Common Electrical Questions | North Lakes & Surrounds Electrical

Common Electrical Questions

By December 29, 2022 Electrical Safety

8 Commonly Asked Electrical Questions

Is there something going on with the electricity in your home or are you simply trying to figure out if you can do some electrical work on your home by yourself? Well, with more than 20 years in the industry, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience to answer some questions for you. 

Can I do electrical work myself? 

Unfortunately, the answer here is no. It is illegal in Australia to do your own electrical work such as wiring and switchboard upgrades unless you are a licensed professional. The reason for this is the heightened risk of injury to yourself, your home, and your family members. Additionally, attempting to do electrical work yourself can cause more serious damage than what you began with as well as costly repairs to fix that damage. Some electrical work also requires a permit. 

Why do my lights flicker and blow out frequently? 

There are several reasons this could be occurring. However, the most common cause for a flickering light is a loose connection. These loose connections can overheat causing your bulbs to blow out and in some severe cases can cause a house fire. So, not only is it a massive inconvenience to constantly change bulbs, it is a fire hazard and we certainly recommend having your connections checked by one of our licensed professionals at North Lakes & Surrounds Electrical. 

Can I change a light bulb myself? 

It may seem like a silly question but some people don’t know that they are allowed to do this themselves. If your light bulb has blown, follow these simple steps to change it:

  1. Turn off the light you are changing at the wall, socket or lamp. 
  2. Once the bulb is cool, you may remove it. In Australia, we have a few different types of light bulb fittings, the two most common being bayonet and screw cap. A bayonet light bulb will need to be pushed down and then lifted up and out in an anti-clockwise direction. Screw cap lights bulbs simply need to be twisted out anti-clockwise. 
  3. Insert the new light bulb in the same way you removed the old one. 
  4. Test the new light bulb by turning the light back on at the wall, socket or lamp. 
  5. Wrap the old bulb in newspaper and throw it in the bin. 

These steps are the same if you wish to change the light in a ceiling fan. 

Should I be concerned about outlets that don’t work? 

There is a simple to test to find out whether or not you should worry about outlets that don’t seem to be working. If you have a small lamp handy, plug it into the outlet that doesn’t seem to be working and flip all the wall switches in the room. We do this because sometimes the outlet may be controlled by a wall switch. If you cannot find this wall switch, check to see if other lights are out or any other outlets are faulty. If so, check your electrical panel to see if any circuits are tripped and reset them if so. If the outlet still doesn’t work, it’s best to get in touch with our team on (07) 3053 3118.

What’s the difference between a circuit breaker and a safety switch? 

A circuit breaker limits the flow of electricity through a specific circuit in your home preventing it from being overloaded. Overloaded circuits can lead to a fire. A safety switch will stop the flow of electricity quickly in an emergency.  It is important to have both of these to maximise the safety of your family.

Why does my circuit break trip so often? 

This is a question we get frequently from people living in older homes. The reason for your circuit breaker tripping is usually due to an overloaded circuit. This happens more often in older homes because there were not built to withstand the amount of power we use in our modern day. Try plugging appliances into another power point, preferably on the other side of the house as this is likely to be on a different circuit. If this does not fix the problem, you may need to have a new circuit installed.

Why is my light switch hot? 

If you go to turn off your light switch and find that it is hot to the touch, this is indicative of a serious issue that could lead to an electrical fire. Possible reasons for this include the switch being overloaded, the switch failing, or faulty wiring. In any case, you should address the problem immediately and call an electrician as soon as possible.

Are my smoke alarms ok? 

Having working smoke alarms is essential to ensuring the safety of your family. In recent years, the safety standard was updated by the government so that anyone buying or selling a house has to meet new restrictions. If you’re not buying or selling, you simply need to be sure to replace your smoke alarms every 10 years. For those using battery-powered smoke alarms, you can test them by pressing the test button and be sure to listen out for beeping every few seconds that indicates the battery is running low and needs to be replaced. 

Contact us 

If you have any other electrical questions you would like answered, please feel free to get in touch with our team at North Lakes & Surrounds Electrical today on (07) 3053 3118.