Frequently asked questions of Batemans Bay electricians
Q: What is a kilowatt/hour?
A: A kilowatt/hour is a unit of electricity. It is the multiple of the amount of power (in watts) that you use, multiplied by the time that you use it. For instance, if you have a heater rated at 1000 watts (1 kilowatt) and you have that heater switched on for one hour then you would have used one kilowatt/hour. Likewise a 100 watt (.1 kilowatt) lamp switched on for 10 hours would also be a kilowatt/hour.
Q: What is a tariff?
A: A tariff is a levy or cost that is imposed by the electricity distributor (Essential Energy etc) for the use of electricity. The actual cost of the electricity is made up of the number of kilowatt/hours that you use multiplied by the tariff, for example, if you use 100 kilowatt/hours of electricity and it costs you $0.20c per kilowatt/hour then your electricity account will be $20.
Q: My hot water is cold. What should I do?
A: If there is plenty of cold or lukewarm water coming out of the hot taps you probably need an electrician. If there is no water, or a reduced amount of water coming out of the tap, you probably need a plumber. For more information - No Hot Water?
Q: My lights are on but I have no power at the power points. What is the problem?
A: The most likely problem is that your safety switch has tripped. To check if this is the problem you need to identify your safety switch in the switchboard. Your safety switch will have a ‘test’ button on the front of it. Reset the safety switch. If it trips again immediately then follow the below steps: (If you don't have a safety switch call a licensed electrician)
- Unplug and remove from the power point (simply switching off the power point will not work) the last electrical appliance that you were using and try to reset the safety switch. If this resolves the problem then have then call an appliance specialist or simply get a new appliance.
- If step 1 does not fix the problem then unplug ALL appliances in the house from their power points (simply switching off the power point will not work). Ensure that you also unplug the refrigerator, dishwasher, pool equipment (don’t worry about hard wired items) and if you live on acreage, the grey water pump and mains pressure water pump if applicable. Try to reset the safety switch again. If step 2 has resolved your problem then plug in a radio and turn it up so that you can hear it throughout the house. Plug the appliances in one by one. The faulty appliance will trip the safety switch and the radio will go silent. Unplug that item. Reset your safety switch, you have found the fault.
- If step 2 does not rectify the problem then check to ensure that ALL appliances are unplugged (simply switching off the power point will not work) and try step 2 again. If you cannot find the fault then call a licensed electrician and request an urgent service call.
Q: What is a surge diverter and how does it work?
A: A surge diverter is a piece of equipment that diverts excess voltages (caused by spikes in the electrical supply) to earth, thus protecting sensitive electrical and electronic equipment. The surge diverter is normally installed in the main switchboard, although you can have surge diverter power points that protect items plugged into that point and if connected to do so, then the power points downstream of it as well. The surge diverter ‘shunts’ voltages over 260 volts AC to ground, stopping most power spikes from causing any damage. A surge diverter may not protect your equipment from a direct lightning strike on your home. The chances of your home being struck by lightning are not high!
Q: Is a circuit breaker and a safety switch the same thing?
A: No. A circuit breaker is designed to limit the flow of electricity through a given circuit in your home, thus reducing the possibility of a fire due to overloaded circuits. A safety switch is designed to save lives by interrupting the flow of electricity quickly. For more information see - Safety Switches
Q: My lights flicker continually. Is this dangerous?
A: Yes. A flickering light is normally an indication of a loose connection in the fitting or light switch. Loose connections can overheat and cause a fire. Have the problem checked by a licensed electrician as soon as possible.
Q: My ‘power’ circuit breaker trips continually in winter. What should I do?
A: If any circuit breaker trips, it is a sign that the circuit is overloaded. This usually happens more often in winter as heaters are plugged into power points. Try plugging your heater into another power point preferably on the other side of the house (adjacent power points are normally connected to the same circuit). If this does not fix the problem them you may need to have an additional circuit installed. Book a licensed electrician
Q: My light switch ‘zaps’ when I turn it on. Is this dangerous?
A: Yes it can be. Arching light switches can be caused by a number of problems. Have a licensed electrician check the problem and rectify it if necessary.
Q: My light switch feels hot to touch. Is this dangerous?
A: Yes. Have it checked as soon as possible by a licensed electrician.
Q: My power point feels hot to touch. Is this dangerous?
A: If you have anything plugged into the power point then disconnect it straight away. If the power point is still hot to touch then have it checked as soon as possible by a licensed electrician.
Electrician Batemans Bay