Top Tips to choose the right wire for your Electrical appliances

With all wiring even on electrical appliances, you need to have your electrician on the Gold Coast make any repairs or changes by law. If you want to take a look yourself to see what may be wrong, then first make sure the appliance is completely disconnected from the mains supply and understand that you must have your local electrician on the Gold Coast check it for you before you plug it back in.

In Australia, there are two separate colour coding systems, one that is used for installation, wiring and one for equipment wiring.

Equipment wiring includes power cords and extension cords

The colour codes for equipment wiring are:

The new code for Single Phase

Active – Brown                which used to be called positive and was Red

Neutral –light Blue         which used to be called negative and was Black

Earth –Green/yellow……which used to be called ground or earth Green

The new code for Multiphase

Phase no. 1 – Brown.        This used to be coloured Red

Phase no. 2 – Black.          This used to be coloured White

Phase no 3 – Grey.            This used to be coloured Dark Blue

Neutral – Light Blue.        This used to be coloured Black

Earth – Green/Yellow.      This used to be coloured Green

Having the right size or amp rated wire

Whenever a repair extension or alteration is made to any electrical circuitry and that includes the circuits in any appliance, your electrician on the Gold Coast will tell you that the wires must be of a size and amp bearing capacity or greater to enable them to be able to cope with any load placed on them. They also have to match and be properly sized with the amperage rating of the circuit breaker that controls the circuit they will be connected to.

The outer coating of all electrical wire is labeled with a colour code as well as the types and gauges of the wire. This makes it easy to tell the different wires and where to use them

Knowing which type of wire should be used in any given situation, is equally important as knowing the correct gauge, amperage capacity and the maximum load of wattage of the wire you choose to use.

The following is a guide to electrical wire and some of their applications

18 gauge       10 Amps used for lamp cords and low voltage lighting

16 gauge       13 Amps for light extension cords

14 gauge       15 Amps for lamps, light fixtures and lighting circuits

12 gauge       20 Amps receptacles, kitchen appliances, fans and sump pumps

10 gauge       30 Amps for air conditioners, clothes dryers, built in ovens small water heaters

8 gauge         45 Amps for cooktops and electric ranges

6 gauge          60 Amps for large heaters and air conditioners

4 gauge          80 Amps for large electric heaters, furnaces and Sub panels

2 gauge         100 Amps for Service and Sub Panels

1/0 gauge      150 Amps for Service Entrance

2/0 gauge      200 Amps got Service Entrance

 

Whenever there are any electrical repairs to be carried out, by law, apart from changing a light bulb or fuse wire, it must be done by a registered and qualified electrician on the Gold Coast. You can only look at the wiring on your own appliances.

5 Tips to choose the right circuit breakers for your home

A home electrical system is fitted with safety features such as circuit breakers, switching devices that are either automatically or manually controlled to protect your power system. If you do not have an electrical circuit breaker you are open to a high risk of electrical shocks, electrocution and electrical fires. Ask your local electrician on The Gold Coast to check your home electrical system to ensure it’s safe.

These five tips will help you chose the right circuit breakers for your home

  1. Main circuit breaker panel

Your electricity supply comes from your utility company and is fed through a meter to determine the amount of power you use and work out your power bill. It then goes to your breaker panel. Your electrician on the Gold Coast will help you chose the right size breaker panel to suit your home and the number of circuits you require.

  1. Choosing the number of breaker switches required

You will need a breaker switch for every circuit of wiring around your home. Normally the different circuits are divided into areas and usage. There would be at least one internal lighting circuit and one external circuit.

The water heater is usually on an individual circuit, as are heavy use appliances such as air, conditioners, home furnaces, swimming pools, pumps and saunas.

Often there is a circuit for the kitchen, a separate circuit for bedrooms, another for the home office and one in the laundry. Garage and out building either have a separate breaker switch or their own breaker board depending on the circuits required in each area.

  1. Deciding on the amperage capacity of each circuit breaker

Most circuit breaker panels used in homes are rated to take 100 to 150 amps.

The individual breaker switches are rated for the maximum amount of amperage they will be expected to handle at one time. Consult your electrician on The Gold Coast to determine the ratings required for each circuit or check each appliance. They will have a panel that gives their capacity and amp usage. It’s important to understand that often when some appliances start, they required much more power than when running. For example fridges, freezers, appliances with motors and even florescent lights use more power when starting to give an initial boost

  1. Consider the types of breaker switches required

Single pole circuit breakers are normally used for lighting with ratings of between 10 to 20 amps. Double pole circuit breakers are used for water heaters and heavy duty appliances.

  1. Efficiency

Circuit breakers are normally operated at a maximum of up to 80% of their stated capacity. When calculating the size and capacity of your system, add up all the maximum loadings of every appliance you use in your home to find the right breaker board to use. Then add up all the fittings and appliances you expect to use in each circuit, giving a 20% safety margin to find the right sized breaker switch for each circuit.

Your electrician on The Gold Coast is specially trained to be able to quickly access your current wiring circuitry and will be able to advise you on your safety requirements. The main consideration is to ensure you have the right circuit breakers.

How Smoke Alarms can prevent your home from a massive fire

Home fires can be devastating and can happen quickly without warning. Often fires break out when the inhabitants are sleeping and often it’s too late to put them out, but with a properly installed smoke alarm from you electrician in Tweed Heads installed in all critical areas, you can protect yourself and family from massive fires.

Always insist on Quality Fire Alarms

Smoke alarms and detectors are an essential investment in every home, The difference in a cheap bargain priced smoke alarm and a high quality one installed by your local electrician in Tweed Heads is a very small price to pay to help guarantee your family’s safety.

Smoke alarms come with their own batteries or can be connected to your power supply and backup emergency system in case of a power failure

The Three Common Types of Smoke Alarm

The most common types of smoke detectors are:

  1. An Ionization Alarm

These are designed to detect big open flames

  1. Photoelectric Smoke Alarm

These are designed to detect smoke or a smoldering fire before the large flames start

  1. Dual Sensor Alarm

These are a combination of both an ionization alarm and a photoelectric alarm and will detect all types of fires.

It’s vital to have both types of alarms or dual sensor alarms placed in multiple and strategic sites around your home.

Installing Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms must be placed in central areas as having an alarm at one end of your home may not detect a fire or smoke until it’s too late. As smoke and heat rise rapidly they are normally placed on the ceiling or high up on walls

Don’t Have a Fire Alarm placed

  • Near a window
  • Above a stove or near a fireplace
  • On the ceiling beside a wall or on a wall beside the ceiling, place them in central positions
  • Above doorways or large windows
  • Near heating ducts or ventilation shafts

Your local electrician in Tweed Heads is experienced and qualified to install fire alarms and smoke detectors in the correct locations.

Maintaining Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms need to be tested regularly; it’s advisable to do it monthly. A good idea is to make a point of checking them every time you pay your power bill

It’s also important to keep them clean and dust free. A vacuum cleaner is ideal for ensuring that the air inside your home can flow around the device so you get an early warning of any fire to avoid a massive fire.

Although most homes now have smoke detectors or fire alarms, it has been found that over half of these devices do not work because of missing or flat batteries. Another problem is having them installed in inappropriate places.

When smoke alarms are not working, they can’t save lives so for a little price, you can have peace of mind and a safety net for your family.

If your home is not protected by having the appropriate fire/smoke alarm systems installed contact your local electrician in Tweed Heads he can expertly and quickly install a very effective system to protect your home from a massive fire if a fire starts. This is because you have time to act and put it out.

How Malfunctioning Electrical Appliances Can Affect Your Home Electricity

The age of the appliance is upon us, unfortunately, sometimes they wear out or start to show signs of disrepair. Most people consider that when this happens the problems are confined to that particular malfunctioning appliance, but this is not necessarily correct, in fact, the faulty appliance can in some instances cause power surges through your home’s electrical system affecting other circuits and other appliances. If you have a faulty appliance, unplug it and have it checked by or repaired by your local electrician on the Gold Coast or replace it before it causes any damage.

So What Can Happen

Installed in your fuse box or power board are circuit breakers for each wiring circuit that runs around your home. When an appliance malfunctions, often it will fizzle and send a burst of electricity around your electrical circuit. This will cause the circuit breaker to trip out and close the circuit. Often this is the first indication you have that an appliance is malfunctioning.

When a circuit breaker trips out it is important to discover the reason, it may be that too many appliances are operating at once on that circuit or that one of them has malfunctioned.

You should not just reset the circuit breaker and carry on as this can create further opportunities for electrical damage to your electrical system

Potential Problems

There are three main issues that can happen if you ignore the warning of a circuit breaker tripping out or have a malfunctioning appliance, physical damage, surge damage and a fire hazard.

Physical Damage

Most people use a surge protector with their computer equipment and TV or even have a complete home surge protection system installed to protect all the microprocessors now found in most appliances. But these are designed to protect from external power surges such as lightning strikes and the effects of power outages and the returning surge that can be created.

These large surges can heat up electrical components and cause them to deform or melt as well as give of a burnt smell especially delicate connections in light fittings and outlets.

Surge Damage

A faulty appliance causes an internal surge as can a refrigerator or air conditioner that normally uses extra energy while initially turning on and at the start of each cycle. These surges happen often through a household electrical system which is one reason that you have different circuits around the home. These small surges happen regularly every day, but faulty appliances can create larger damaging surges that affect your microprocessor based electronics and reduce their working life or they can cause permanent damage instantly.

If this happens, call your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast to make repairs and find the cause.

Fire Damage

In some instances when an appliance malfunctions, it can cause sparks or get so hot it causes a fire. Often this is very small, but it can quickly spread to ignite insulation or any combustible material around such as curtains, wallpaper and dry timber framing.

Your best defense against faulty appliances is replacing your old inexpensive ones regularly and having your more expensive items checked periodically by your local electrician on the Gold Coast, use working smoke detectors and have accessible fire extinguishers available.

Precautions you should take while using Electric Blankets

Even in the semi tropics on the Gold Coast it can get very cold at night, especially when the wind blows up from the Deep South and across the interior. This is when winter accessories like electric blankets come out. Here are some tips on their safe use from your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast:

Over the years electric blankets have greatly improved and now you can get an electric under blanket or an electric over blanket, but as they both use electricity there are some concerns. As long as you observe a few basic safety rules you can safely enjoy a heated bed.

  • Only use an over electric blanket on top, never sleep on this type of electric blanket as they are threaded with electric coils that could be damaged
  • Only use an electric under blanket under you, they are designed to be flat against the mattress and usually come with straps to keep them in place, they should not be folded or wrapped around the body as they could be damaged
  • Make sure that there are no heavy objects on your electric blanket when it’s in use as this can cause a heat buildup in that area
  • Use your electric blanket to warm your bed and then when you enter the bed turn it off
  • Check your electric blanket to be sure it has an auto turn-off feature in case it overheats
  • Never place the electric cord of your electric blanket between your mattress and the base of the bed or box spring as the cord could heat up and become a fire hazard
  • It’s nice to have a warm place for pets to sleep, but get them a special pet electric blanket as they could easily bite or scratch a hole in yours, damaging it and its internal wiring stopping it from working properly or becoming a fire hazard

Cleaning Your Electric Blanket

It is very important to follow the manufacture’s instruction when washing an electric blanket. Some types are washable and some are not. Never try and wash an electric blanket unless you’re sure it is the washable kind. If you have any doubt, talk with your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast about it.

Most under electric blankets are protected by an over sheet which is similar to as mattress protector so should never get dirty

If you have an over electric blanket that is not washable it should be inside a special cover to keep it clean and then you can wash the cover as required

Some additional safety tips

  • Never use more than one electric heating products at one time as the increased heat could lead to overheating of your core body temperature
  • Don’t allow the cords to become wrapped around the controls to avoid damage
  • If you notice anything different or unusual in the operation of your blanket or any smells turn it off and have it inspected

An electric blanket is a great thing to have on a cold night, but like all electrics it needs to be cared for. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning, storing and using it and never lie on an over-the-top-type blanket or place an under electric blanket on top of you for your safety.

5 tips to protect your home from power failures

Power outages are very common all around Queensland, so it’s important that you protect your home and all your electrical equipment when they occur. Your friendly local electrician in Tweed Heads can advise you on the right type of surge protectors for your particular application and needs as well as installing them in your home, at a very reasonable cost.

Backup generators and solar power generating systems are great for when you have a blackout. These can take over instantly if they have been set up properly. Having surge protectors can help eliminate any possible danger from fire hazards as a result of power surges causing equipment to overheat or burn out.

Power outages can be caused by natural disasters such as storms, cyclones, earthquakes and bush fires. They are also often the result of an unusual high demand during heat waves or severe cold snaps and well as when there are scheduled, power line maintenance activities.

For these reasons it’s impossible to know when you’re going to be affected by blackouts or for how long. These five tips will ensure you’re properly prepared:

  1. Be Prepared

It pays to always be prepared for power failures and to ensure your property is adequately protected from the possible consequences of a power outage. Having a sound backup plan to help you and your family cope is advisable.

  1. Protect Your Electronics

Ask your local electrician in Tweed Heads to supply and fit the correct type and number of surge protectors to protect all your electronic gear. This includes refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, electric ranges, TV’s, sound systems, computer equipment and air conditioners, in fact, everything electrical as well as your security system.

Some people even like to have an isolation switch installed that shuts down all their electrical equipment in the event of a blackout or for when leaving their home unattended for any length of time

  1. Backup Systems

You can ask your local electrician in Tweed Heads to install a backup power system for you that automatically kicks in if required and turns off the mains circuitry so there is no risk of power surge when the power resumes.

These systems can use generators or batteries that have the advantage of being silent and the option of being solar charged

  1. Keep Your Home Secured

Whether you use alarms, CCTV cameras or other security devices, it’s important that they are able to operate independently from the mains power source, because when there is a blackout all power is lost. This means that if your security system does not have an alternative power source it will shut down completely. So you need to have a backup plan

  1. Avoid Candles and Naked flame During Blackouts

Candles and naked flames cause many home fires during blackouts, so to reduce the risk of fire use battery powered torches and flashlights. You can also have wired in emergency lighting that comes on automatically in the event of a blackout

How to choose the best local electrician on the Gold Coast?

When you need an electrician on the Gold Coast it’s important that you find the best local properly qualified and licensed electrician to do your electrical work.

The following ideas will help you locate the best local electrician on the Gold Coast:

  • You need an electrician

To do any electrical repairs apart from changing a standard light bulb or operating electrical appliances you need an electrician. Any alterations, adjustments or repairs can only by law be done by a professional electrician.

Even if the job seems to be  simple and you feel you are capable of doing it, by doing so you become liable for any injuries or damage that results from doing so and any insurance claim you make is likely to be rejected. You are also likely to be charged with a criminal offense which can carry a large fine or a custodial sentence.

  • Qualifications to Look for in an Electrician
  1. An electrician must have completed their 4 year apprenticeship and had 12 months on-site experience and hold an electrician’s licence
  2. They must be a registered electrical contractor
  3. All electricians must issue electrical compliance certificates that show the work was done following the states and Australian Standards regulations
  • Finding the best Electrician on The Gold Coast

Start by looking up local customer testimonials and reviews. In the same way as many people now check the internet to find a great restaurant looking for the best electrician should start with customer reviews. Be wary of any electrician who don’t list themselves on review websites or have poor reviews, they may be cheaper, but the reviews are a good indication of the service you can expect.

Try Facebook and other social media sites band ask your social community for quality recommendations.

Finding the Best Trustworthy Electrician

  • Ask Friends, Family and Co-workers

It’s very likely that some of your friends, family members or co-workers have had a good experience with one or more of the local electricians and are happy to make a positive recommendation. It’s also possible that you will find out about those electricians who are best avoided.

  • Ask Trusted Contractors

If you know any contractors, local trades people or supply companies, they usually will be able to suggest some quality electricians you can approach.

  • Online

A local online search will locate all the electricians in your area, expect the best ones to be popular so have a waiting list.

Carefully check their online reviews to get an idea of their skill level and business ethics.

  • Get Quotes

Always ask for a quote and before you make your final decision check the prices they require, it’s not a good sign if the price is very cheap and on the other hand a very high price does not guarantee a quality job.

  • Check Licences

A good, trustworthy electrician on the Gold Coast will offer their licence to show they are genuine and supply a certificate of safety, if they are reluctant then look elsewhere.

Finding the best local electrician on the Gold Coast comes down to asking locals which electricians are fully qualified and have consistently provided the best standard of work. But expect they will be busy and you’ll need to wait.

How to protect home from electrical hazards?

Summer time is often when your home uses more electricity to compensate for the hotter weather. With air conditioners and fans working to full capacity and refrigerators and freezers working overtime to produce enough cool refreshments, many homes are in danger of overloading their electrical system creating a potential fire hazard.

Your local electrician in Gold Coast can quickly access your home wiring circuits and advise you if there are any potential safety issues. It’s far better to have your property checked so you know your family and property is safer than just hoping and then being sorry later.

It’s Important that you understand that under Australian law home owners or handymen are not allowed to do any type of wiring or electrical repairs and must have all electrical work done by a licensed and qualified Electrician.

The following safety tips are things you can do to keep you safe and your home hazard free:

  • Check all your power outlets regularly for loose plugs, as these are able to cause fires if they overheat when the current jumps any gap causing a spark or electric shock
  • Check out your fuse box or power board so you know where it is in the event of a power failure at night. Keep some spare fuse wire or a flashlight handy so you can reset any tripped safety switches if required
  • It’s a good practice to ensure all unused power outlets have safety covers, especially if you have pets or young children
  • Don’t overload power points with too many plugs
  • Extension cords should only be a temporary measure, not a permanent fixture
  • Regularly check your appliances cords and plugs for damage
  • Don’t place appliance cords or extension cords under mats or carpets, staple or pin them to the walls or ceilings
  • Check that extension cords match the wattage of the appliance or fixture you’re plugging it into
  • If you use Edison screw bulbs ensure they are screwed in tightly so they don’t overheat in the sockets
  • Have light circuits checked if you have flickering lights or the lights start to dim at any time
  • Any circuit or appliance that keeps blowing fuses needs to be checked by your local electrician in Gold Coast
  • Have any appliances that heats up, gives off strange smells or a tingling sensation checked before using
  • Ensure all your power outlets are three pronged, if you’re in an older home, ask your friendly electrician in Gold Coast to check the outlets as it was quite common for the old two pin plugs to be changed to three pin without the earth wire being connected correctly
  • Don’t have home sound systems, TV’s and Computers all plugged into power strips as a power surge could wipe them all out or a short could cause a fire. Talk with your friendly electrician in Gold Coast about correctly and safely wiring all your systems
  • Smoke detectors should be installed to prevent fires and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed to protect lives

During the hot summer months, it’s tempting to add a few more cooling devices, but be sure not to overload your circuits. Talk with your friendly local electrician in Gold Coast about checking your whole system and adding a few more power outlets

Tips to Consider while choosing extension cords

Extension cords are very handy when the appliance’s cord you’re using will not reach the nearest power outlet. But it’s important that you chose an extension cord that properly matches the appliance you’re using. If you are not sure, ask your friendly electrician on the Gold Coast to advise you on the correct size you’ll need. By choosing the correct type of extension cord, it helps to prevent fires and to ensure electrical safety for everyone.

These things should be considered while choosing the right extension cord for your appliance;

Length of the Extension Cord

An extension cord can deliver power over long distances, but it’s always best to use a cord of the right length as the longer the extension cord the greater the power drop.

  • Because the electrical efficiency is reduced with every meter of extension cord, it can affect the performance of appliances and possibly their safety
  • It also saves energy using a short extension as opposed to a long cord

Extension Cord Gauge or Thickness

All appliances and electrical devices have their amperage ratings written on them. These can usually be found plate permanently attached to the device or appliance, so you can check you have matched the correct extension cord to your device.

All extension cords are categorized by gauge or their thickness, the lower the number, the higher the higher their amperage ratings are, so an extension cable with a low gauge number is rated for heavy duty.

This table will give you an idea of which gauge extension cord to use

  • A 16 gauge cord is meant for light duty such as low wattage lights, portable fans, radios
  • A 14 gauge cord is meant for medium duty applications such as power drills, electric lawn mowers, electric hedge cutters, table saws and other medium wattage appliances
  • A 10 to 12 gauge cord is meant for all heavy duty and extra heavy duty applications such as portable air conditioners, air compressors, shop vacuum cleaners

A light duty appliance can be used with a heavy duty extension cord, but you should not use a heavy duty device with a light duty cord.

Indoor or Outdoor Use

Some extension cords are rated for outdoor use and are made to withstand the elements such as rain sunshine and freezing conditions. This will be clearly marked on the packaging the cord comes in.

High end extension cords

High end or higher quality extension cords can come with handy features such as power flow indicator lights and ground fault circuit interrupters. These are designed to help prevent electric shocks. They can also come with connection boxed that prevent accidental unplugging

Safety

Follow these basic safety tips:

  • Have you extension leads checked regularly by an electrician on the Gold Coast
  • Don’t connect extension cords together, get the right sized extension cord
  • Always check the cord before using and never gather or roll up a plugged in, extension cord
  • Be aware of where you’re in use, extension cords are
  • Don’t place extension cords under mats, rugs or carpets
  • Don’t overload extension cords

 

Always consult your friendly electrician on the Gold Coast if you have any concerns about any aspects of your home or electrical system, including the types and sizes of extension cords to use.

5 signs your switch board is wearing out

Many people live in older homes that although are very sound and comfortable usually still have the original wiring and switch board. These homes were designed with a wiring system that matched the average usage of the day, but now with people using so many more gadgets the old wiring systems and switch board are often overloaded and wearing out. Ask your friendly local electrician in Palm Beach to check your wiring and switch board if you notice any of these signs:

  1. Flickering Lights and Poor Appliance Performance

Flickering lights or if your lights seem to dim on and off, it’s a sure sign your switch board and wiring needs to be checked. If you notice that your oven never seems to heat up properly or your dries just shuts down in the middle of a cycle, it’s more likely to be the switch board than the appliance it’s self

  1. Damage to Appliances and lights

When your switch board starts to wear out and circuit breakers don’t properly control the current, light bulbs seem to always be blowing out and your microwave is hardly working properly, it’s really way past time to have your local electrician in Palm Beach check your electrical system.

This can cause overheating which is not only a fire hazard, but can cause irreparable damage to electronic circuit boards in your appliances especially computers, TV’s and amplifiers as well as damaging coils and elements

  1. Potential for Smoke, Fire and Water Damage

A faulty wiring system starts at the switch board, when your circuits are overloaded because the’re faulty and too much current is drawn through a power cord or a length of wiring, it can heat it enough to cause a fire.

When you have a fire, it usually results in smoke damage and damage from the water used to put the fire out.

If you smell a burning smell coming from and power outlets, appliances or your switch board it means that the wires have overheated and the insulation material has failed and will no longer protect your home or anyone who comes into contact with them.

Turn off your mains switch and call your electrician in Palm Beach for an emergency checkup

  1. Breakers Trip Frequently

If you have circuit breakers that keep tripping out, it’s probably because they are worn out. Your switch board and circuit breakers are designed to protect the whole of your electrical system and home.

Usually when a breaker frequently trips when you plug in an appliance then the breaker and switch board need to be examined by an electrician, so they can determine the exact cause and find a solution

  1. Old Age

If your switch board has not been serviced for ten years or more it is due for servicing and modernizing.

Having your switch board inspected is a wise investment in safety

When you find that your lights often dim and appliances do not run as well as they should, or you smell a burning odour, Its’s time to call in your friendly local electrician in Palm Beach. This will help to prolong the life of your appliances as they will not get overloaded and prevent safety and fire issues from developing.