Five electric safety tips for home renovation

Many Australians like to renovate their homes to make them more liveable and increase their resale value. There are a lot of things you can do yourself to save money, but one thing you are not allowed by law to do is any electrical work. You need to contact an experienced electrician on the Gold Coast to do it for you.

The things you can do yourself

  • Install garden lights and pond pumps that are 12 volts
  • Install your own battery powered smoke detectors
  • Install self contained solar lights
  • Install any 12 volt system that is not connected to the mains power, such as solar panels and switch gear
  • Change the fuse wire on old style fuses
  • Change ordinary light bulbs
  • Install wall ovens, wall mounted fans and air conditioning units, but you must have a licensed electrician do the electrical connections
  • Replace the drive belt on clothes dryers and washing machines

Only Professional, Registered and licensed Electricians are allowed to do an electrical jobs in Australia or New Zealand

Electrical work is very heavily regulated to protect the safety of everyone, whether it’s for residential industrial or commercial applications.

Whenever you hire an electrician, ask to see their current valid electrical license. Electrical jobs are defined by law as manufacturing, maintaining, testing, installing, repairing, changing or altering, replacing or removing any electrical part, fitting or equipment.

You should also ask to see a verification of a current insurance policy for at least $5 million public liability cover.

There are special regulations that cover power outlets in rooms that also provide water, such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and outside areas, especially areas that contain a pool, spa or sauna, so talk with your local electrician on the Gold Coast about checking these.

Some things you cannot do yourself

  • Replace light switches or fittings
  • Place a ceiling fan on a light circuit or a light socket
  • Make an extension cord
  • Replace the plug or mend a power lead
  • Make a power board
  • Extend any electric wires

Safety Tips While Renovating

  • Always ensure the power is turned off if working on areas where there are electric wires or switches
  • Try not to bend electrical leads, keep them as straight as possible, but keep them out of the way
  • Only use correctly rated and fused power boxes and extension leads and ensure they are protected from the elements
  • Do not double up on double adaptors and power boards

Often when you use more power than your circuitry is rated for your safety switches will flip out. It is a good idea to get to know your fuse box so in emergencies you can reset the safety switches if needed and avoid calling your local electrician on the Gold Coast and having to pay an unnecessary call out fee.

Top things to consider when upgrading electrical circuits

When you decide it’s time to upgrade your electrical circuits, contact your friendly electrician in Currumbin. Your find they will offer you plenty of helpful advice and provide an obligation free quote that comes with a written guarantee.

You never know what is lurking under your floor in your ceiling or behind your walls. Along with a variety of bugs, ant nests, mice, lizards, leaves and other things you may find old or outdated wiring, chewed wires and loose connections.

It is important to know that making any electrical repairs is illegal in Australia and must be done by a certified registered and qualified electrician.

If your home is more than 25 years old it’s wiring probably needs to be updated to meet the Queensland safety standard, but more importantly to keep you, your family and your property safe.

Inadequate or faulty wiring is a leading cause of home fire in Queensland, this is because the switchgear and insulations can break down over time and are susceptible to rodents.

When upgrading your electrical circuits you need to consider these ideas:

·         In your parents’ day most homes were wired for a 60 amp circuit as standard, today the average home uses 200 amps plus. This is to power air conditioners, refrigerators, fans, flat screen TV’s, computers and a host of other gadgets

·         When your circuitry is not adequate for your needs, it is not only very inconvenient, it can harm your electronic equipment with fluctuating currents

·         You are likely to overload your household switch gear causing them and your wiring to overheat presenting a fire hazard

·         Today, most people require data in all rooms and while upgrading your electrical circuitry; it might be a good time to consider placing a complete data system in place. You may want the ability to hook up all the computers in the home, have cable TV in all rooms have the ability to have multiple phone lines in each room

·         Consider your future needs such as smart systems that may require wiring

Are you up planning to extend your home, add a bedroom, kitchen or maybe build a home office? This is the perfect time to do a full upgrade so:

·         Decide if you need to have a full circuit upgrade or is some of your wiring adequate

·         Find an electrician in Currumbin that is experienced in home renovations and comfortable in working with older houses

·         Always get a written quote that specifies the work that you want does and what you will do if having complications (when renovating there are often unexpected things)

·         Have a written agreement regarding clean ups and the condition of the premises after the electrical work is completed

·         Make sure all electrical permits and local body requirements are taken out or complied with

·         Have adequate Insurance cover for your property and public liability for any injury or damage caused during the work. Also, ensure you electrician has all the necessary insurance covers

When upgrading your electrical circuitry, it’s vital to have a qualified electrician in Currumbin with all the local body permits and adequate insurance cover to do the job for you and get a written quote.

How to Illuminate Your Home with Landscape Lighting

Homeowners use landscape lighting to illuminate homes and garden areas for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s used for security to remove dark areas where intruders could hide. Often it is done to create a soft and pleasant feel or romantic mood to your home and surrounding areas. It can be used to identify pathways, set boundaries and highlight features such as water fountains, ponds or architectural designs. Whatever reason you require landscape lighting contact your local electrician in Currumbin to ensure it’s installed safely and legally.

In order to decide what types of landscape lighting you’ll need, you need to consider the effect you wish to create and lighting purposes. Sketch out a map of your property showing all its features such as buildings, pathways, drives, outdoor seating, gardens, bushes, trees and other vegetation. You should estimate the height of each feature and note whether it is likely to absorb or reflect light.

Placing your landscape lighting

There are a variety of different types of landscape lighting options, some people use high powered bulbs that need to be wired in permanently and must be installed by a licensed and qualified electrician. Your electrician can advise you on the most cost effective lighting available and the different types including solar and 220 volt mains wired options.

Using solar powered lighting has several advantages, it can easily be moved as your requirements change and vegetation grows. As solar lights rely on sunlight to operate, they must be placed in an area where the sun’s rays can reach them enough to charge them daily or be connected to a solar panel.

If you wish to illuminate a specific feature then you need to match the type of lighting to it. A good example is using a pole and an old fashioned lamp type light to highlight a park seat along a garden path. Often using soft lights under bushes and shrubs can provide a warm glow while highlighting a pathway so it’s easy to follow and anyone using it will be seen.

Use small, low wattage lights spaced evenly along each side of the pathway to provide soft spot lighting for safety and comfort as well as creating a pleasant visual effect. Using blue tinted light helps to create a moonlight effect which often appears more natural.

Highlighting a single object or scene such as a water feature, a statue, gate or archway can benefit from using spotlights as architectural designs that give your home character and charm. Usually, having a series of lights aimed from different directions and angles with lower intensity bulbs will avoid the harsh shadow effect often found with single spotlights.

The most expensive type of outdoor lighting is a 220 volt mains power system which must be installed by a qualified electrician in Currumbin.

A 12 volt system requires a transformer, while solar systems care often cheaper to install and are free to operate.

Landscape lighting around your home can help to provide security from intruders at the same time as welcoming friends and guests because of the warm friendly atmosphere it helps to create. Your local electrician in Currumbin is experienced with installing all types of lighting so call them for friendly advice and a quote.

What are underground outlets and are they safe?

All electrical installations in Queensland must be carried out by a fully registered and fully qualified electrician. It is illegal for anyone to do any electrical repairs unless they are licensed. You can find a suitable Electrician on the Gold Coast by doing a Google search for one in your area.

Underground power outlets, wiring and lighting are potentially very dangerous and need to be installed and serviced by a competent and well trained electrician who is licensed to do this type of specialised work.

All the fittings use in outside work must have the right weatherproof ratings as most of the extra regulations relating to outside electrical installations relate to waterproofing and insulation.

When planning on installing outdoor power consult your local Electrician on the Gold Coast about all aspects involved, they will be able to advise you on:

  • The requirements when building a swimming pool, regarding lighting, and power for filters and pumps
  • The proximity of existing power equipment to a new swimming pool
  • Advise about your existing home electrical equipment and switchboards as to whether is adequate to cope with any extra loads you may need
  • Installation of solar power panels, battery storage banks and inverters to 210 volt power
  • The use of sensible extra low voltage cable lighting, (12 volt) coupled with extra PVC protection for direct underground installation powered by an in-house transformer.
  • Using 12 volt and solar pumps for ponds and water features
  • Solar powered outdoor lighting
  • Permanently wired electrical fittings to eliminate in-ground outlets
  • All outdoor switches and fittings to a minimum of a IP67 rating (Min govt regulation)
  • Outdoor light fittings and switches should all be weatherproofed to comply with at least a standard IP67 rating
  • Seek advice on relocating or locating all electrical power points, light switches and other fittings to fully comply with all the AS/NZ 3000 Wiring regulations and rules
  • Demand safety switch protection and moisture prevention and penetration measures on all your electrical equipment as well as earth bonding of all ,metal work within these areas especially around ponds or swimming pools
  • It is important to ensure that all of the protective and waterproof covers that have been provided for electrical equipment are always kept in place and the seals remain intact. They should only be serviced by your electrician

All outdoor devices such as burglar alarms, security lighting, security cameras, vibration and heat sensor all need to be installed by a qualified and experienced electrician on the Gold Coast

All your outdoor entertainment equipment such as projectors, video, electric radios, televisions, PA systems, BBQ’s, pool side bars and other appliances must be connected to power points that have adequate safety protection and are fully grounded while being kept well away from wet environments.

Underground power outlets are connections used outside the home to connect various appliances safely to their required power source. They are completely safe if they have been installed according to the AU/NZ safety requirements by a qualified and licensed Electrician and checked by the local electrical inspectors.

5 Common Electrical Problems And How To Solve Them

There are many jobs around the home and worksite that a keen DIY person can do themselves, but electrical work is not one of them. Between 2014 and 2016 over 70 percent of deaths from electrical shock occurred in the home. Electricity is the greatest threat around the home or workplace as it can’t be seen or easily detected. Always get an Electrician on the Gold Coast to check or disconnect and areas you want to work on.

Five common electrical problems and the safest way to deal with them are suggested here:

  1. Your lights or power points suddenly don’t work

This can be rectified by going to your switchboard and resetting the circuit breakers or replacing a fuse. If the circuit breakers trip out again, it is a sign that something is wrong, disconnect any appliances connected to that circuit and try again. If it still trips out, then you need to seek help from a qualified and licensed electrician on the Gold Coast. If it doesn’t the inspect all the appliances or have them tested

  1. Your lights flicker

This usually happens because the bulb you are using requires a higher wattage than the wires in your circuit or fixtures are able to carry. This is called ‘overlamping” and can be dangerous as it may cause fixtures and wiring to heat up often resulting in connections melting and/or becoming loose. They then start to arc causing sparks to jump gaps and around the wires. Because the fitting are damaged, they need to be replaced as even if you place a lower wattage bulb in them, they can still get hot and arc posing a substantial fire risk

  1. Hot Power Points-Outlets

Under normal circumstances power points should never get warm or heat up. If they do, it may be because you are using an appliance with a built-in reduction transformer such as a laptop or cellphone.

This can cause the outlet or plug to heat slightly as the power is converted from AC to a DC current. Try the power point without these appliances, if it still heats up, then call your local electrician on the Gold Coast to fix the problem as it could be broken wires, old, lose connections or your wiring circuits are overloaded and need replacing

  1. Electric plugs keep falling out

This can happen for several reasons, the most common being the contact areas inside the outlets have become worn from constant use. Another reason is if there are too many appliances on an individual outlet or circuit (overloaded) they can heat up and stretch. When the plastic components get hot they can deform so need to be replaced

  1. A high Electric Bill

Many older buildings have a wiring plan that was not designed for the numbers and types of appliances in use today, so can’t easily cope and tend to overcompensate raising your usage and charges. Always unplug and devices you’re not using as even on standby they consume power

Ask your local Electrician on the Gold Coast to check your building’s wiring, outlets and switchboard for safety issues and never attempt to do your own repairs or alterations. Always use a qualified and licensed Electrician.

Reasons Why Should You Upgrade Two-Prong Outlets

If you have any old type two pronged outlets in your home, then it is important for your families’ safety that you have an Electrician on the Gold Coast upgrade your wring and Switchboard

Additional Protection

Prevention is always better than the problems that can happen through faulty wiring. Electrical accidents and fires can and do destroy many properties each year. Old switchboards and wiring can cause shocks and loss of life.

Government Standards

The Queensland Government demands than anyone doing any type of electrical work in Queensland is a licensed electrician, they must hold an electrical work licence or hold an electrical contractors licence.

  • All work must be done according to the technical standards and legislative requirements.
  • All work must have a certificate of test that includes the electrician’s details as well as details about the work done and equipment installed
  • All electrical contractors are required to have at least a minimum Public liability of $5 million dollars as well as a consumer’s protection component of $50,000
  • It is advisable to check the licence of your electrician’s to confirm that is valid and current before allowing them to work on your property, see electricalsafety.qld.gov.au
  • Contact the Electrical Safety Office if you think any completed work was not done correctly

Growing power demands

Most homes have over recent years, drastically increased the number as well as the quality of home appliances and gadgets used.

Unfortunately, if the wiring in the home is not upgraded and the old two pronged outlets replaced, then there is a danger that your system could become overloaded and dangerous.

Safety in Renovations

Before you start demolishing walls or drilling holes in them it is important to turn off all the circuits in those areas and turn them on again only when you are sure all switches and wires are well covered.

Even if you know what to do, you are not permitted to do any electrical work and can be heavily fined for doing so. All your insurance will become nullified and you will be criminally libel for any accidents or damage.

Modern household electrical circuits and switchboards have a variety of safety features including a proper earth stake that is able to dissipate static discharges such as lightning strikes.

Electrical Surges

There is a huge drain at times on the state’s power grid and this can cause power fluctuations and surges. These can damage all types of sensitive electrical equipment including TV, computers, projectors and sound systems. Ask your Electrician on the Gold Coast to install surge protectors when the replace the two pin outlets and upgrade your home’s wiring to comply with the latest Queensland safety standards.

Precautions

Even with all of the safety features, it is still wise during a storm to avoid using fixed line telephones or anything that is attached to sensitive electrical equipment such as wired in headphones. 

Having your home brought up to the latest safety standards is not only a sensible way to protect your family and property; it is a legal requirement in Queensland and the rest of Australia. The old two pin plugs had no earth connection unlike the new safety outlets that protect the user from electric shock.

Signs That Your Electrical Wiring Needs Upgrading

Almost a third of home electrical fires involve power outlets and interior house wiring. The old electrical system in your home can be a potential fire hazard and may need to be repaired or updated. Ask your friendly Electrician on the Gold Coast to give you advice and quote on making sure your home or business is safe.

Having a complete rewire of your home, including a new electrical switchboard may be a large expense, but that price is relatively small compared to the cost and possible loss of life or property that occurs during a fire. It’s important to keep your home and family safe.

Warning signs you may need help

Electricity is invisible, but there are often signs you can see when there are potential problems with your electrical system. If you do notice any of these warning signs, it is vital that you have, have an electrician inspect your electrical system:

  • If your fuses blow frequent or you often have tripped breakers
  • If you have an over- fused or amped electrical panel
  • If you experience the dimming or flickering lights of any lights, this indicates the circuit has a loose connection or is overloaded
  • If you have any hot or discolored switches, power cords or plugs
  • Do your light bulbs frequently burn out in their socket, this is a sign a fixture can’t handle the bulb wattage?
  • Do you ever get buzzing or sizzling sounds?
  • Do you ever have a burning smell?
  • Are there ever arcs or sparks from any electrical connections, especially when you plug or unplug a cord?
  • Are some of your switches or outlets lose or worn?
  • Does any of your electrical fittings have cut or broken insulation?
  • Have you ever felt an electric shock or a tingly sensation when you plug in or touch a cord?

Other reasons to check the wiring

Even if you have not noticed any warning signs that you might have faulty wiring, it’s a very good idea to make sure you have your home’s electrical system inspected periodically.

Electrical codes can vary depending on where you live, but in Queensland, there are a lot of common situations that really warrant you having an inspection by a qualified professional.

  • Is your home over 40 years old?
  • Do you rely on using extension cords for power?
  • Have you had major home improvements done or maybe just added a few major appliances, these could strain your existing electrical system?
  • Is your home properly grounded?
  • Does your home have aluminium instead of copper wiring?
  • Have you a problem with critters that have been sharing your home, rats, mice and other small animals love to chew the insulation away from electric wiring and ants build nests in junction boxes and switches.

Even if you don’t see any problem or any of these warning signs, It is far better to be safe than sorry so have an Electrician on the Gold Coast do an inspection soon.

There are many fires in Queensland that could have been prevented by having a properly qualified and experienced electrician check your home wiring ensuring the safety of your family and your possessions. Ask your friendly local electrician for a quote today

How To Improve Your Outdoors With Lighting

The way you plan your outdoor lighting can affect the amount of time and pleasure you get from your property. Overall, lighting needs can be broken down into two main categories. Security and aesthetics, but there is no reason that these cannot be combined so that your outdoor lighting is practical, cost-effective and provides a high level of security. Your local friendly Electrician on the Gold Coast can help you with deciding on the most appropriate types of lighting to install for your particular property so that you get the best and most cost-effective cover.

Security

Security is a much greater concern now than it has been in the past with many properties being entered or broken into. Security can be expensive and one of the best and affordable ways to stop intruders is to not allow them any natural cover to hide behind. Most vandals and intruders by nature do not want to be easily recognised so seek places where they cannot be seen in their nocturnal activities.

  • Installing motion lighting is a great way to deter unwelcome visitors and the same lights can be used for aesthetic reasons when you want to highlight your area.
  • They are also handy to have near entrance ways and windows to help you see when arriving home at night by just coming on as you approach to help you navigate the area safely. They also send intruders running when they are suddenly lit up and exposed
  • Floodlighting is also very effective for making areas safe because it reduces the problem of not being able to identify hazards in the dark and can give your area a nice warm appearance. On path flood lighting reduces the chance of accidents and mishaps, offering both safety and a pleasant outlook

Accent lighting has been used successfully to help with showing off the most gorgeous areas of landscaping on properties recently and your local Electrician on the Gold Coast is just the person to help and advise you of the most cost-efficient and energy efficient options

  • Highlighting different spaces around your property can help to make your home or business move hospitable
  • Drive and path lighting stops your place looking imposing and gives a touch of security at the same time
  • Up-lighting is a great way to highlight a feature in your landscape when done properly and tastefully
  • Pool and patio lighting can help make the most of your outdoor living and increase the enjoyment of your guests by providing a feeling of spaciousness and safety. It can be an impressive way to make your outdoor investment shine

Electrical connections and lighting, in general, is not something that people should do themselves and by law, it is necessary for everyone’s safety to have a qualified electrician do the work for you. Your local Electrician on The Gold Coast is experienced and qualified to help advise you in all aspects of outdoor lighting.

Outdoor lighting can give your home or business a warm comfortable feeling that makes invited guests feel comfortable while deterring intruders and burglars. Motion detecting lights and floodlights are also a great deterrent as well as a safety measure to help you move around your property in the evenings.