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Thread: RC AC units,Meter board alterations.

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    Default RC AC units,Meter board alterations.

    With Summer approaching I have been considering installing an A/C unit although we dont get that bad a Summer in the mountains but last year I found I didnt tolerate the heat as well as in previous years, but before I get that far, I was wondering about how they connect.
    This house has a very small old style meter board and I have read that in NSW, alterations/replacements means one of those 'SMART' meters has to be installed which I would prefer not have just yet.
    Old style window units were/are 15 amp plug ins I believe whereas the others are wired direct and I am not sure if a couple of now unused circuits (Stove and HWS) could be used for that purpose.(50 and 15 Amp)
    Obviously no matter how well I describe the board here, only an inspection can determine what has to be done but I am still waiting after 3 years for one local installer to call and tell me.
    Being in a small country town means you dont often have multiple choices as to who to call.

    I would prefer to go the Reverse Cycle split unit than an A/C only unit as heat would be used more often than Cool up here.
    Any suggestions and experiences with the split units would appreciated.
    Last edited by gordon_s1942; 12-09-10 at 07:46 PM.
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    Junior Member moke007's Avatar
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    Hi Gordon,

    You shouldn't have any worries connecting an extra circuit for an A/C into your board. So long as 1 - You have the physical space on the board. 2 - adding the A/C won't exceed your available power for the size mains coming into the house.

    Now if you have two unused circuits (Stove and HWS) I would imagine space won't be a problem as you can remove the old fuses and this would also mean spare capacity on the mains.

    If the board is really old and you plan to live there for a while it might be an advantage to get the board upgraded. A change over to a new smart meter does not mean you must go onto the new time of use tariffs, you can stay on your old tariff system (at least in Energy Aust area, and I am 90% sure it is the same for the rest of NSW).

    A new board would give you the following advantages:

    • Each power and light circuit would have its own safety switch which means if you have a problem on one power circuit your lights and some power will keep working.
    • It can be safer having a neat clean board, makes identifying circuits easier. Safer to flick a circuit breaker switch than pull a fuse.
    • Normally when doing a full board upgrade each circuit is tested for insulation breakdown giving you a health check on the rest of the house wiring.
    • If you decide to get a PV solar system, your board will be ready to have a gross meter added. Energy Aust have been knocking back work by contractors that add a gross meter to a "un-safe" board. (I think this might be what you may have been reading about in regards to upgrading a board when making alterations)


    A rough estimate to upgrade a board including metering would be $1000, maybe a bit less.

    anyway I hope this info helps

    cheers
    Jim
    Last edited by moke007; 13-09-10 at 08:24 PM.

  • The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to moke007 For This Useful Post:

    beer4life (13-09-10),gordon_s1942 (13-09-10)

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    G'Day Cobbers,
    We seem to have overlooked one important criteria.
    Is your supply single or multiple phase?
    Being on the edge of civilisation begs the question?

    Kindest Regards, " The Druid ".


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    Gordon,

    A lot will depend on the size/type of Ac unit as to it's power requirements.

    However, given your cabling/board capacity was designed to include two now unused circuits, there should't be any issues with load capacity.

    The majority of single-phase split systems use a 20 amp circuit.

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    single phase here B4Life although I do have one of the Village's Transformers at my fence, in fact my aerial comes off that pole but from what I gather getting the other phase connected today is not as easy as it used to be.
    Our supply here has always been fairly reliable even though the lines run up and over hill and dale.

    MTV, I have been here 40 years and unless I win lotto or find some one sillier than me I think my next move will be up the hill to the local cemetary.
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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