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#152358 - 10/06/04 11:44 AM 1950s Australian Meters & Switchboard
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This is a picture of the switchboard & meter panel that was recently removed from my sisters house in Adelaide, South Australia. It was installed in the mid-1950s'. This board was mounted in the laundry at the rear of the property.

The meter on the left was used for measuring the power used for the house (rated 10-40 amps) & the meter on the right is for the hot water service (5-20 amps).

I have no idea where the cable on the left goes to, it's a length of 2.5 mm2 TPS cable for a power circuit of some description.

Under the left meter is the main switch, two fuses (the one on left is power-15 amps & the right one is lights -10 amps). The little box is for the neutral link.

The fuse in the centre along with the round switch underneath is for the hot water service.

On the end is a switch which controls the 10 amp power outlet below it.

The whole assembly has been removed & replaced with a 17 position DIN rail switchboard with RCD protection at the front of the property with the meters.

Darren Carroll
Alice Springs, NT, Australia

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#152359 - 10/07/04 07:24 AM Re: 1950s Australian Meters & Switchboard
Trumpy Offline

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Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Now there's the sort of Switch-board/Metering panel that I'm used to seeing.
Thanks for submitting the picture, Darren!.
Installing a switchboard in the Laundry is something that you don't see a lot of down in this part of the world these days.
Interesting to note that while the board has Porcelain Rewireable fuses on it, there is a plug-in type MCB sitting on the ledge in front of the board.
Bit of a rough job on installing that 2.5, it's not even covered with capping.
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#152360 - 10/07/04 11:32 PM Re: 1950s Australian Meters & Switchboard
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Registered: 06/28/04
Posts: 203
Loc: Alice Springs, NT, Australia
It must of been fairly common place ecspecially in Adelaide as a few other houses I have been to have the switchboard in the laundry. As for the piece of 2.5, that has all been removed along with all the equipment in the photo. I have since found out that this cable run to a double power outlet that was screwed onto the wall just out of the picture. Even a piece of flexible conduit would of been a good idea on this cable to prevent mechanical damage.

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#152361 - 10/13/04 03:05 AM Re: 1950s Australian Meters & Switchboard
pauluk Offline
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Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I've always said about Ireland that things are similar enough to England to feel comfortably familiar, yet different enough that you know you're in another country.

I get the same sort of feeling looking at this panel. It's similar enough to some old British switchgear that it seems very familiar, yet not quite.... If you see what I mean.

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#152362 - 10/13/04 03:16 AM Re: 1950s Australian Meters & Switchboard
Trumpy Offline

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Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
It sort of makes me wonder how you work on a board that is installed like this.
I'm assuming that it has hinges on the right-hand side of the Phenolic panel.
But with that meter in the way, I doubt you'd be able to open the panel very far.
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#152363 - 10/16/04 01:13 AM Re: 1950s Australian Meters & Switchboard
32VAC Offline
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Registered: 06/28/04
Posts: 203
Loc: Alice Springs, NT, Australia
The panel was secured by two screws (one either side of the lower part of the board). Some of these boards were made from a material called 'Zelemite' which was a fire retardant, asbestos based product. No idea if it was used outside of Australia.

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#152364 - 11/25/04 05:48 AM Re: 1950s Australian Meters & Switchboard
Trumpy Offline

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Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Yes Darren,
We had Zelemite here for years, in fact I've heard that at one time it was actually manufactured here.
When I first started my time as a sparkie, we were warned not to breathe in the dust while drilling it for fuses and meters and the like.
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