So you think your old fuse box is safe. The lights still work and the fuses still work. But even if you don’t have the wire fuses, these boxes bear all the load of the electricity in our homes. The more you ask them to do, the more likely they are to fail. A failing fuse box can be fatal through electric shock or cause a house fire. Is that something you can risk?
Why fuse boxes are important
It’s not just the load on our internet that increased over the years, so has the strain we put on the electrical systems. We add in new appliances, bigger heaters or airconditioners for our comfort, a spa or pool to relax in, perhaps we add on some home automation. It all adds up. Throw on top of that regulation changes, wiring standards improve, and it’s not unusual for a fuse box to become outdated, hot under the collar and potentially dangerous.
The dangers of an outdated fuse box are scary – fuses and old circuit breakers are responsible for many household electrical fires and you may not have the necessary safety switches to protect your family from electric shock.
Reasons why you may need to upgrade your old fuse box
This is the most common reason DCN Electrical sees for upgrade requests, but that’s not the only reason.
Perhaps you’re adding on a new room, new storey, new bathroom, or renovating a kitchen; all of these things change how the original wiring of your home was designed and the original box was made to cope with.
The additional load, without upgrading your fuse box, can cause circuits to overload and trip, dimming lights, and worst of all fire.
This is the next most common reason people ask for an upgrade. Perhaps you have had to replace an old hot water service, oven or cooktop, or air conditioner. Especially if you move to a larger appliance or to a different style (like induction cookers), then you may find that you will need an upgrade.
It’s not just limited to appliances. Perhaps you have changed the lighting in rooms or added fans. It all adds on to the load your existing fuse box needs to handle.
Other signs you need to upgrade
Other than the big ticket reasons that Sydney homeowners have to upgrade their old fuse box, there are a few not so obvious reasons we come across:
- Welcoming babies or pets into an existing home
- Buying an existing home without a safety switch
- Your home doesn’t have a safety switch
- Your home still has wire fuses
- Dimming lights
- Particular appliances always tripping the power
- Particular circuits always tripping
- Turning a house into a rental or BnB.
How much does it cost to upgrade an old fuse box?
- A standard upgrade will cost between $600-$1500.
- If your home’s mains need to be upgraded, cabling needs to be carried out or the fuse box needs to be relocated. This will cost approximately between $3000-$7000.
This means that there are a number of things that electricians need to consider when comparing prices when you need to upgrade:
- Does it need to be relocated
- Does the power coming into the house need to be upgrade (ie. to 3-phase)
- Does the existing fuse box contain asbestos
- Is their asbestos surrounding the existing fuse box
- Can the upgrade be accommodated in the existing cabinet or is a new cabinet needed
- Are new circuits needed and wired in or do all circuits need replacing
- Does the safety switch need replacing because it is now old or too small
While there are a number of things to consider when upgrading an old fuse box, and this means a range in price, rest assured that it can be done in a few hours, especially in an emergency. Call Damien from DCN Electrical for a quote or to discuss why you believe you need to replace your fuse box.