How to Wire a Construction Switchboard
Electricity is a very dangerous hazard and should never be worked on without the proper safety equipment and training. This includes a hat, gloves, and shoes and also safety goggles for those who work in the sun.
The first step is to choose the correct components, tools and cables based on their size and rating. Once you have selected all these things, then you can proceed with the wiring process and the installation of the switchboard.
Choosing the correct components
Selecting the right components is crucial to ensure that the switchboard will function properly and safely. These include switches, receptacles and other electrical boxes as well as power leads.
Make sure that the switches are rated according to their use and that they are properly labeled to indicate the power source. If not, then the switchboard will not be suitable for use.
It is also important to make sure that the cable is insulated correctly so that it can withstand harsh conditions on the construction site. This will prevent it from causing any damage to the building and its contents.
Another very important part of wiring is the phase-in switch. This switch is located inside the switchboard and is a type of circuit breaker that shuts off the electricity. The copper wire in the phase-in switch should be rolled in order to strengthen it. This will reduce its chances of separating.
This is very important to make the switchboard as safe as possible and prevent it from being tampered with. It should be marked with an electric shock symbol and a danger sign. This will warn workers of the presence of energised or live parts within the switchboard and help avoid any accidents occurring.
Next, connect the power cables to the switches and socket outlets. These are usually mounted close to the wall and can be either front access only or rear access. Rear access switchboards provide easier access for maintenance and installation but may be deeper than front access only switchboards.
When a socket outlet is installed, it must be rated at not less than 10A and controlled by a double-pole switch (active and neutral conductors are switched). It is essential that the power lead feeding it is a heavy duty sheathed type not longer than two metres long.
It is also important to keep the power leads away from any other power cables, as this will prevent them from being cut. Besides this, you must always disconnect the power from the circuit breaker before starting any work and then reconnect it after the completion of the job.
The final step is to mark the construction wiring with yellow tape labelled ‘construction wiring’ at distances of not more than five metres. This will help the workers and visitors on the construction site to know where it is located.
Lift shaft wiring
If a lift shaft is present, the final sub-circuit feeding it must be locked and tagged to prevent inadvertent isolation of supply from the switchboard by others on the construction site. The sub-circuit should also be RCD protected.