The home’s electrical system is complex and at the very centre is the distribution board (DB), otherwise known as the main board. While most electrical jobs are best left to a professional electrician, it is always handy to understand how the system works.

A DB board works in the following way: The main cable comes into the DB board and then gets distributed in the secondary circuits (such as lights and plugs) via breakers. DB boards have neutral links, the earth leakage unit and interconnecting wires for the sole purpose of providing effective electrical distribution in your house. 

Here we share a few tips on how best to look after the heart of your home’s electrical system.

Location is key

First and foremost, it is important to know where your DB board is located. The DB board should not be installed more than 2200m above the ground, it should not be mounted in a bathroom, or above a fixed cooking appliance. Knowing where the board DB board is located is vital in case of an emergency.

Use your senses

An easy way to recognise if something is wrong with your DB board is to use your senses. If you notice any of the following, be sure to call a professional to conduct an assessment.

  • Crackling sounds
  • Burning odours
  • Flickering lights
  • Appliances that stop working

The DB board could be a root cause of the above and needs to be checked out soonest.

Proper protection

There are a few things to note that will keep your DB board operating effectively. Firstly, understand that the fuse prevents an overcurrent from passing through the circuit. In the case of an overcurrent, the fuse will automatically shut down the power supply. In this way it protects your appliances and electrical system.

It is important to protect the DB board from corrosion and disintegration. For example, copper compresses over time causing corrosion. A good suggestion is to get your DB board connections checked and tightened annually. Failure to monitor this could result in a dangerous situation.

Compressed copper results in a potential hazard

Be aware that there should never be wires hanging out of your DB board. It should always be covered and any opening should be protected by a blanking plate.

Label your DB board

A DB board has important switches that may need to be used in the home. For example, the safety switch which is used to switch off the electrical supply when a fault is detected. The last thing that you want to do in this instance is flip the wrong switch. That is why it is important to properly label your DB board.

An accurately labelled DB board

If ever in doubt about the security, location, labelling or safety of your DB board, give us a call on 082 924 4775. Don’t let the power house of your electrical system be your weakest link!

Categories: Generalsafety