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What is An Electrical Switchboard?

An electrical switchboard is a unit that divides an electrical power feed into subsidiary circuits. It includes protective devices like circuit breakers and RCDs. 

These components work together to safely manage the electrical setup made by electricians in Mackay. They also provide overload protection for various electrical systems as well as safety for the people using the electrical installation.

In this post, we’ll discuss the role of an electrical switchboard, its main parts, and choosing the right one for your home.

What is the Role of an Electrical Switchboard?

The role of an electrical switchboard is to systematically distribute electrical power across various circuits within a building or installation. You could think of it as a power board but on a larger scale. Switchboards act as central hubs where incoming power is received and then allocated to different circuits, ensuring efficient and safe distribution of electricity.

Switchboards are crucial for safely managing the flow of electricity to different areas and equipment. By distributing power, they help maintain the balance and prevent the overloading of any single circuit. This distribution is essential for both operational efficiency and safety. They also enable the isolation of specific circuits for maintenance or in case of faults, thereby enhancing the overall safety and reliability of the electrical system.

Aside from distribution, switchboards also play a pivotal role in protecting electrical systems from damage due to overloads or short circuits.

What is Electrical Switchboard

4 Main Parts of an Electrical Switchboard

The 4 main parts of an electrical switchboard are the main switch, circuit breakers, residual current devices, and busbars. Let’s take a closer look at each component below:

Main Switch

The main switch is a crucial component of an electrical switchboard as it serves as the primary control point for the electrical supply. It allows for the complete disconnection of power, facilitating safe maintenance or emergency cut-offs. This switch is essential for controlling the overall flow of electricity to the switchboard.

Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are protective devices designed to interrupt the flow of electricity automatically in case of an overload or short circuit. They play a vital role in preventing electrical fires and damage to appliances by cutting off the power when excessive current is detected.

Residual Current Devices (RCDs)

Residual Current Devices, or RCDs, are safety devices that rapidly break an electrical circuit to prevent serious harm from an ongoing electric shock. They are particularly useful in detecting and responding to leakage currents, which are often a sign of a fault in the circuit.

What is the Electrical Switchboard


Busbars are copper or aluminium or bars that distribute power from the main switch to the different circuits via circuit breakers and RCDs. They contribute by ensuring efficient management of all electrical flow.

How Can I Choose the Right Switchboard for My Home?

You can choose the right switchboard for your home with the help of a licensed electrician by doing the following:

  • Assess Your Power Needs: Determine the total power requirement of your home, considering all appliances and future expansions.
  • Check Compliance Standards: Ensure your switchboard and fuse box meet the Australian Standards (AS/NZS 3000) for electrical installations.
  • Consider Safety Features: Look for switchboards with RCDs and circuit breakers for enhanced safety.
  • Quality of Materials: Opt for a switchboard made with high-quality materials for durability and better performance.
  • Space for Expansion: Choose a switchboard with extra space for additional circuits, allowing for future electrical upgrades.
  • Professional Advice: Consult a licensed electrician for recommendations based on your home’s specific electrical needs and layout.
  • Review Warranty and Support: Select a switchboard that comes with a good warranty and reliable customer support.

Can I Install a Switchboard On My Own?

No, you can’t install a switchboard on your own. Only qualified and licensed electricians are allowed to perform any type of electrical installation or maintenance.