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A well-functioning electrical system is essential to ensure an uninterrupted power supply in your household.

The switchboard, in particular, is the backbone of any electrical system as it handles power distribution. However, sometimes, the switchboard may malfunction because of several reasons. This not only interrupts the power supply but also results in dangerous situations such as fires, serious injuries and electrocution.

Ensuring your electrical cables, safety switches, and power outlets function properly is best. This guide will explore the causes of a faulty switchboard and what we can do about it. So, let’s begin.

Switchboards Defined

Diagnosing Issue Switchboard

Before you can understand how to deal with a faulty switchboard, it is important to understand what a switchboard is.

An electrical switchboard is an indispensable part of the power distribution process and is installed in your home or commercial property to distribute electricity from one source to another. The switchboard is usually made of a combination of several electric panels and has switches mounted onto it.

And the purpose of a switchboard is to redirect and distribute electricity to multiple devices, such as electric panels, transformers, etc., from where it is further distributed. Thus, a faulty switchboard can lead to the entire electrical system crashing and is a lethal hazard.

How To Spot A Faulty Switchboard

You must watch out for these tell-tale signs to determine whether the switchboard in your house is malfunctioning:

1. Circuit Breakers Continually Tripping

A circuit breaker is designed to deal with overloads and power spikes. Sometimes, the circuit breaker may trip, and the electric circuit gets turned off automatically. This isn’t something to fret over, as you can just turn on the switch.

However, if this becomes frequent, it is a sure-shot sign of a faulty switchboard. This is because faulty switchboards lead to an unsteady electricity supply, due to which circuit breakers trip frequently.

Circuit Breaker Tripping Fromd Faulty Switchboard

2. Burning Smell

If you notice a burning plastic smell coming from your switchboard, consider it a warning sign of a malfunctioning system.

This burning smell can be due to several reasons. For one, the wiring inside the circuit breaker could’ve become loose, burning the wiring’s insulation. Alternatively, there can be an electrical overload that leads to the melting of the circuit breaker.

3. Buzzing Noise

A popping or sizzling noise from the switchboard can be a potential sign of faulty wiring or a malfunctioning circuit breaker. This is usually accompanied by discolouration around the switchboard.

4. Flickering Lights

If your lights are flickering more than usual, it is either because of a wiring fault or a damaged switchboard. As such, you must contact a licensed electrician who will detect the primary cause behind the fluctuations and provide the right solution.

Flickering Lights

What Causes Faulty Switchboards?

Now that you know the common signs of a faulty switchboard, let us understand what causes this problem.

1. Faulty Appliances

Sometimes, a single appliance like the washing machine, dishwasher, or toaster may malfunction, and this minor electrical fault can result in the switchboard continually tripping.

To detect which appliance is the root cause of the problem, we recommend unplugging all household appliances and plugging them back in one by one. This will help you determine which faulty equipment is making the switchboard trip.

2. Poor Wiring

Poorly installed wiring can damage the switchboard over time. This often goes unnoticed even though it is a huge electrical hazard.

If you suspect faulty wiring or see exposed wires hanging around the house, it is best to contact a licensed electrician. They will inspect the wiring and check whether things are in proper order. It must be replaced if the wiring isn’t faulty and the switchboard is still glitching.

3. Circuit Overload

A single electric circuit can power only a certain number of electrical appliances. However, if it is burdened by more appliances than it is rated for, it can result in the circuit breaker tripping continually.

Too many appliances powered by the same electric circuit can put the electrical switchboard under stress. When combined with a faulty circuit an overloaded switchboard can pose a safety hazard.

Faulty Switchboard: What To Do Next?

Person Repairing Switchboard

Faulty switchboards are easy to detect once you know what you want. So, if you notice a buzzing sound, smoke, discolouration, or the continuous tripping of circuit breakers and safety switches, you must call a fully licensed electrician at the earliest.

If you have an old and outdated switchboard, it’s better to replace the board since old switchboards can result in electrical fires or major breakdowns.

Besides, if you have more appliances in the house and need more power to run them, upgrade your switchboard and install extra power points. This is particularly important if your household or commercial establishment has equipment such as box air conditioner units, compressors, pumps, etc., which have a large power demand.

The Hidden Dangers of a Faulty Switchboard

Only experienced professionals with full knowledge of electrical circuits must handle faulty electrical switches.

At Precision Electrical & Plumbing, we can handle all your electrical issues, from faulty wiring to switchboard failures. We will send a fully licensed electrician to visually inspect your electrical circuit to look for faults and potential dangers and provide the best possible resolution.

Photo of Justin Morris



Find them on their website: Precision Electrical & Plumbing, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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