Consumer Mains Installation and Repairs Sydney
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“Expert installation and repair of consumer mains in Sydney. Quick, reliable service ensuring your electrical needs are met efficiently. Contact us for quality solutions
Consumer mains is the term for the power cables that supply your property with electricity from the general supply in the street. Without these, your home would have no power.
Most of these cables were installed decades ago and suited the technological requirements of the time. Times have changed, and we’re putting a much higher strain on these cables, resulting in dangerous issues like electrocution or fires.
Ausgrid Energy has begun to issue defect notices to properties with out-of-date consumer mains. Get yours checked today by North Shore Electricians before this happens to you.
Consumer Mains Issues
The cable used to provide consumer mains was most likely an old style called vulcanised Indian rubber (VIR). Back in the day, it was perfectly suitable, but nowadays it isn’t, as it only has a limited lifespan.
If your house is over 30 years old, these cables are at the end of their productive life. If these aren’t replaced, your home is at risk of power outages, fires or electrocution if old cables are touched.
Another problem with VIR cables is that they’re installed within a split steel conduit. Electricity and steel aren’t the best partners, and if the cable gets worn and the wires connect with the steel, electrocution or fire is likely.
The most significant issue today, though, is the capacity of the cable. Old VIR cables range from 6mm to 16mm. These wires can only carry a minimum level of amps. A 6mm cable, for example, has a maximum amperage flow of 40A. While that sounds like plenty, in fact, it isn’t.
Here’s an example of a standard house amperage needs:
- Hot water system – 15 amps
- Electric stove – 10 amps
- Microwave – 5 amps
- Toaster – 5 amps
- Fridge – 3 amps
- Washing machine – 3 amps
- Television – 4 amps
- Lighting – 2 amps
There you have it, 47 amps, and that’s just at a basic level. As you can see, if this property has 6mm VIR cables, it’s only a matter of time before an incident occurs.
The Consumer Mains Solution
Technology advancements have contributed to the solution, and they’re called cross-linked polyethylene cables (XPLE).
They differ from VIR because they have greater tensile strength, elongation and impact resistance. This means that they don’t melt, have much slower ageing concerns and provide a much more increased flow resistance.
XPLE is also highly versatile and can be installed in single and three-phase environments.
Government regulators now insist that these cables are a minimum requirement in all new buildings.
How are Consumer Mains Installed
There are two options for Sydney properties, but they’re not available in every suburb yet.
The first — and still the most common — option is connected to the overhead wires from the street. These are more often than not connected via the roof to the switchboard or a private power pole if there’s one on the property.
Many Sydney suburbs are switching to underground cabling. It doesn’t just reduce the eye-sore that street cables deliver, but it’s also a considerably safer option as the wires are deep in the ground.
Underground cables are then connected by consumer mains to the green electrical transformer box on the property.
Who Can Install or Repair Consumer Mains
As consumer mains need to be connected to the general street electricity, only a level 2 electrician can perform this task. Under no circumstances should a DIYer attempt this type of project.
All of our level 2 electricians at North Shore Electricians are experts at connecting supplier mains in both overhead and underground scenarios.
The Installation Process
Having consumer mains installed at a new property is lengthy, so plan accordingly.
It generally takes around three weeks for the planning, costing, and inspections to occur. Then, the actual installation can take up to 10 weeks. This isn’t a speedy process.
Consumer Mains Cost
It’s difficult to determine the actual cost to install consumer mains as it varies tremendously from property to property.
What we do know is that the application fee is $495. Design fees range from $1,300 to $6,600 depending on the complexity of the work required and the property size.
While most electrical work is charged by the hour, work of this nature is usually costed at a project level.
Why Choose North Shore Electricians to Install Consumer Mains
For over 20 years, North Shore Electricians has been servicing Sydney homes. During that time, we’ve watched the degradation of VIR cabling and we’re aware of its dangers.
Our level 2 electricians are licensed and educated in all the Australian standards and are up-to-date on current requirements.
It’s a government regulation that when any electrical work is performed at a Sydney property, a certificate of compliance for electrical work (CCEW) is provided to the energy provider and the Department of Fair Trading. As part of our work checklist, we action this for you.
Call North Shore Electricians today so that we can upgrade your old VIR cable to the improved XLPE before you’re issued with a defect notice.