One of our clients has to make this choice every day.

If they want to run their oven they have to go outside to the switchboard and turn off the hot water first.

If the hot water is not turned off, the main circuit breaker will overload and trip, shutting off all power to the house.

How did they get into this crazy situation?

It happened because they got a cheap heat pump installation. The mains cables to the house are a very small size and before adding extra heating the mains cables should have been replaced with larger cables.

The contractor who installed the heat pump bypassed the requirement to upgrade the mains by fitting a 32 amp load limiting circuit breaker to the switchboard.

The circuit breaker protects the cables by shutting off when the total load drawn by all the appliances in the house exceeds 32 amps.

An oven can draw up to 32 amps on its own, so they probably couldn’t run a heater and the oven together, or a heater and hot water at the same time either.

It is legal and the work was carried out according to the wiring rules, but it’s not a quality result for the client.

Maybe the details weren’t sufficiently explained to the client before the heat pump was installed, or maybe they just wanted the cheapest price, no matter what.

We will soon be replacing the mains cables and that will solve the problem.  No more running out to the fuse box with a torch, flicking switches on and off.

It probably would have cost less to get it all done when the heat pump was installed.

It’s another example of why the cheapest price is not usually the best job, and highlights the importance of getting good advice before starting major electrical work on your home.

For free advice and quotes on all mains cables upgrades, in Launceston and surrounding areas, phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711.


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