Month: February 2020

Signs That You Need To Upgrade Your Switchboard

Switchboard Upgrade

Electrical switchboards are one of the most crucial components in every household since there is little you can do without electricity. It’s through switchboards that we can route electricity to our convenient areas or any other place within the household. An electric switchboard, just like any other device, is prone to degradation due to aging and needs to be replaced to support the flow of electricity in your home. Old appliances may be unable to cope with the energy demands of the latest technology like appliances and lightings. An increase in the consumption of electricity in most households is one of the primary reasons old switchboards are being replaced with newer ones since they’re more efficient.

In this article, we are going to look at the signs that your switchboard needs to be replaced with a more advanced one. They include:

Malfunctioning of the appliances

If you discover that there is a decline in your appliances output/working, then this might be an indication that your electrical switchboard panel is unable to sustain the energy requirements. If you find out that your appliances are cutting out, lights are flickering, and signs of corrosion or melting around the panel, then this is an indication that your panel is overworked. If you discover that the use of several appliances trips breakers, then this is a sign that your electrical switchboard needs to be upgraded with the latest version.

Tripping of breakers from time to time

Tripping of breakers should only occur when the circuit breakers detect something ambiguous in the flow of electricity to avert dangers that may be caused to the system due to the inflow of current, which can cause fire on some occasions. Tripping is a crucial feature that is intended to protect the system, however, if you notice that your system is tripping from time to time, then this is a sign that all is not well with your electrical switchboard or your electrical switchboard is not in a position to support the amount of electricity being drawn in your home and thus the need to get it upgraded.

Need To Upgrade Your Switchboard


If you intend to renovate your home, there is a need to evaluate whether the existing electrical switchboard can cope with the changes that have been incorporated into the circuit. You also need to access whether the new appliances you have purchased can overload the switchboard in any manner. Keep in mind that an electrical switchboard upgrade is not about convenience but your safety and should be taken seriously. Seek the advice from the electrician installing the electrical system in your place of residence to ascertain whether the existing switchboard is capable of supporting the additional appliances while functioning correctly. If so, then an upgrade will be unnecessary, but if otherwise, an upgrade will be vital.

Use of fuse rather than breakers

Most buildings erected in the 1970s and 1980s are fitted with fuses which works similarly to circuit breakers protecting your household from electrical dangers. The main concern with fuses is that they’re vulnerable to blowing and melting, which are the primary causes of short-circuiting, which can lead to fires on some occasions. Fuse is ideal for homes built in the 70s and 80s because the energy requirements were quite reduced as opposed to modern homes, which demand more energy to facilitate the running of various electrical appliances. If you think your switchboard posses a potential risk of fire or electric shock, check out Westline Electrical and get a free no obligation quote.

What is an exposed aggregate?

What is an exposed aggregate?

Exposed aggregate is a style of concrete used mainly for driveways, but sometimes also for sidewalks, patios and swimming pools. The unique appeal of exposed aggregate concrete is in its finish – exposing the small stones (pebbles) that are part of the concrete. This creates random patterns and a variety of colors.

Exposed aggregate concrete is pre-mixed with the pebbles already in it. Once the concrete has been poured and allowed to settle, the concreters need to skillfully remove the upper layer from the top to reveal the stones. The pebbles (also called aggregates, hence the name exposed aggregate concrete) are of varying sizes and colors to create a natural effect, gives the driveway special depth of color and texture.

Building a driveway with exposed aggregate concrete is a skilled job, especially if the desired finish is to be achieved and future cracks avoided. We strongly recommend using an experienced professional for all work with exposed aggregate concrete.

Driveways built of exposed aggregate concrete are exceptionally long-lasting (as long as they are professionally applied, of course). The stones (aggregate) significantly increase the strength of exposed aggregate concrete, compared to standard concrete (being a mix of cement and sand). So when it comes to durability, exposed aggregate is second to none. Additional advantages of exposed aggregate concrete include slip resistance and ability to sustain the heaviest use.

Exposed aggregate concrete techniques

The monolithic technique is the most popular when it comes to installing exposed aggregates. The technique requires that you mix your aggregate materials into a batch of concrete, and then pour the concrete, same as with a standard concrete surface. Pea gravel is the most popular as the aggregate when using the monolithic technique. Pea gravel consists of tiny, rounded natural rocks with diameters of between 1/4 and 3/8 inch.

Unlike with the monolithic technique, with the overlay exposed aggregate technique you do not create a new concrete structure, but instead you resurface an existing one. Here the aggregates are mixed into small batches of concrete, which are then spread over the top of a structurally sound concrete surface (such as driveway).

What is an exposed aggregate?

Whether using the monolithic or overlay technique, a chemical retarder is essential for ensuring that your aggregates stick out of the hardened concrete, providing that textural look. After pouring and leveling exposed aggregate concrete, the retarder must be sprayed over all of the surfaces to be exposed. The retarder will keep the surface layers of the concrete soft while the layers below it harden.

Caution: chemical retarders are highly caustic, and misuse can result in the formation of irregular patterns and holes – it is strongly recommended to use an experienced professional for all work with chemical retarders and exposed aggregate concrete.

After applying the chemical retarder, the top layer of concrete needs to be gently scrubbed away to expose the aggregates (pebbles). This is a skilful job – the timing and strength must be just perfect. Scrubbing too soft (or too late) will result in slippery and visually unattractive surface; while when scrubbing too hard (or too early) the concrete might not retain enough strength to keep the aggregates stuck in place.

Another alternative to using the monolithic or overlay techniques for installing exposed aggregates is the seeding technique. Here the aggregates are not mixed into the concrete prior to pouring it- instead, the aggregates are sprinkled on top of the concrete as it is hardening. This technique, while popular with DIY exposed aggregate concreters, is not used by professionals due to its lack of reliability and poor durability of the resulting exposed aggregate concrete.