How to Troubleshoot an Obscure Clipsal Electrical Switchboard

Troubleshooting an obscure Clipsal electrical switchboard can be a daunting task for even experienced electricians. As a homeowner, I found myself in this predicament when the power went out in my home office and I discovered the issue stemmed from my decades-old Clipsal board. With some research and trial-and-error, I was able to get to the bottom of the problem. Here is my step-by-step guide on how I was able to successfully troubleshoot my obscure Clipsal electrical switchboard.

Understanding the Basics of a Clipsal Switchboard

Before I could even begin troubleshooting, I needed to understand the basic components and functionality of a Clipsal switchboard. Here's a quick overview:

Main Functions

Key Components

Having a handle on these basics gave me a helpful foundation before tackling my specific problem.

Steps to Troubleshoot the Obscure Clipsal Switchboard

With a general understanding of how Clipsal boards work, I was ready to dive into troubleshooting my malfunctioning unit. Here are the steps I followed:

1. Check the Main Switch

The first thing I did was check the main switch on the board. This large switch controls electricity from the mains to the entire switchboard. I made sure it was switched to the “On” position.

2. Check Individual Circuit Breakers

Next, I inspected each circuit breaker on the board. Clipsal boards have individual circuit breakers that control power to specific zones of the home. I looked for any tripped breakers and reset them by switching them to “Off” then back “On.” This restored power to those circuits.

3. Check for Loose Wiring

I then removed the cover panel off the Clipsal board and checked internal wiring connections. Over time, vibrations can cause wires to become loose inside the switchboard. I tightened any loose cable connections on the neutral and earth bars.

4. Test Voltage Levels

Using a multimeter, I tested voltage levels at various points of the board. This allowed me to isolate the issue to a specific circuit. I detected abnormal low voltage on one circuit which signaled a problem.

5. Check Circuit Wiring

For the circuit with low voltage, I checked the corresponding wiring. By following the circuit cable I found a section that had corroded from moisture damage. Replacing this damaged wiring resolved the power issue.

6. Replace Faulty Breaker

If I had still found problems after checking wiring, the next step would have been replacing the suspect circuit breaker. Faulty breakers that fail to trip can cause switchboard malfunctions. Replacing it would likely fix any lingering issues.

Helpful Tips for Troubleshooting Clipsal Boards

Based on my experience, here are some helpful troubleshooting tips for obscure Clipsal switchboards:

While daunting at first, I was able to successfully revive my vintage Clipsal board without needing to replace the entire unit. Hopefully following these steps and tips will help you troubleshoot your obscure Clipsal switchboard safely and efficiently. Let me know in the comments if you have any other advice!