FAQ

Make sure you prepare your family and your property properly this Cyclone Season with our handy Cyclone preparation guide:

Which switch is which? Find out the differences between the following switches here:

Safety switch (also called a RCD – Residual Current Device) is peace-of-mind protection for your family against electric shock and electrocution …

Overloaded circuit – fuses blow on account of the wire inside the fuse blowing as there may be too much load for the fuse.

  • DO NOT upgrade the fuse wire to a higher density wire as this will result in burnt-out cables in ceilings and walls.
  • Circuit breakers trip before the cables get a chance to become overloaded
  • To solve this problem, either unplug some of the appliances on the circuit that keep tripping and plug them in to a point that is not tripping or get an electrician to replace the fuses to circuit breakers (if not already done)
  • If the fuses have already been replaced with circuit breakers and the breakers keep tripping; you will need to schedule an electrician to install more circuit breakers to even out the load

Replacing or upgrading a switchboard requires a new switchboard, circuit breakers, safety switches, wiring and possibly new earth stake:

This is the process:

  • Remove old switchboard including marking cables (30-50 minutes)
  • Wire new switchboard (3-4 hours)
  • Install meters ready for Ergon to connect (1-2 hours – if using old meters)
  • Testing (depending on test results could take up to 6 hours of rectifying problems

safety switch can be 2 poles (2 fingers) or 4 poles (4 fingers) wide and has a test button as well as an on/off toggle.
Modern day safety switch/circuit breaker combination devices can be 1 pole or 2 pole wide. They have a test button and an on/off toggle.

Safety switches (also called earth leakage devices) trip in a split-second to save your life when they detect an earth leakage.
Remember only safety switches save lives. 

A circuit breaker does not have a test button. Circuit breakers and surge protectors protect appliances not people.

If you don’t have a safety switch consider getting one installed because they can save your life.

Call Harle’s Electrical if you are not sure if you have any Safety Switches installed in your home – and protecting your family.

Easy – Download our step-by-step trouble-shooter:

If a power outage or power surge has occurred that there may be more than one item that is faulty.

If you have rewireable fuses … you possibly need to rewire a fuse.

To balance power load is to balance a circuit if it is drawing too much current. If too much current is being drawn on a circuit the fuses or circuit breakers in your switchboard will trip or blow.

Please note that any electrician employed to balance your power load is legally obliged to install a safety switch if one is not currently installed.

The Electrician needs to be present:

  • Before the renovation is started an electrician needs to disconnect all electrical accessories/switches/fittings
  • After the necessary old walls have been demolished but before wall sheets have been nailed on an electrician is required to install new wiring and cables
  • Then at the end an electrician is needed to fit off new switches/fittings

As of March 1 2009, 80{76119c29a669768df0e2fbd4c4bbe533b792c9d6de384fe0147c8f79d97485b1} of the total internal floor space (including attached garages) needs to be under fluorescent lighting (or energy efficient lighting). The previous requirement was 40{76119c29a669768df0e2fbd4c4bbe533b792c9d6de384fe0147c8f79d97485b1}.

For alterations, extensions and renovations on an existing house, townhouse or unit, this energy efficient lighting requirement applies to the areas covered by the new work only.

It is advisable however, to change as many lamps as possible to the more energy efficient alternatives. You will notice the difference in your next electricity bill.

  • Every house must have a smoke alarm.
  • The smoke alarm/s do not have to be hard wired (240v power from switchboard) if the customer agrees that the electrician is NOT liable for the owner/tenant not replacing the battery
  • Smoke alarm batteries are required to be changed annually; Government suggested date is April 1st; although we suggest an easily remembered date such as a birthday or Christmas
  • Smoke alarms need to be placed within 8m of each other
  • Smoke alarms are recommended to be installed in every room or just outside doorways for maximum fire protection

Contact your Local Electrician.

Virtually any plug in appliance can trip a circuit breaker or safety switch.

Yes, install extra general purpose outlet’s (gpo’s)/multiple gang (4) replacements to allow for your power needs, provided regulations for existing power circuits are met.

View the list of the latest Electrical recalls from the ACCC website.

or 

Subscribe to the ACCC Email Alerts.

There are DIFFERENT TYPES OF ELECTRICAL LICENCES (Scroll down to the bottom of this page, and enter details to check if your Electrical Contractor is licenced.)

ALWAYS USE A LICENSED ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR.
Electrical work is NEVER do-it-yourself – it is illegal and very dangerous.

Only licensed Electrical Contractors (or their employees whilst acting as representatives of that business) are permitted to perform electrical work on your home or property.

People who perform unlicensed electrical work can be prosecuted and face considerable fines or imprisonment. Never permit any person to perform electrical work if they are not licensed to perform that work.

Prior to the commencement of any electrical work, always check to see if that Electrical Contractor is licensed to do the work you require – this guarantees that this person knows what they are doing and gives you avenues for recourse if something goes wrong. 

Do NOT allow unlicensed electrical work – the price you pay COULD be too much.

 A significant number of properties are damaged or destroyed by fire resulting from electrical faults. Did you know that, in the event of a fire, your House and Contents Insurance would not cover you if it is proven that the fire was caused as a result of unlicensed electrical work. Too many Australians are accidentally electrocuted or killed by electricity every year. 

Always use a licensed electrical contractor for your electrical work to ensure you, your family, your property and your possessions are safe.

To check who is responsible look over the property contract upon sale/purchase to determine who of the associated parties is responsible for the safety switch installation.

More information from the Queensland Government

Surge protectors are designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes and safeguard your appliances and wiring from voltage surges such as those resulting from a lightning strike.

Safety switches and surge protectors play entirely different roles – surge protectors protect electrical appliances, safety switches protect people.

An Earth Bond on your line can be installed by Telstra to protect your equipment. This is not placed on all residences but can be requested through Telstra.

This information has been supplied by Telpin Telephone Services

Equipment size is very important when air conditioning a space. Bigger is not necessarily better. The correct sized air conditioner will save considerably on energy use and installation and running costs.

A feeling of comfort is achieved by choosing the correct size for the space. There is a ‘rule of thumb’ formula that can be used as a guide, however we do suggest that you discuss your requirements with our experienced staff.

To calculate Air Conditioner size to allow for ample cooling (whether it is a rainy, moist day or a hot, sunny, humid day), this simple formula works for a given room in a domestic environment.

Length (m) x Width (m) x 173.446 = Watts required

If the area to be cooled includes a kitchen , add an extra 2000 Watts.

(Convert Watts to BTUs by multiplying Watts x 3.412 = BTUs)

Other items to consider are:

  • How large are the rooms and what shape are they?
  • What the building is made of and how well insulated is it?
  • How many people use the room?
  • What is the ceiling height?
  • Positioning and size of windows?
  • For room air conditioners, what direction (north, east, south or west) does the room face?
  • What time of day the room is most likely to be in use (night or day)?

Do not make the mistake of choosing an air conditioner that is:

  • Too small as it will likely run continually and increase your bill and not cool effectively .
  • Too big as it may cool the area but will not run long enough to extract moisture from the air properly. It will also turn on and off frequently.

It is well worth measuring the area to be cooled and choose the correct size of air conditioner. We at Harle’s Electrical can assist with any advice that you require in order to select the proper air conditioning size for your home.

If you have ever had your phone line struck by lightning during an electrical storm, you will know how frightening it is. The worse thing is that any equipment connected to that phone line can be compromised by the resultant power surge.

An Earth Bond can be installed on your phone line to protect your equipment. This is not placed on all phone lines but installation is easily requested by contacting your service provider.

For more information Contact Us.

Actually – the price of energy-efficient alternative lamps is coming down. You need to remember you will be saving up to $50 a year on your Electricity costs as well.

Read about the other myths associated with energy-efficient alternatives:

As Queensland faces challenges from increasing energy consumption and costs, the need for accurate, reliable information from a single reference point is growing. Take charge of your power and discover some practical energy saving tips and calculators to help keep your home energy costs low.

YourPowerQld.com.au …

  • can help you take charge of your power and keep your home energy costs low
  • is a joint initiative between Energex and Ergon Energy, and is supported by the Queensland Government
  • offers a single reference point for Queensland customers looking for residential energy related information. This site aims to provide accurate and impartial information on energy conservation and demand management including education services and advice to the Queensland Government, general public and industry sector
  • is dedicated to helping Queenslanders save energy at home with practical tips and information about saving energy and reducing your energy use during peak demand times

If you are looking to have insulation installed then this factsheet will tell you everything that you need to know:

Due to the potential risks associated with electricity and it use, legislation regulates who can install, repair and maintain electrical equipment and installations. This legislation states that Licensed Electrical Contractors who carry out work at your premises must provide you with a signed Certificate of Compliance of Certificate of Test.

Only an Electrical Contractor is allowed by law to issue Certificates of Test. In Queensland, this certification states :- “I certify that the electrical installation, to the extent it is affected by the electrical work, has been tested to ensure it is electrically safe and is in accordance with the requirements of the Wiring Rules and any other standard applying to the electrical installation under the Electrical Safety Regulation 2002.”

To protect your family and your possessions, you should always ensure that your Electrical work is being performed by a licenced Electrical Contractor.

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