Being proactive when electrical emergencies happen, protects your home and property from any risks of power outages, fires, combustion reactions, and electrocution.
There are 4 straightforward steps you should take in the case of an electrical emergency.
Step 1. Turn off the main power source
The first thing that you should do when electrical emergencies happen is to turn off the main power source to be sure that outlets, switches, and appliances are protected.
If you see a spark, smell a burning outlet, or touch a hot power outlet, you should immediately turn off your circuit breaker or power supply to reduce any risks of electrical shocks and damage.
Step 2. Check the source of the electrical issue
Your electrical problems may be caused by a faulty appliance, burned outlets, and even flickering lights.
So after you turn your main power off, you may be able to look for visual clues that help you identify the source of the problem. Do not investigate beyond visual inspections. Do not touch any live wires, and do not touch problematic appliances.
Instead, you should…
Step 3. Call a certified electrician in Melbourne
Last but not least, contact a local, reliable electrician near you who can provide immediate support and advice for all your unexpected electrical emergencies.
Electrical issues are never meant to be dealt with alone. Calling an electrician will save you from stress, and most importantly, protects you, your family, and your home.
And call Triple Zero if required
If you or anyone around you is in immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000) for urgent care from Police, Fire, and Ambulance services.
You can never ignore the potential danger and risks that electrical faults pose, Electrical problems can cause serious injury and death if not treated properly. This is why you need to be aware of the red flags below so you know when you should call our local electricians in Melbourne on 0399095369
How do you know if you have an electrical problem?
Keeping your home safe from the danger of any electrical issues requires regular electrical inspections. This helps reduce the risk and potential damage that, when left untreated, electrical emergencies can cause.
Here are obvious warning signs that must not be ignored and require URGENT services.
1. Burning smells
Never turn a blind eye on an unidentified burning smell.
Internal wires can burn, which can cause electrical fires. Most of the time, burnt smells come from outlets, switches, and sockets.
You should check the source of the burning smell, turn off all power sources, or unplug anything from outlets to avoid a fire.
This is why you need to call a licensed electrician to inspect the issue and avoid any potential harm or danger. Give our local electricians in Melbourne a call on 0399095369
2. Seeing sparks?
Small sparks sometimes happen when you connect an appliance to an outlet. However, if you notice consistent sparking then there might be faulty wiring that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Sudden electrical sparks can be a cause of worry, especially if there are:
Faulty sockets and wirings
3. lights flickering?
Flickering lights are often ignored. Frequent dimming and flickering lights actually indicate an underlying issue regarding your electricity.
It can lead to danger, including starting a fire. Below are some reasons as to why your light might be flickering.
Loose and outdated electrical wirings
Faulty light switch
Loose light bulbs
4. Are your power outlets hot or warm to the touch?
Increased heat in outlets, sockets, and wirings should be an area of concern, as there might be a chance that you’re dealing with faulty electrical wiring. Give our local electricians in Melbourne a call on 0399095369 if you suspect overheating.
5. Water damage
In order to not suffer from electrocution, you may need to rewire and replace electrical switches and outlets as soon as possible after water damage. If your property has suffered water damage, flooding, or water leaking from the outlet, then you may need a qualified electrician to assess cables and wiring. These will often need to be replaced immediately.
6. Living in an older property
Old electrical systems need to be upgraded regularly as older buildings are usually prone to outdated, damaged, and decayed electrical wirings.
How do most electrical fires start?
Old outlets and wirings are prone to electrical surges. This is in fact how most electrical fires start. Older power sockets have just two prongs for your appliances, while modern outlets have three.
Why is three better? Three-prong outlets have something that two-pronged outlets do not - a ground wire, which means that modern, three-prong outlets, fitted with a ground wire, have the capacity to direct an unexpected surge of electricity into the ground. Without this, surges can cause appliance or socket damage, as well as electrical shock.
What is NBN network?
I’m sure you have heard of the nbn™ network, but what exactly is it?
The nbn™ network is an upgrade to Australia’s existing phone and internet infrastructure. It will affect the vast majority of people across Australia as it impacts our landline phone and internet services.
NBN is the team behind the nbn™ network rollout. Their responsibility is to provide wholesale services to phone companies and internet service providers who offer nbn™ plans for homes and businesses.
As a wholesaler, NBN does not sell directly to the public. That means, to move your services over to the nbn™ network (both home and business services), you will need to contact a provider and choose a new plan that suits your needs directly with them. The team at Our Local Electrician in Melbourne is experts in NBN connection and wiring needs. We are able to install NBN services and set you up in your home or business.
Who will get it?
The nbn™ network is being rolled out progressively across the country with an aim to connect eight million homes and businesses by 2020. Upgrading to NBN is compulsory!? Once you receive a notification that the new NBN network in your area is ready, you are only given 18 months to make the switch and move over to NBN. If this isn’t done, your existing network will be turned off.
The aim is to provide access to all the benefits of fast and reliable internet services so that Australians have the same basic service, no matter where they live.
Why do we need it?
Australia’s existing copper network was not designed for the demands of the 21st century with its fast-changing digital landscape and a subsequent increase in demand for fast and reliable connectivity.
The nbn™ network uses a range of broadband technologies including new fiber-optic cable, existing copper lines, fixed wireless, and satellite to deliver access to fast and reliable internet to all Australian homes and businesses.
Most common electrical problems and solutions
Electrical problems can occur anywhere where electricity is. Whether the issue is minor or major, electricity is hazardous and should not be meddled with if you have minimal to know experience or knowledge of it.
Before pointing the finger at the nation’s power system, we should check possible poor wiring in our homes. It may be outdated and will not be efficient in supplying electricity to the appliances, electronics, and lighting.
Circuits fitted during older days were not designed to power different types of modern-day electronic equipment or lighting.
When considering household electric appliances, your safety is the main goal. If you are facing high bills, flickering lights, and damaged appliances in your home, It is most likely that the home circuit is not in proper working condition. Be sure to contact an experienced professional to help you with your electrical problems.
Here are the most common electrical problems and solutions.
These are caused by high-voltage disruptions in the flow of electricity. This can be due to poor wiring in the house, lightning strikes, faulty appliances or damaged power lines. Surges are common and last for a microsecond however if you experience frequent surges, this can damage any electronic devices that are connected at the moment. An experienced electrician will diagnose and resolve the issue for you.
On many occasions, your light fixture has a bulb or other fitting with higher watts than the designed fixture. This is a code violation and the risk level is quite high. The high heat from the bulb can melt the socket and insulation found in the wires of the fixture. This results in sparks from one wire to another and causes electrical fires. Even after the bulb is removed, the socket and wires will still be under damage. It is always better to fit a bulb or any other fittings by staying within the wattage. If the fixtures are not marked with wattage, it is advisable to use a 60-watt bulb or even smaller ones. If you are unsure, please contact an experienced electrician.
Circuit breaker keeps tripping
If your circuit breaker keeps on tripping, chances are the current circuit has detected some issues, hence the name ‘circuit breakers’ – they break up circuits when they sense something is wrong with the flow of current. Locate the main electrical panel in your home - where all the main control switches are. You will see a switch panel that has its switch turned off (for old switches) and partly off (for modern switches). Turn the switch back on. If the problem keeps occurring, contact an experienced electrician.
Frequent bulb burnouts
There are a lot of reasons why bulb lights burn out much frequently. It can be due to high voltage, tightly fixed bulbs, improper air circulation, and so on. It is not always the actual bulb that is the issue. Check if the holder is either loose or it’s depleted. But if everything is fine and one bulb after another keeps going to waste, we suggest you consult with an electrician.
An RCCB (Residual Current Circuit Breaker) or RCD (Residual Current Device) is a separate device used for detecting and preventing low voltage circuits if there is a current leak. The device will automatically turn off the switch if it detects a leakage while the current is flowing abnormally. An RCCB device is essential at home because it reduces the chances of electrical shocks. Get one installed by an experienced professional.
Common electrical problems around the house
Common electrical problems around the house
Your safety is of upmost importance when it comes to household electrics. Flickering lights, high bills and damaged appliances can all be a sign of electrical problems on your home circuit. We have identified the most common electrical problems around the house below:
Light bulbs burning out too often
There are a number of reasons your lights can be burning out too often. These may include; Wattage is too high, insulation is too close to the light, bad wiring on the circuit or the mains or too much total wattage on one switch on a dimmer. If your bulb is flickering – there is probably a poor connection on the circuit. Identifying the issue can be tricky for non-professionals. We suggest reaching out to an electrician to assist your problem!
High electrical bill
Your electrical bill may be high due to the following:
Reducing the cost of your electrical bill could include:
Your specific provider – try switching to a more cost-effective provider.
Certain electrical devices may be causing power surges
Leaks in the hot water system
Appliances and Chargers stay plugged in when not in use
Damaged wiring or circuits
Electrical shocks generally happen when you turn a device on or off. The issue could be with the appliance, or it could be in the wiring. They are usually pretty mild, however still give an unpleasant experience. It is possible to identify the issue by plugging another device in; however, the risks are too high and seeking professional help is a much wiser decision.
Normally, a surge will last only a fraction of a second; if an appliance experiences multiple frequent surges, it will be significantly damaged and not last nearly as long. Frequent electrical surges can be the result of damaged power lines, a lightning strike, poor household electrical wiring, and defective appliances.
Lights Being Kept Too Dim or Bright
Different lights may utilise different wattages, so it is important to check your main connection and whether your bulbs are correct.
A Tripping Circuit Breaker
Sometimes appliances with particularly high wattage like a hairdryer or a microwave can cause your breaker to trip. Try using a lower setting if you are using them at the same time as other electrical appliances. Try to identify which appliance it is.
If you have any concerns or require assistance give Our Local Electrical Services a call on 03 9909 5369 and have the professionals complete the job for you.
Upgrade electrical panel
I’m working from home, should I upgrade my electrical panel for my home office?
Made the switch to working from home like most Australians have? Working from home is great in so many ways, more flexibility, no travel to work, ability to cook lunch, and maybe even get a little sleep in.
Although these are all great, working from home has also highlighted some “deficiencies” in home’s wiring and electrical systems. Electrical problems may have been more tolerable in the past if working from home was occasional. However if you’re working from home full time, your home’s electrical panel may simply not be able to keep up. Fortunately, it’s simple to figure out if you should upgrade, and its quick and easy to get the job sorted.
When You Need to Upgrade an Electrical Panel
Firstly, locating your electrical panel and determining what kind of electrical system you have is essential. Your system may still use fuses if you live in an older house. These need to be replaced when they go out. A system that still uses fuses should be upgraded to a panel with circuit breakers. If your electrical panel already has circuit breakers, but is more than 10–15 years old, it’s most likely due for an upgrade too. Older circuit breakers may not trip or turn off, increasing the likelihood of overheating and electrical fires.
Your Increased Energy Use
We know appliances and other electric devices have gotten more energy efficient as time goes by, however, most households have more gadgets and appliances than ever before. An average family will have multiple televisions, desktop computers, video consoles etc, as well as appliances such as hot tubs, air fryers, hair dryers, heaters etc. The more electrical devices added, the more strain it can cause to your electrical system.
When You Need to Repair an Electrical Panel
If your system is frequently tripping circuit breakers, that’s a good sign the electrical panel is overloaded. Even if a circuit breaker trips infrequently, it’s probably being caused by a system overload. If an electrical surge causes the breaker to trip – this doesn’t indicate a problem—that’s just the breaker doing its job.
Large appliances like air conditioners or washing machines will intermittently draw more power and overload the system. If you have several large appliances running at the same time, and then add extra devices like air compressors or electric saw or even hair dryers, this can also overload your system. Your circuit breaker may be able to handle each individual device, but not all of them at the same time.
You may find ways around this, like not using the toaster and microwave at the same time, however, they’re temporary fixes at best. Eventually after resetting your home’s circuits, you’ll need to find a more permanent solution. These temporary fixes do not improve your home’s safety and useability.
Are upgrades easy?
Mistakes can happen and, especially when dealing with electricity, a mistake can be dangerous when doing it yourself. Our Local Electrical Services has you covered for all your home electrical upgrade needs. Give us a call on 03 9909 5369 and have the professionals complete the job for you.
Can pests damage electrical wires?
Can pests damage electrical wires?
We all know that pests can cause allergic reactions and spread dangerous diseases, however, pests also pose a threat by causing structural damage to your home, building or office space. Many pests will gnaw on electrical wires and cords, which poses a high risk of electrical malfunctions and fires.
The Dangers of chewed wires
Damaged wiring causes an obvious risk to your home. Exposed wiring can cause fires when it rests against wood, insulation, carpeting, or other flammable materials in your home. Chewed wires are responsible for many thousands of house fires every year! Electrical shorts and power outages are also another concern.
This type of damage also probably means other things in your home are being chewed on for example wood beams, PVC water pipes, and more.
The most common culprits are rodents—particularly squirrels, mice, and rats when it comes to damage in the home.
Why do they chew on wires?
These Rodents don’t particularly look for wires to chew on. Rodents just happen to like to hide in places where other hidden things are typically located, such as your home electric and security wiring systems. Wires are everywhere, and mice have an instinct to go after anything they can chew to keep their teeth from over growing. If they don’t chew on wires, they will eventually chew on anything and everything else.
How can you tell if a rodent has been gnawing at your wires?
Signs of chewed paper, wood chips, wood filaments, or other "chewed up" material, Smells of urine or a generalized putrefied, organic smell in those areas of the house, Markings of teeth on wires, tubes, pipes, or any type of hard surface.
What to do next?
Seek pest control services to remove the pests and then be sure to have your electrical wires checked by a professional electrician! Give Our local electrician services a call on 03 9909 5369 and we will have someone attend to your wiring problems immediately. We are open 24/7!
Hot Water System
Is my hot water system due for a service or replacement?
Your hot water System should be serviced every five years. If longer, your manufacturer’s warranty may be deemed void. Servicing your hot water system will get it back to its normal function. However, eventually your hot water system will need to be replaced.
Do I need a new hot water system or just a service/repair? Here are a few things to counter for when making this decision.
The age of the hot water system
The original manufacturer information should indicate the time frame expected, however most hot water systems are expected to last between 8-12 years. If your hot water system has been in place for 15+ years and is constantly making noise and failing to provide hot water consistency, then this is a strong suggestion that it’s time for a new one. If you are unaware of the age of the water system and you live in an older property, it is recommended to ask a professional to examine it.
The water is not hot enough
Is your shower turning cold halfway through your shower? Or failing to heat up at all? This issue could be caused by a faulty thermostat or a broken heating element. In some cases, resetting the thermostat can improve the issue immediately and possibly replacing the thermostat may be the only replacement you may need; however, it is recommended to have a professional identify the issue for you.
Sizzling or hissing noise
If your hot water system is making a lot of noise, this generally means its time for a replacement. In some cases, A faulty relief valve may be the issue and will require replacement.
Rust around the fittings
Generally, when there is corrosion around your hot water system it means you have a leak. Tightening the fittings may help, however they might need a full replacement. Let a professional help and assess the problem.
What should I consider, If I need to completely replace my hot water system?
Firstly, you’ll need to choose the heating method: Electricity, gas or solar. Many hot water systems could lower your energy bills, plus reduce the amount of greenhouse gas you produce. Heating methods and size of your hot water system will have an effect on your energy bills. Be sure you are buying a system that is not larger than what your household needs as you’ll save a substantial amount of money. Give our local electrical services call on 03 9909 5369 And let us know how we can assist you in regard to your hot water system
What Causes Electrical Fires?
Electrical fires are the cause of over 50,000 fires, approximately 500 deaths, over 1,400 injuries and over $1 billion dollars in property damage a year. They are not only dangerous but can cause a lot of havoc. For safety, it’s important to know what can trigger an electrical fire and how to avoid them.
What is an electrical fire?
An electrical fire is a failure or fault in a section of machines or equipment that causes a fire. This is usually caused by cables, circuit breakers, electric wires and the electrical parts of an item.
Top 5 causes of an electrical fire
Faulty electrical outlets are the top cause of electrical fires. An electrical fire can also happen if the socket is worn out and not properly grounded. The wiring behind the outlets wears out over time, loosens and even breaks. The reason why these can cause a fire is because the faults get triggered when an old appliance is plugged in as it requires a lot of power to work. This then can ignite a blaze. A way to prevent this from happening is by repairing or replacing a faulty outlet as soon as you notice it.
Over time, it is common for wiring to wear out and become outdated. Wires that were installed 20 years ago may not have the capacity to handle an increase of power with today’s use of technology and appliances. Once loaded with too much power, the old wires combined with an old breaker box cause an overload and eventually could lead to an electrical fire.
Light fittings and fixtures
Another common cause of an electrical fire is light fixtures, fittings, lamps and light bulbs. The main reason why these can cause an electrical fire is because a light bulb with wattage too high for the lamp or light fixture is installed. Fires can also be caused if fabrics are placed over a lamp which causes the material to heat up, light up and cause a fire.
If you keep experiencing short-circuiting due to circuit overloads, this is a recipe for disaster. Plugging in too many cords and appliances or using one extension cord to power multiple items at once, could result in a fire. This is because it creates an extreme power load in one single socket that can’t handle that amount of power.
When a portable heater is placed too close to a flammable surface, this can easily cause an electric fire. Flammable surfaces include clothing, chairs, couches, beds and rugs. The heater can become very hot especially if it’s an older heater that isn’t regularly maintained or serviced. A very hot heater meeting a flammable surface smells danger. To avoid this from happening, a portable heater should be kept away from these surfaces and regularly serviced. A portable heater should also only be left turned on when attended.
Warning signs of an electrical fire
Spotting warning signs of an electrical fire could avoid a fire causing damage to the safety of you and your home. Here are some warning signs of an electrical fire:
If you spot these warning signs, it’s important to give your local electrician a call as soon as possible to ensure any faults are fixed to avoid an electrical fire.
Pros and Cons of Having A Ceiling Fan in Your Home
We’ve heard so many debates regarding the pros and cons of having a ceiling fan in your home. We are here to put that debate to rest and have you make the decision yourself! We’ve seen ceiling fans in a lot of older homes and they’ve now made a comeback and are trending in new and modern luxury homes.
Pros of having a ceiling fan in your home
Lowers your electricity costs
This is one of the major advantages of having a ceiling fan in your home. They save you quite a bit of money off your energy bill. In fact, ceiling fans save you approximately 40% on your electricity costs. How it does this? Your air conditioning unit doesn’t need to work so hard to cool down or warm up a room.
They can keep you cool as well as warm
Ceiling fans aren’t just made to keep you cool! This is a fact that not many people are aware of. By pushing air downwards, the fan creates a breeze that cools your skin down through evaporation. If you want the ceiling fan to keep you warm, all you need to do is reverse the blades on the fan or change the direction of the rotation so that the fan pulls air upwards instead.
They look good
Ceiling fans have evolved a whole lot than what they looked like in the 90s! Coming in a huge range of sizes, finishes and styles, there is sure to be a beautiful ceiling fan that will add a gorgeous aesthetic touch to your home. Complementing the interior of your home, ceiling fans have become a great accessory to lighten up a room.
The majority of ceiling fans have a built-in light which is an added bonus that creates ambient lighting in a room. These lights also usually feature dimming lights which are great when you don’t enjoy bright lights at night!
Cons of having a ceiling fan in your home
They’re hard to clean
Anything that’s high up is pretty difficult to clean and a ceiling fan is one of those things! Dust builds up quiet frequently on ceiling fans and it’s a pain to clean. Sometimes they require purchasing special cleaning equipment to ensure cleanliness is kept up.
They’re very loud
Over time, ceiling fans have their weight shift which means they get louder and louder. We’ve all been in a room with a fan and thought about how distracting it is! The noise also becomes more prominent at night time when you’re trying to go to bed.
The light isn’t bright
A great feature of a ceiling fan is that most of them come with a light. The downfall is that light isn’t usually very bright. It doesn’t really add that much value as additional lights will need to be installed to provide a well-lit room.
Hazard if the ceilings aren’t high
If your ceiling isn’t that high, a ceiling fan could be a hazard. If the ceiling is low, it could mean people will bump their heads into the fan. This can be very dangerous when the fan is turned on and spinning at a high speed.
So there you have it! There are the pros and cons of having a ceiling fan in your home. If you’re looking to install or uninstall a ceiling fan in your home, it’s important to get a licensed electrician to do the work for you! Give Our Local Electrician a call on 03 9909 5369 for all your ceiling fan queries.