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How to safely upgrade your electrical supply.

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The main cause of fires due electrical faults is overloading. By default, JBE, the electrical authorities, only approves 30 amps usage for every household. If there is any additional extensions, the occupants are required to apply for an upgrade. Normally you will be required to pay additional deposits after the upgrade. The most common addition that occupants do when moving is are Air Con points and Water Heater points. These 2 items consumes the most electricity.

What has to be Upgraded

If you check back to my previous article on How to calculate Amperage, you can do a rough calculation on how many more amps you will need if you were to add in the Air Con and Water Heaters. The normal upgrade will be from the default 30 amps to 60 amps which will be sufficient enough for any normal household.

In upgrading, there are several areas that need to be replaced.

1. The Cut-Off fuse.

If you look at your KWH meter, you will see 2 pieces of black box like thing by the side. The bigger piece is the the Main Fuse Holder and the smaller one is the Neutral Link. There is a fuse cartridge inside the main Fuse Holder that has a rating of 30 amps. That has to be replaced with a bigger one when you are upgrading.

2. The cables from the Meter Board to the Main Switch Board.

The original cables from the Meter Board to the Main Switch Board has to be replaced with ones that can withstand a 60 amps load.

3. The Main Switch and the Main Circuit Breaker

The main switch too has to be replaced with a higher rating one. Some contractors will just pop in a new fuse without changing the whole Switch. This can be dangerous because if the Main Switch is designed for loads of only 30 amps, the copper strips used as conductors in the switch will heat up and melt when it is loaded more than it should take.

The Main Circuit Breaker too needs to be replaced by one that can withstand a higher load or else it will keep tripping off due to overloading.

All those I have mentioned has to be replaced if you plan to upgrade you power supply. If you do one without doing the other, then you are putting yourself and the entire house at risk. Of course all these upgrades are best done before you moved in but in any case it can be done anytime without too much inconvenience. An experience electrician will probably be able to do it in a day.

Of course there are other ways for upgrading like applying for a 3 phase supply rather than the Single phase one that you are using, but that is another story.


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