But almost all electrical work requires some type of certification from the worker, so you should expect it, or ask for it if it hasn't been provided to you by the time you get the invoice roughly.

Sep 09 2019 09:44

As DougP said, almost all electrical work is required to be certified - the "almost" meaning that certification is required for work done on any installation, but not for work done on appliances.

ALL work is required , by regulations, to be tested. not every electrician actually does all the required tests, even though they are a legal obligation. But for a switchboard replacement, the testing required is extensive, and not confined to just items on the switchboard. Just one example: EVERY item required to be earthed, throughout the installation, must be tested to show that - after all that disconnection & re-connection - the earthing is in place. While that could, in theory, be done by just checking one item on each circuit; the person doing the work can't know which items are on which circuit; so the only way to be sure is to test the lot.

Not everyone shows certification as a separate item on the invoice; but many do. Which is partly historical, from when we were required to buy blank certificates from the govt; and showing it separately was for many a way of showing it as a govt-imposed cost.
Under the Regs, the CoC is required to be issued before the work is connected to a supply, so you should get it well ahead of the invoice and certainly no later. There should also be an Electrical safety certificate (ESC) which will probably be included in a combination CoC / ESC. The ESC is issued after connection; and must be issued within 20 working days of connection and a copy delivered within another 20 WD.

Then there's inspection; and while a straight replacement of a switchboard doesn't require inspection under Regs; some networks insist ojn one, as do some retailers. You should escape that since your metering is not involved; so as long as the metering upgrade included adding an isolating switch for the meters, the network probably doesn't have to be told.

Some networks also charge for safety isolation & re-livening - others do it free. again if there's now an isolating switch at meter position, you should avoid this.

But any / all of these may have been in that original estimate. The common advice to consumers is that while a quote is a fixed price, an estimate may vary - but only by about 10%. So nobody in their right mind issues an estimate that doesn't allow for extra costs that might be imposed; or an quote that doesn't have some margin in case things don't go as smoothly as expected.

Another cost that may or may not be shown is the costs related to workplace health and safety, and other regulations we have to follow.

Which raises the issue of what this new switchboard is replacing. If it's an old black-panel board being replaced, there are a whole lot of rules around dealing with & disposing of asbestos.

Looking at that package deal on TradeMe, it allows for only 4 circuits for sockets; which seems low even for a 110 m2 house - and as soon as another circuit is added, another RCD will be needed as well.

That PDL / Schneider gear is good quality, but the reason those non-Schneider RCDs and main switch are in the package is because they're cheaper. They may be OK (I have no experience with them). But there's always the chance of a failure, and the cost of dealing with under-guarantee call-backs has to be covered in the quote.

For a time estimate, times can vary widely but typically I would be allowing most of a day, and (looking at data from around the country) I would expect the charge-out rate to be around $70 - $75 /h.

Sep 12 2019 10:46

Those Pre-wired switchboards on trade me just promote illegal work!!!

- Has he supplied a COC for this
- Is he GST Registered?
- he should also be saying that this can only be installed by a registered electrician
- I personally wouldn't use switch gear of that quality.
- Keep in mind that if you purchase that switchboard personally the electrician doesn't have to offer you any warranty for the product (only his workmanship)

Sep 12 2019 17:48

if you're reffering to NG, he's a chimp, here's what he says about plug in MCB's ---The installation would need to be signed off by an electrician or an inspector to be legal.-----

Sep 12 2019 17:58

Looked to me like he was just selling parts.
No wiring in the switchboard, just a board, rcds and mcbs with a mian switch. Radcliffes, Redpaths etc. all sell similar kits. Do you ask them for a COC when you buy one?

Sep 12 2019 18:31

He might only be selling parts, but others are selling pre-wired switchboards.

Check out this sellers other listings. He seems to be registered at least, but his choice of parts is not the best and the wiring method could be simpler.

As usual, you get what you pay for.

Sep 14 2019 16:24

kiwisparks here - the guy rarrar is referring to as a chimp, although I never said what he quoted. Seems like a lot of guys are brainwashed by the PDL brand and sure I've been using it for over 45 years myself but there are plenty of other decent brands being supported by other than the major wholesalers. Interesting to see those guys selling wired boards on TM - of course wiring them makes them illegal to sell or offer for sale without an SDoC and test report.

Sep 14 2019 22:40

so mr kiwisparks, in your board listed why do you use three different brands of rail mounted components, and not stick with one, just looks messy?

Sep 16 2019 02:56

Get more quotes.