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How to choose a powerboard?

Experienced Contributor

How to choose a powerboard?

Powerboard.jpgSo you are looking at purchasing a new powerboard for the office, bedroom, garage or anyroom but you are unsure of all the different options and why you should by the cheapest or the most expensive? So I am hopefully going to break this down from within the electrical department of Bunnings to help you make an informed decision that is the better fit for your need.


First off we need to consider:


How many outlets required?

Do I need wide spaced outlets?

Do you require each oulet to be switched or not?

Do you require surge protection? (I will explain this below)

How long do you need the cord or do I need an additional extension lead?

Do I need a  safety shutter? (I will explain this below)

What is a smart powerboard and do I need it? (I will explain this below)

Do i need network port or tv port on it? (I will explain this below)


Majority of the questions are self explainatory but I will dive deeper into some of the not so self explainatory ones below.


So what is surge protection?

A surge protector is a device designed to protect your electrical devices from voltage surges. A power surge is a sudden increase in voltage above the nominal voltage. It is thought only lightning causes surges but high powered electrical devices around the house or work place can cause spikes with disruption to the frequencies. Although surge protection will help minimise lightning strikes the closer you are to the direct strike the harder the MOV's (surge diverters) have to work to get rid of the high voltage and some voltages still may pass through.


So do these MOV's wear out? Yes over time they will and have an indicator on the board will let you know if the surge diverters are still active or not.


So why bother with surge diverters then if they will not stop all surges including direct lightning strikes? For the most part you are protected from day to day surges, the power you have within you house is not clean as such and its good insurance to protect your expensive devices from these surges.


What is the kilojule rating?

The higher the rating the higher the impact it can take eg. 175kj


So whats the difference between surge diverter and circuit breaker?

I surge diverter protects from over voltage surge and spike where as a circuit breaker protects you from pulling to much power through that powerboard and potential overheating and risk of fire.


So what are safety shutters?

Safety shutters are a spring loaded shutter that turns over the top of each individual outlet when no device is plugged in to stop any little objects being poked into the outlet like a paper clip by a young child. It takes the earth pin of a plug to turn the shutter open for the plug to go in.


So what is a smart powerboard?

A smart powerboard is one that is connected to your wifi and your automation software, some have the ability to be energy monitored, each outlet can be individually switched via your software and other automations like timers, schedules and so on.


Network and TV ports.

Why these appear on powerboards is beacause they are usually surge protected through the powerboard as well it is common for a lightning strike to hit your TV antenna or up through your phone line so these boards provide some protection from this.


Well I hope this has provided some insight into powerboards and what is available and the meaning behind some of the terms.

If you have any further questions please comment below or ask your local Bunnings Team Member.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: How to choose a powerboard?

Many thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience with the community @CSParnell. I'm sure members will find this guide very useful whenever they are shopping for a new power board.




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Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to choose a powerboard?

Hi @CSParnell


Thanks for sharing this fantastic guide. I'll be sure to bookmark this page for future reference.




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Trusted Contributor

Re: How to choose a powerboard?

Afternoon @CSParnell 


Wow! 👍

Never realised so much was involved - I usually just buy the cheapest one. But I am starting to lash out.

I like to try and hide them or position them out of eyesight. There is one I have that was always getting kicked so I liked this - a sorta electrical bread bin looking container with cable access. Now I just kick that!





Experienced Contributor

Re: How to choose a powerboard?

Looks good @Noyade always good to protect them if chance of impact, when plugs are not seated correctly they can arc within the powerboard and have risk of fire this can be caused by knocking them unintentionally.


You can also pick up some ready made ones at Bunnings as follows





And this is 1 of 4 outdoor weather proof enclosures


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