Consumer mains repairs & installations

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Consumer Mains

What are consumer mains?

To put it simply, consumer mains are the power lines that connect between the street power and the main switchboard (on your property). They can be either overhead consumer mains or underground consumer mains from a pillar. The consumer mains can also be known as supply cables and they are simply there to get the power from the street to your home or business.

A level 2 Electrician is legally required to be able to have works completed on consumer mains. The licensed electrician is able to install, repair, upgrade or do overall work with the cables and the consumer mains connection. These level 2 electricians have the certification and extra training to know how to safely work with high voltage power, which a regular electrician is not qualified to do. It is highly illegal for a regular electrician to work on consumer mains – whether it is overhead or underground. The NSW government take this matter very seriously.

 

Underground electrical cables are becoming more popular these days due to the fact that it is a much cleaner look. No one wants to be looking at messy cables, let alone the fact that your overhead cables can be easily damaged due to storm or accidents.

The qualified electricians at Arrow Power are experts in their field in Sydney and can certainly upgrade your consumer mains, repair your consumer mains and upgrade to three phase power.

If you are a business owner or homeowner in Sydney looking to get your consumer mains service upgraded or installed to a new property, you will need the services of a Level 2 electrician.  

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new consumer mains underground
Trench being dug to run underground power cables

When is a mains upgrade required?

Situations where you want or need to get your consumer mains upgraded can include:

Knockdown rebuild

When you are knocking down your old house to build a new dwelling you will need to get a Level 2 Electrician to come and disconnect your power. They will submit a Notification of Service Work (NOSWA) with the relevant electricity authority. They can then set you up with temporary site power for your builder (also known as temporary builders supply) on a temporary site board. You may even need to install tiger tails to make your site safe, which will be done by your Level 2 electrician. 

Once your new house is built they will then provide a new connection and new electricity meter from your provider of choice and connect your power up. The Point Of Attachment could be run from either underground or overhead cables depending on your budget, your location and how you want it to be setup. At the planning stage many people will choose to get a new private pole and undergrounds to maximise the street appeal of their new house.

Installing a new roof

If you’re installing a new roof on your home, or having repairs done to your roof, quite often you will need a Level 2 ASP to come and either make the high voltage lines safe for works with tiger tails, or to move the point of attachment whilst install or repairs are done. This can also be true if you require work on your houses fascia.

Getting a new pool

When access to your backyard is needed to install your new pool, you will often need to get your service lines moved. This is to give access to the excavator which will be digging out the backyard. As you can imagine it is very dangerous to be operating big machinery where there are power lines in the way! So your electrician will re-locate the point of attachment whether it is temporarily disconnected to allow works to be done, or permanently relocated, and it can be a good time to look at permanently moving your power underground and upgrade your consumer mains to service the new pool pump and pool heater at the same time.

When you are getting a switchboard upgrade

Many times when you are getting a switchboard upgrade in an older house, you will also need to get a consumer mains upgrade. This is due to the fact that many old houses have old wiring that simply cannot cope with the updates in technology and safety over time. If you think about it, it’d be quite crazy to put in a new switchboard without upgrading the capacity of the power you can get from the street pillar or overhead power lines. 

Wiring in your home or business is unsafe

Often when people start renovating at home, they will have a general electrician come and take a look for whatever renovations they need. What can end up happening is that the electrician will open up a can of worms – electrical cables can be all over the place. They’ll often tell you that they can’t believe your house hasn’t burnt down! You will generally need to get a switchboard and mains upgrade when you are renovating your home.

three phase power upgrade
Quite often you will need a switchboard upgrade when you upgrade to three phase power

Costs to upgrade your consumer mains

So how much is it going to cost to upgrade your consumer mains? Obviously the cost is going to be dependent on what exactly needs to be done. The cost will of the upgrade will vary with how long the distance is between the point of attachment and the switchboard. The cost will also increase if service mains need to be upgraded as well. The service mains run from the street to the point of attachment.

In addition to this you may need to install 3 phase switches or additional safety switches which will add to the price. There is the potential you will also need a switchboard upgrade which would be additional depending on what is required. Often times you will need to upgrade or rectify your earthing system as well so it is best to consider this at the same time.

Please see basic consumer mains upgrade costs below:

Who can install or repair consumer mains?

Consumer mains cables can only be installed by a licensed electrician or ASP (Accredited Service Provider) who is also a Level 2 Electrician. General electricians are not permitted to connect the consumer mains to the network authority’s supply. Therefore an electrician is limited to prepare the work and site ready for a Level 2 Electrician to make the connection.

How are consumer mains installed?

Consumer mains can be run to your property in a number of different ways. The first way to run consumer mains is through the roof cavity from the Point of Attachment. This is where the overhead mains cable attaches to the house from the supply network. Another way that your consumer mains can be installed is from the undergrounds off a private power pole. This is getting to be a popular to increase the street value of your property. The third way a consumer mains can be installed is underground to your property from a private pillar box (green box).

Danger of outdated consumer mains

When it comes to consumer mains, older electrical systems are designed for the times in which they were built and installed. As a result, these older systems haven’t been built to meet the power consumption needs of today’s appliances. Therefore, the consumer cables are much more likely to be overloaded or stressed which can lead to a number of issues. This is why many people choose to upgrade to three phase power when they upgrade their consumer mains. The biggest dangers and issues of older consumer mains can include:

Electrocution

If the old wiring is exposed or when there is a large amount of voltage running through the older cables which may only be a 4mm or 6mm cable, touching them can be fatal. Even if the wires haven’t been touched, the cables are dangerous and can lead to major issues. They could electrify other equipment even such as plumbing!

Fire hazard

It’s pretty simply to envisage that old messy cables can be worn out or receiving too much voltage they can spark and increase the chance of an electrical fire. Not to mention many old cables in your roof may not even be insulated. This means it can be a huge fire danger.

Power outages

If your consumer mains is overworked they usually cannot handle the amount of voltage being drawn down and can overload. This can lead to power outages that are often the cause of having old consumer mains. They simply cannot keep up with the demands of all new appliances and will stop working.

Older builder consumer mains in commercial or residential buildings often range from 4mm up to 16mm with commercial/ larger buildings being from 16mm and up. This is a problem because the smaller the gauge of cable, and depending on its type, can mean it cannot handle the amount of power/ voltage that is required. As an example, the size of the consumer main depends on how much electrical power needs to run through them. A 6mm cable only has a maximum rating of 40amps, whereas a 16mm cable rates all the way up to 63amps. With this, the cabling is simply too small for today’s needs and often too much power is running through the system which is a hazard.

Additionally, as there are so many more gadgets and electrical appliances in modern buildings and homes there is a greater requirement for power. When multiple devices are all switched on at once and needing the amps to run, the outdated consumer mains can easily become overloaded. Furthermore, the older the cabling the more chance that the system is unlikely to have the recommended size and capacity consumer mains. Especially if the cables were installed more than 30 years ago, the chance of dangers increasing heightens. Thus it just makes sense to upgrade your consumer mains to 3 phase power if needed.

Why choose Arrow Power?

  • Qualified, licensed and experienced electricians
  • Specialising & experienced in large projects
  • Complimentary safety audit with every job
  • Emergency response 24/7
  • Upfront honest pricing


    Arrow Power is a well established electrical contracting company with over 45 years of experience in servicing our wide range of customer base.

    Our qualified electricians strive to deliver our customers expectations & we are totally committed to quality workmanship & to attending to customer sites on time, every time.

    We guarantee our workmanship on every job, but we have no hesitation to respond to completed work information or enquiries.

Consumer mains upgrade

Do you service my suburb?

Consumer mainsAt Arrow Power, we cover all of Sydney! Our commercial electricians are spread across the Sydney metropolitan – so there is always an accredited service provider conveniently located near your suburb.

We also provide 24/7 urgent response with our Level 2 electricians in an emergency at any time of the day or night, so you will never be without power. 

Our licensed electricians are just a phone call away from coming to your suburb. Our serviced Sydney areas include:

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Our Level 2 Services

Private power pole installation

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Switchboard upgrades

Consumer mains upgrades

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Electrical Defect Notice 

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