Before you tinker with any electrical supply you should be certain that the power is off and you know what you are doing. Although electrical systems can seem straightforward there are plenty of scientific facts behind electrical currents and flows.
The reason for this is simple, electricity is dangerous and one of the most common causes of house fires.
The basic truth is that Australian regulations are complex but generally don’t allow you to do much more than change a lightbulb. If you take this literally then not only do you need a permit to upgrade your electrical panel, you also need a licensed electrician.
How The Permit Works
A permit is designed to say you have permission to upgrade your electrical supply. It’s not uncommon, experts recommend the electrical panel is upgraded every 25 years as it has a limited lifespan.
In most cases, the permit must be issued before the work is completed and it is issued to the company undertaking the work. This ensures that the property owner and the electrician know who is doing the work.
Once the work is finished it can be signed off by a qualified electrician and your house is considered safe.
It should be noted that if you don’t get the upgraded electrical panel signed off it is highly likely that the insurance company will refuse to pay out for any fire started as a result of electrical issues.
In the majority of cases, the power company must then come out to shut off the power. It’s advisable to book them ready to turn the power back on. If you don’t you may find yourself going several days without power.
The power company doesn’t need to shut off the power if you are working on a secondary panel.
Doing It Yourself
Once the power is off you are safer to complete the electrical replacements. You may be tempted to do this yourself. However, the issue then is that the power company will want to see an electrician has signed off the works.
In other words, for you to do the work yourself you’ll need to find an electrician willing to request a permit for you and sign off on your work, even though it can come back to bite them.
This may be possible if you have a qualified electrician as a friend. But, in reality, this is rare. A qualified level 2 electrician will understand the issues and know how to handle them.
In other words, you need an electrician to get the permit that you have to have to complete the panel upgrade. You also need them to sign off on your upgrade before you can get power back.
There may be some shortcuts that enable you to do the work yourself. But, the truth is that you may end up with legal and insurance issues. In short, get the electrician and let them deal with the permit for you.