Electrical loading & re-wiring in HDB flats

Thought to do up a post on electrical works for HDB after reading some discussions on a local forum. Pretty important information if you would like to install two aircon compressors and/or induction cookers and/or any other major appliances at home.  Don’t forget to check if your induction cooker can be installed in HDB – some induction cookers apparently run at higher ampere and are not suitable for installation in HDB.  Key information to note:

HDB apartment blocks completed on or after 01 Jan 1994 and flats upgraded under the Main Upgrading Programme (MUP) are provided with a higher electrical loading of 40 amps main switch. Flat owners do not need to apply for an HDB permit to install an air-conditioner or other higher capacity equipment/appliances if the flat is provided with higher electrical loading.

To find out if your block has been provided with higher electrical loading, you can check the electrical loading online. Alternatively, you can call HDB’s toll-free Branch Office Service Line on 1800-2255432 as the online site is not always updated (some owners confirmed with their HDB technical officers that their blocks have been upgraded to 40 amps although the website showed 30 amps when queried).

These should be taken care of by your contractor but still good to know:

  1. Prior approval must be obtained from EMA and SP Services Ltd (SPSL) for any electrical alterations or extensions
  2. For electrical rewiring and extension, the flat owner is required to submit the SP Services Ltd (SPSL) Form CS/5H endorsed by HDB to SPSL for testing of the new wiring through his licensed electrical worker
  3. All wiring installation work must be executed by an EMA licensed electrical worker
  4. Embedding of wiring house in metal/high impact PVC conduit in RC slab, beam, column, wall and in wall plaster or other finishes is not allowed
  5. Electrical wirings in a flat have a limited life span. The estimated average life-span of a PVC electrical cable is approximately 25 years.
  6. It is advisable for flat owners to replace the electrical wirings to their flat when the life-span is over or when the conditions have deteriorated. A licensed electrical worker (LEW) will be able to check the conditions of the wirings and advise whether the wirings need to be replaced.

#5 is for those who bought resale HDB and are wondering if you need to re-wire.  Re-wiring is expensive so new owners may be wondering if it’s worth spending a few thousands re-doing all the wires.  I guess it’s a mix of expected length of stay versus existing age of property?  E.g. if unit is 10 years old and you think you’ll stay for another 10 years, then maybe not. But if unit is already 25 years then just re-wire.  Why take the risk of having a fire at home caused by worn out electrical wiring right?

Source: HDB Guidelines for Electrical Works and Electrical Works – Terms and Conditions

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