Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a difference between an RCD and a safety switch?
An RCD, also known as a residual current device, does the same job as a Safety Switch – which is preventing electric shock when a problem is detected – so the terms can be interchangeable. You can have either of these devices installed on your home’s electrical circuitry to protect you and your loved ones.
How many safety switches do I need?
It is recommended that you have a safety switch for every circuit in your home. This would typically be one for lighting, one for power points and one for hardwire appliances, such as dishwashers and ovens.
What causes a safety switch to trip?
Damaged and/or faulty household appliances are the leading cause of constantly tripping electrical safety switches. Faulty appliances produce electrical current leakages, which create imbalances in the circuit. Other reasons might include overloaded power sockets and power boards or faults in your home wiring.
How often should safety switches be tested?
It’s important to test your safety switch every three months to ensure that it continues to function properly and protect you from electric shocks. Your safety switches can be quickly identified by looking for one or more buttons marked ‘T’ or ‘test’ at your switchboard. Australian Standards report that, unless there is an issue with the device, a safety switch is good for approximately 4000 tests.
How do I choose the right ceiling fan for my needs?
The first thing to consider is whether you want an AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current) fan. Many homeowners will opt for an AC fan, simply because they are a more affordable option, keeping costs down. DC fans, however, are increasing in popularity. As the more energy efficient option with a greater range of settings, they can be the preferred choice when budget allows. Another thing to consider when choosing a new fan is the size of the room you want to cool – not all fans are created equal and a smaller, less powerful fan may not cool as effectively as hoped. It’s also important to consider the look and feel you are hoping for as there is now a wide range of colours and materials to choose from.
Does it matter which way my ceiling fan rotates?
Modern ceiling fans can rotate in both directions. The blades spinning in one direction cools the room for summer. When reversed, the blades circulate warmed air in winter which can reduce heating costs. If your fans are circulating in the wrong direction in summer, you won’t be receiving the intended cooling benefits.
Why are my lights flickering?
There are a number of reasons lights might start to flicker. The simplest explanation is a loose light bulb. To check, turn off the light, wait for the bulb to cool and then tighten the bulb in the socket. Bulbs used with incompatible dimmers can also cause a flickering light. Other more serious causes can include an overloaded circuit, problematic voltage changes and loose wiring, all requiring the expertise of an experienced, licenced electrician.
Why is my light switch hot?
If your light switch is hot to the touch, it’s time to call your electrician. As with most things, your light switch will wear out over time. When it does, a small spark on the electrical contacts will be emitted whenever you turn the light on and off. Eventually the contacts won’t meet the way they should and electricity begins to flow more freely, creating heat and presenting a serious fire risk. Other causes might include an overloaded switch and faulty wire installation.
How often should my split-system air-conditioner be cleaned?
Split-system air-conditioners should be professionally cleaned by your licenced electrician once a year to maximise efficiency and extend your system’s lifespan. A professionally completed spring-clean of your air-con will involve a complex process that uses cleaning agents to remove accumulated dust and grime from inside the unit. It should also include an anti-microbial treatment for added protection.
How do I know my hot water system needs servicing?
You’ll know your hot water system needs servicing or repairs if you are experiencing cold or barely warm water. Tripped switches are another tell-tale sign, as are unusually high electricity bills that may be the result of a faulty system.
Do I need an Electrical Safety Inspection before I buy a home?
If you’re buying or selling a home, having an Electrical Inspection Report carried out by a certified electrician is a crucial step in safeguarding against unwanted disappointment and delays.
As with a building and pest inspection, an Electrical Inspection ensures your home meets Australian Standards and is free of any potentially expensive damages or faults.
Spending a few dollars before signing on the dotted line could save you thousands in the long run, especially when dealing with the purchase of a home.
An Electrical Inspection Report will detail things like: Overloaded electrical circuits, any electrical hazards, the state of the electrical switchboard, the condition of mains cabling, any testing and assessment of safety switches, appliance testing, identification of unapproved or non-compliant electrical work, any bonding or earthing and the overall electrical health and energy efficiency of the home.