The Distribution Board (DB) in South African homes serves as a pivotal juncture where the external electricity supply is channelled into various circuits within the house, ensuring a structured and safe distribution of electricity. Here's a closer look at its functioning:

The Main Switch:

The main switch acts as a gateway for electricity entering your home from the grid. When turned on, it permits the flow of electricity into the household circuits.

Circuit Breakers:

Within the DB, circuit breakers function as vigilant monitors, overseeing the amount of electricity flowing through each circuit. In case of an overload or a short circuit, they swiftly interrupt the electricity flow to mitigate the risk of damage or fire.

Individual Circuits (NB for backup and solar PV systems!):

The DB delineates your home into different zones, each powered by its own circuit. Each circuit, in turn, powers multiple appliances. For instance, a single circuit might supply electricity to various kitchen appliances like the refrigerator, oven, and microwave. However, when considering a backup power solution such as an inverter, it might be necessary to separate certain power-hungry appliances onto individual circuits. This separation ensures that critical appliances can be powered independently via the inverter during power outages, without overloading the backup system.

Earth Leakage Unit:

The earth leakage unit is a safety feature that detects any aberrant electricity leakage from the circuits. Upon detection, it immediately halts the electricity flow to prevent potential electric shocks.

Mini Substations (where applicable):

In certain locales, mini substations are utilized to further distribute electricity to homes, aiding in managing the supply and ensuring a consistent and reliable flow of electricity to each household.

By facilitating the organized distribution of electricity and housing safety mechanisms like circuit breakers and earth leakage units, the Distribution Board plays an indispensable role in maintaining the smooth and safe operation of a home’s electrical system.