Dumbest Place To Install A Light Fitting

Dumbest Place To Install A Light Fitting

Poor Design Leads To Big Repair Bills

The photograph above shows a pretty dubious set up for installing a light fitting in the ceiling at the top of a stairwell. While the initial installation is risky, how on earth is anyone supposed to repair that light in years to come?

After these clowns have finished, a builder will fit a handrail around the walkway and there will be no easy way to get to that light even to do something as simple as replace a blown globe. (more…)

Big Repair Costs For Imported Ovens

Big Repair Costs For Imported Ovens

Big, fancy, imported, stainless steel ovens look great but you may be in for a nasty shock if something goes wrong.

The kitchen magazines and TV renovation shows are full of sleek, modern and often imported ovens that look great in a designer kitchen.  They are often exotic European brands with a luxury look and feel, and a luxury price tag to match.

Problems can arise when spare parts are required.  If the parts are available they could be many times the cost of a similar part for an Australian made oven.

For example, we recently priced a door seal for an imported oven.  An equivalent door seal for an Austrlian oven would cost around $30.  The complete door seal for the imported oven was almost $200.

Even worse, if parts are not available it may not be possible to repair the oven at all.

The more luxurious ovens can have specialist parts such as multi-function switches or digital controllers that are specific to that particular brand or model.  If one of these parts breaks down you need to get the exact replacement part to repair the oven.

There is no way to substitute a switch or controller from another manufacturer.

We have seen clients forced to throw away an otherwise perfectly good and quite expensive oven because there was no replacement multi-function switch available for their Italian made oven.

The well known imported brands should have a good range of spare parts available – for a price.

The situation where most people run into trouble is with the lesser known imported brands.  An importer has brought a couple of containers of ovens into the country and sold them off to home builders and renovators.

After a couple of years the small stock of spares has been used and the brand and model of oven is no longer being imported.  The distributor is now pushing a different brand and isn’t much help to those people who bought their earlier product.

If you’re building a new home or updating your kitchen you should check out the local brands such as Chef and Westinghouse.  You may be surprised to find that they do make a range of modern ovens that look as good as the imported ovens, without the high price tag.  And spare parts will be available in the future at a reasonable price.

For advice, repairs and spare parts for all makes and models of oven, please phone your Launceston electrician, Mance Electrical on 6331 4711.

Loose Electrical Connections Are A Fire Hazard

Loose Electrical Connections Are A Fire Hazard

Loose Electrical Connections Get Hot, And This Could Be The Result.

Electrical connections can become loose for a variety of reasons.   A tightly made connection can become loose over time due to the tiny expansion and contraction that occurs as the cable warms up during use and cools down when not energised.  Perhaps the last tradesman to work on the installation didn’t do them up tight enough, or maybe the connecting parts have worn out and don’t make good contact anymore.

Occasionally we find connections that have never been tightened up at all.  The wire has been pushed into the terminal and the screw never tightened.   This can happen even in new homes and installations.  It’s a sign that the tradesman didn’t do a final check by pulling on each wire to make sure it’s solidly connected.

Sometime the connectors or terminals are faulty so even though the screw is done up tight it’s not actually clamping the cable enough.  Once again, a simple check by tugging on the wire will alert the tradesman to that type of fault.

Every electrical connection has the potential to get hot.  With increased heat comes increased electrical resistance, which in turns causes things to get even hotter.   Depending on the location of the connection this heat could potentially start a fire.

Common Locations

Common locations for loose electrical connections include switchboard connections of fuses and circuit breakers, connections to stove elements and hotplates and connections to power points.

The more load being drawn through the loose connection the more likely it is to fail.  For example a loose connection to a power point is more likely to be a problem if a heater is plugged in to the heater as compared to a phone charger or some other low wattage device.

Signs To Watch For

Signs that could indicate a loose electrical connection include flickering lights, intermittent power fluctuations, buzzing noises and burning smells.  If you do find any of these problems you should have an electrician check it out as soon as possible.

For fast attention to any signs of loose electrical connections,

phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711

Mance Electrical is your Launceston electrician offering same day service for urgent electrical repairs.




Solar Panel Nightmare No.5

Solar Panel Nightmare No.5

We recently carried out a maintenance check on a solar panel system for a new client and heard a very unfortunate story.

Our client was sold a 5 kw system about 12 months before, by one of those mainland companies that advertise heavily on TV.

The door to door salesman was very helpful and made a phone call direct to head office and managed to get the client a $3,000 discount if he signed up on the day.  They also offered him a further $1,000 discount if he would agree to put a promotional sign on his fence.

Even after all these wonderful discounts the client still paid about twice what we would have charged him for the same sized system.

The moral of the story is – don’t buy a solar panel system off the first salesman that knocks on your door.  Do a bit of research and get some free local advice and a couple of quotes.

The cheapest system may not turn out to be the best value either, but there is absolutely no need to pay double the going rate to enjoy the benefit of solar panels on your roof.

The door to door salesman also overstated the performance of the system and told the client his panels would never need cleaning.  After 12 months the panels were quite dirty and if not cleaned would just further increase the already long payback time on this over-priced system.

Watch this short video to see the problems caused by dirty solar panels.

Every home has unique features that need to be considered when planning a solar panel installation.  We believe that a qualified, accredited and experienced installer can design a better solar panel system than a door to door salesman, and possibly at half the price!

For free advice, free quotes and the advantage of dealing with a long established, local business phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711.




Lost Power? Check Your Power Boards First

Lost Power? Check Your Power Boards First

Plug in power boards are a common source of electrical faults.

If you find that some of your power points or electronic equipment has stopped working, you should check any power boards that are in use.

They are commonly used behind TVs and computers, when there aren’t enough fixed power points available.

Power boards can cause a number of problems and in the worst cases can be a fire or electric shock hazard.

Simple problems like a plug top that is not plugged in correctly are easy to find and fix, however if the plug has fallen out because it is loose in the power board socket it’s time to replace the power board.

A loose connection can get hot enough to melt the plug top and maybe start a fire.

Some power boards have a safety cut out that will trip if the board is overloaded so check to see if your power board has some kind of reset button that can be pushed to restore power.

If the safety cut out has tripped you probably have too many appliances plugged into the power board and will need to find somewhere else to plug in one or two of those appliances.

If the cut out button won’t reset, even after you have unplugged all the appliances, then you will need to replace the power board.

The best solution to a lack of power points is to install more hard wired power points, or replace an existing double power point with a new 4-gang power point.  For more info on this topic see our blog post “The Cheapest Way To Install More Power Points.”

If you do have to use a power board here are a few things to keep in mind:

Make sure all plugs fit firmly into the sockets.
Keep the cords tidy, not in a tangled mess.
Locate the power board in a place where it cannot be disturbed.
Check the power board regularly for signs of damage, especially heat damage.
Never use double adapters in a power board and don’t plug one power board into another.

So, any time you experience a power problem, remember to check all power boards you are using and you might just save yourself the cost of having an electrician attend just to push a rest button or tell you to buy you a new power board.

If your power fault is more than a simple power board issue please call Mance Electrical on 6331 4711 for fast response to your urgent electrical problems.

Or send a message to our main email address, using the form below

Caravan Electrical Inspections In Tasmania

Caravan Electrical Inspections In Tasmania

This time of year we start to get clients bringing their caravans and campervans in for electrical checks.

Quite often they have purchased the caravan on the mainland and want to change it to Tasmanian registration.  Before it can be registered they must have mechanical, gas and electrical checks for safety and compliance.

The electrical requirements for caravans are quite strict and include things like the need for “double pole” power points and light switches, stranded wiring, correct earthing and a safety switch.

Most newer vans have no problem meeting these requirements, however older vans usually need some work done before they can be registered.

A thorough check should take about an hour, if the caravan electrical installation is in good condition, including some paperwork to apply for a compliance sticker, which you need to display to be able to connect to powered sites in Tasmania.

The compliance sticker usually takes a few days to arrive so we also provide a letter of certification that can be taken to the motor registry inspection, so you can complete the registration process without having to wait for the sticker.

Occasionally we see an older van that may have been purchased quite cheaply, but requires a substantial investment to upgrade the electrical system to allow for registration.  These old vans rarely turn out to be the bargain they may have first seemed.

If you buy an old van with mainland registration you should be aware that it could cost you several hundred dollars, or even more, for electrical checks and work to get the van in a roadworthy state so it can be registered in Tasmania.

For further advice or to arrange a caravan electrical inspection in a hurry phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711.

Call Now Button