Switchboard upgraded

Our sparky finally had a slot in his calendar to come around and do our switchboard upgrade - a necessary step before several things on the house can be done. The most pressing task depending on this one is our hot water heater, as we want to switch to an electric one but there’s no room in the switchboard for a new breaker (but the upgrade will solve that). Second, the code has changed since this house last had any major work done, and now the lights must be RCD protected as well, and they’re currently not. Finally, the last reason for doing the upgrade is that at present the entire house is on a single RCD (so if we drop a hair dryer in the bathtub everything goes dark) whereas now each circuit has it’s own RCBO instead, limiting the fallout of a ground fault to a single circuit.

Naturally, it meant we were without power for much of the day. I got a bit of work done, but the UPS, even with the power off, really only has about 90 minutes of capacity in it no matter what, so pretty soon we were completely offline. I was able to work from 4G, but Duncan was pretty unhappy, resorting to sitting on his phone for much of the day.

But the work is done now! While he was here, Baz had a look at my ceiling fan to figure out what on earth I’d done. Oh yeah, that.

So last week, I’d started thinking about what we’d have Baz do after this job, and replacing some of the more expensive-to-run lights with efficient LEDs is high on my list, as we use about 500W at night (much of which would be my servers, but that’s not cheap to fix), but during the day that balloons out significantly and I think much of it is the lights. But I started thinking about how in the winter, my office is dark, so I have the light on in there, and those are just incandescent bulbs, which I can replace myself! So I bought some cheap LEDs, put them in, and after a day or two I noticed they were flickering.

I went to take the cover off again to check the connections, but managed to instead twist the entire fan assembly, which must have shorted something because there was an almighty electric “bang” and then I did not have a light any more. After he took it apart today, it was determined I blew up the controller for it (a Mercator FRM97) as it seems it was wired improperly and left something exposed, which I shorted when my sasquatch grip rotated the whole assembly. Baz fixed it up so I have a light but no fan and then we figured out we’d just replace the whole fan with a new one, because replacing just the controller is a fairly significant portion of the cost anyway, so might as well have a shiny new DC fan as well.

It stings a bit that in trying to save $2 a month probably on electricity, I’ve cost myself a few hundred in repair work…

Horsham, VIC, Australia fwaggle



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Horsham, VIC, Australia

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