Top 5 Appliances Which Are Electricity Hogging

We now live with a huge array of electrical appliances in our homes, each one using lots of power each day, your local electrician in Reedy Creek can suggest many ways to reduce your electric usage, saving a substantial amount of money.

The electrical energy unit is called a watt. 1,000 watts equals one kilowatt-hour or 1-kWh, this is equal to 1,000 watts being used for one whole hour.

Home appliances are power hungry, think about how much power you would save if you had a power efficient home. Appliances that produce heat are often the most expensive to run.

Small appliances such as hair dryers, curling irons, toasters, coffee makers, vacuum cleaners use more watts than the average refrigerator, but because they are on for only a short time they use less power on a monthly basis than appliances that are always on, such as water heaters, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners.

The efficiency rating of many appliances has dramatically increased over recent years. In the 80’s a home refrigerator used between 120 to 350 kWh each month. The latest models today use 20 to 65kWh per month, but they’re still one of the biggest energy users in the home.

Probably the biggest user of electricity is a home heater, fortunately in the Gold Coast these are not normally needed as a portable heater uses 200 to 300 kWh a month and a home electric furnace can use 1.500 to 4,000kWh each month

Some other energy hogs are:

It really depends on the settings you use, which is why there is a range difference, but these are the 5 biggest users of energy in the average home

  • Air conditioners are high on the list

An average window unit uses 200 to 650 kWh per month

An average central air conditioning unit uses 300 to 1,500 kWh per month

A heat pump type of duel heater/ cooler split system air conditioner 600 to 4,500 kWh per month

  • Home Water Heaters

A four person home uses between 400 to 1,200 kWh per month depending on your thermostat settings and if you use hot water for washing clothes and dishwashers

  • Refrigerators

There is a huge range of refrigerators in homes, the older styles from the eighties use thousands of kWh and the latest high tech models can use as little as 400 kWh per year, so if you’ve an old model even if it works well, by trading if for a new model it can save you enough to pay for itself quickly. The average household refrigerator uses 30 to 200 kWh per month.

  • Humidifiers

These are not very common on the Gold Coast unless you live in a very humid area and need one for health reasons as water vapor in the air can cause mould and dust mites. They use 60 to 1,000 kWh per month, often more than a refrigerator.

  • Oven and Electric Stoves

These use around 2,400 watts per hour, so if you use them for one hour a day each month the total would be 72 kWh per month.

Your friendly electrician in Reedy Creek is happy to advise and help you reduce your energy bill by installing the most energy efficient system in your home saving you money each month.

How to fix light flickering & dimming in the house?

When your lights flickering or go dim, there are a few things you can do yourself to try and address the problem, but it’s important to know that under the law in Australia you are not allowed to do any repairs or electrical work so once you have tried the things you are allowed to do, then it’s time to call your friendly electrician in Palm Beach to have your wiring checked.

What can cause lights to flicker?

Generally, flickering light is caused by a fluctuation or drop in the voltage in a circuit. When you understand some of the most common specific causes, it gives you an idea of the best methods to solve the problem.

Bulb Type

Fluorescent light is usually more likely to flicker than LED or other bulbs. This can be caused by the age of the bulb, the temperature and the bulbs warm-up cycles. Usually, a small amount of flickering should not be of concern unless it’s constant or the bulb starts to dim, then it needs to be replaced.

If a new bulb flickers or takes a long time to start up, then it suggests that the starter, which sends a steady stream of electrons between the two filaments is faulty. The ballast controls the amount of current that is sent to the filaments. If this is faulty, it will allow too much current which may vaporize the filaments or even cause the bulb to explode. Often it is best to call your electrician and have the whole fixture replaced.

Dimmer Switches

Most conventional types of dimmers are designed to be used with incandescent light bulbs and if used with LED bulbs can cause flickering. One solution is to purchase a good quality dimmable LED bulb or ask your electrician in Palm Beach to replace your older type dimmers with the newer styles of dimmers that are designed to be used with LED bulbs. These dimmers still require dimmable LED bulbs, but this should fix the problem.

Loose Bulbs

When light fittings get old and worn they can become loose, screw bulbs, if not tightened firmly, can have a week electrical contact causing flickering. The only thing you can do with a bayonet or conventional fittings is have your electrician replace them. With the screw in type of fitting simply tightening the bulb so it’s firm.

Faulty Connections

Any loose or faulty connections in your light circuit can cause your lights to dim or flicker. Sometimes you can test the switch by turning it on and off a few times and noticing if it feels or appears faulty, but in any event, you will need to call your electrician as this can present a significant fire and safety hazard.

Large Current Draws

If your lights dim when your refrigerator or electric oven turns on, then you have overloaded circuits and need to have your local electrician in Palm Beach check your wiring.

Normally in a modern home, there should not be any issues with flickering dimming lights, but in older homes this can be a serious issue and you need to have your local electrician check your wiring as it could be unsafe and dangerous.

Five skills every electrical technicians needs

Today’s electrical technicians, commonly referred to, as an electrician or a Sparky are highly trained trades people who can perform a wide variety of electrical tasks from the complete wiring installations of new buildings, repairing, replacing or upgrading existing systems as well as repairing and installing equipment. Your local electrician in Elanora is a competent professional who is trained to follow very strict government guidelines and also holds an adequate amount of insurance cover.

The majority of electricians are in one of these three categories, although many are in all three

  1. Inside Electricians

Those electrician’s who work in a particular business or a factory type situation. This usually involves maintenance, equipment repair and overhauling to meet requirements of systems as well as installing wiring circuitry as needed. Often this is as an employee rather than as a contractor.

  1. Residential Electricians

Often these electricians build systems in new constructions as well as troubleshooting all manner of domestic electrical problems. Often they will move after completing one job to another job in another location and are frequently on call as required.

  1. Telecommunications Electricians

These types of electricians typically install and repair all types of cables and systems that are required for phone, computer and LAN wiring applications. They can be private contractors, business-specific contracts or government contractors.

The Five Skills Most Electricians require are:

  1. Mechanical Aptitude

Not all people have an innate sense of mechanics, but an electrician is comfortable and confident around electrical sites and well trained in the correct methods to ensure everyone’s safety while they are working and after the job is complete

  1. Problem Solving Skills

Electrical work is not always straight forward, often diagnosing problems and then repairing them is a critical part of the job. Some problems require alternative solutions because every job is unique

  1. Reading and Comprehension

A lot electrical jobs are written, some require the interpretation of plans and permits. It’s vital an electrician can read drawings or following sometimes complex diagrams about the job. Every job also requires a written summary that others working on the project can easily follow

  1. A good understanding of Relevant Business Skills

If an electrician wants to work as a contractor they need to have mastered some basic business skills such as invoicing, ordering and tracking inventory, strategic planning, managing employee’s and dealing with clients in a friendly and professional manner

  1. Customer Services Skills

Private contractors and all the electricians who service residential and any small businesses need to be able to develop a positive rapport with their customers. They must be able to instill a feeling of trust and confidence in their abilities. Quite often they are called on to provide their services at inopportune times and times of personal crisis for their customers who are possibly feeling unhappy, worried, overwhelmed and need to feel reassured and comfortable about what’s happening

An electrician who inspires feelings of confidence with their customers and does a quick, tidy and efficient job will find that word of mouth will travel quickly and result in many new clients. Conversely, the opposite can happen with an electrician who displays poor people skills, does a job that is rushed or the customer has to wait too long.

Under Cupboard Lighting Solutions for Kitchens and Bathrooms

Many people in existing homes have only basic overhead lighting, but when creating a new home or renovating an existing kitchen or bathroom, they can usually benefit from the clever use of under cupboard lighting installations. Talk about your plans with your local electrician in Elanora they are familiar with the latest products, ideas and installation costs.

The benefits of installing under cupboard and cabinet lighting are:

  • Additional illumination

Under cabinet lighting is a great way to complement the overhead lighting in kitchens and bathrooms. It helps to provide focused illumination in difficult areas and highlights interesting features

  • Eliminates Shadows

Often with overhead lighting there are areas where shadows form. Placing lighting under cabinets and cupboards will eliminate any shadows, keeping your work areas clear and bright

  • Ambiance and Design

Having under cabinet lighting can help transform your kitchen and bathroom and give a real look of style and elegance. Your bathroom will appear warmer with a more contemporary look

Features to Look For

There is a whole range of options available, including light colour, brightness and energy-saving features. The following are some features you could consider for your kitchen or bathroom:

  • Voltage

Under cabinet lighting comes in two types of voltage, normal line or 210 volt or low voltage of 12 volts and sometimes 24 volts.

There is very little difference in the amount of energy saving from either, but the main advantages of the lower voltages are safety, they produce less heat and they are smaller so take up less space

  • Wiring

There are two options for wiring, you can have the plugin type or hard wired so they operate from a light switch. For either option you need the services of a qualified and registered electrician. There is a third option and that is battery operated under cabinet lighting, which can be a real advantage in areas subject to power outages

  • Dimming Capability

It is a good idea to have lighting with dimming capabilities so you can adjust the lighting to suit individual preferences. It also allows you to turn it right down and save substantial amounts of power when not needed

  • Types of Bulbs and Lighting

LED or light emitting diode lighting is very popular for under cabinet lighting because of its long service life, low heat output and high energy saving ability. There are two common types of under cabinet LED lights those that come in strips and puck or individual lights

Halogen and xenon light fixtures can often cause a lot of annoying  glare, making it necessary to use filter lenses so you are able to minimise the reflections and glare they cause.

Fluorescent lights are very energy efficient and give off almost no heat, unfortunately most of them can’t be dimmed so you don’t have the same control over the light intensity

Incandescent bulbs are usually not used for under cabinet lighting as they are bulky, give off a lot of heat and are power hungry.

Your local electrician in Elanora is a lighting expert who will be able to help you find the perfect solution for all your under cupboard lighting needs in the kitchen, bathroom and other areas of your home to make it more attractive and livable.

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.