Generator Inlets For Home Back Up Power

Generator Inlets For Home Back Up Power

A Generator Inlet Makes Home Back Up Power Easy And Safe

Connecting a portable generator to power your home during a blackout requires some preparation.

You could just throw a cord in through a window and run more cords from a power board to your fridge and freezer and a couple of other appliances.

A far better way is to install a generator inlet.  A proper generator inlet enables you to plug your generator directly into some of the power circuits of your home.

This means you can run your appliances from their usual power points and can also allow you to run some lights, depending on how it is set up.

The size of your generator will determine how many appliances you can run. A small generator will probably only be able to run your fridge and a few lights.

You would require quite a large generator to completely replace mains power.  Appliances such as heaters, hot water cylinders and ovens draw large amounts of power.

A generator of around 6KVA size can be sourced for less than $2,000 and will have technology that provides clean filtered power suitable for running computers and other electronic equipment.

There are a few things to consider when choosing the location of your generator.  The generator inlet will need to be close to the switchboard, however you have some flexibility with the exact location of the generator, depending on the length of the power cord.

The generator needs to be in an area where exhaust fumes will not blow back into your home.  It should be located out of the weather if possible and you should also consider the security of the unit.

A large stationary generator will not be easy to move, but could be an attractive target if power cuts become common.

Click here for more information on generators.

Your investment for the installation of a generator inlet installation with an approved change-over switch would start at around $700.

Since everyone’s home is different it’s best to get a free fixed price quotation. The cost will vary depending on the configuration of your switchboard and some other variables.

 

For a free quote on installation of your Generator Inlet, in Launceston and surrounding areas, phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711

Or send us a message using the form below

The Dangers In Old Fluorescent Light Fittings

The Dangers In Old Fluorescent Light Fittings

There Could Be A Nasty Surprise Lurking In Your Old Fluorescent Lights.

Fluorescent light fittings manufactured before 1980 may contain a dangerous chemical called Polychlorinated Biphenyls or PCBs.

PCBs are known to cause a number of serious health effects including cancer and are now banned in many countries, including Australia.

The PCBs are sealed inside the capacitors and ballasts inside many older fluorescent light fittings. Over time these components can deteriorate allowing the PCBs to leak out.

If you see a dark oily substance leaking from an old light fitting don’t touch it – call an electrician as soon as possible to have the light fitting removed.

There are regulations governing the disposal of PCBs. Due to these regulations and the toxic nature of the chemicals you should not attempt to deal with this problem yourself.

Not sure if your old fluorescents contain PCBs? Give us a call and we’ll check your lights and dispose of any problem fittings if required.

For All Lighting Repairs In Launceston And Surrounding Areas, Phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711

Or send us a message using the form below

Rewiring Your Home. The Truth About Rewires – Part 3

Rewiring Your Home. The Truth About Rewires – Part 3

Did You Get The Rewire You Paid For?

In part 1 of our Truth About Rewires series we looked at “The Cheapest Quote Rewire”, where everything is done as cheap and nasty as possible, and in part 2 we investigated “The Cosmetic Rewire” where everything looks good on the surface but the ugly truth is lurking just underneath.

Click here to read The Truth About Home Rewires – Part 1

Click here to read The Truth About Home Rewires – Part 2

Today we are going to discuss “The Too Hard Basket Rewire” which in some ways is a combination of the Cheapest Quote and Cosmetic rewires.

In a Too Hard Basket rewire the contractor starts out with good intentions and has quoted to replace all the old wiring in the home and do everything properly.

Unfortunately, when the going gets tough, the good intentions can fall by the wayside.

In a Too Hard Basket rewire, the easy stuff gets done properly but the difficult parts are left as they are, as the tradesmen decide some things are just too hard to deal with.

Typically this means any cable that is hard to access will not be replaced.  Those switch wires that couldn’t be pulled up the wall are left in place and reconnected to new switches.  The stove circuit is old rubber but it looks in reasonable condition so it’s left as is, to save that long crawl under the floor dragging a new circuit.

Maybe the job is taking longer than expected and the contractor is under pressure to get it finished as soon as possible.  Maybe the workers don’t have a high level of care and will just go back to the workshop and tell the boss it’s all finished.

Whatever the situation, the home owner has paid for a full and proper rewire, but with the Too Hard Basket rewire they are not getting everything they paid for.

We usually discover a Too Hard Basket rewire when we are called out to a fault caused by the old wiring.  The home owner assures us all has been rewired but our investigation soon reveals the truth.

The reason the lights in the back part of the house don’t work is because the original contractor didn’t take the time and effort to lift the roofing iron and replace the old cables running through the flat roof area.

We then do the work that should have been done during the rewire and the client pays again for something they already paid to have done.

There is a lot of confusion, and sometimes misdirection, about the extent of work that has been carried out during a “rewire”.

To avoid getting caught by a less than proper rewire you should always get a detailed quote that spells out exactly what work will be carried out.  And always use an established, reputable contractor to ensure the work you are paying for has actually been done.

 

For a free quote and advice on a “proper” rewire phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711

Or send us a message using the form below

Rewiring Your Home. The Truth About Rewires – Part 2

Rewiring Your Home. The Truth About Rewires – Part 2

Not All Rewires Are Actually Rewires

In part 1 of our rewire series we explored the joys of “The Cheapest Quote” rewire, where everything is done to the bare minimum, using the cheapest materials, there’s no time to doing things properly and shortcuts are taken everywhere.

Click here to read The Truth About Home Rewires – Part 1

Click here to read The Truth About Rewires – Part 3

Another type of rewire we commonly see is “The Cosmetic Rewire”

With the cosmetic rewire everything looks good on the surface, but the ugly truth is lurking just underneath.

With the cosmetic rewire you get a brand new switchboard, new power point fittings and switches and light fittings, and everything that’s visible looks shiny and new.

You even get a few short pieces of brand new cable disappearing up into the roof space.

Unfortunately those pieces of new cable are all joined to the old cable that’s still crumbling away in the ceiling.

It’s the same story with the switches and power points.  The fittings are new but they are still connected to the old wiring.  Quite often that old wiring is in very poor condition and is a real safety issue.

The worst part is that often the home owner thinks their property has been properly rewired.  They believe their home is as safe as it can electrically be, with all the old dangerous cable gone for ever.

It’s a false sense of security based on false assumptions.

The home owner may have even paid for a complete rewire, but what they ended up with is quite different.

Cosmetic rewires are often found in homes that are offered for sale.

Potential buyers can see all the new fittings and they assume that everything is new.  Sometimes the real estate agents are working under the same false assumptions as the home owner and advertise the property as being rewired.

To avoid being caught out by the Cosmetic Rewire you should always get a pre-purchase electrical inspection on any property you are considering buying.  An investment of $150 can save you thousands of dollars in unexpected costs.

To avoid paying for a Cosmetic Rewire of your existing home you should always deal with a reputable electrical contractor and get a detailed quote that sets out exactly what extent of work will be carried out.

For a free quote and advice on rewiring your home phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711

Send us a message here for a prompt reply

Rewiring Your Home. The Truth About Rewires – Part 1

Rewiring Your Home. The Truth About Rewires – Part 1

If you have an older home maybe you still have some older wiring in use as well.

These days all new wiring is thermoplastic insulated, with a life expectancy of at more than 40 years.  Older homes used a variety of cable types, all of which are now due for replacement.

The common types of original cable you might find in an older home include Lead, VIR and Rubber.

Lead insulated cables are well past their use-by date and can cause dangerous situations.  We recommend that all lead cable be replaced or disconnected immediately.

VIR is a cloth insulated cable installed in a split metal conduit.  The VIR system uses the conduit for earthing. Over time the insulation deteriorates and the conduit joints come apart and the earth connection is lost.

Rubber insulated cable becomes brittle as it ages and if disturbed the insulation just falls off, exposing bare wires.


All three cable types are potential fire and electric shock hazards.

The only way to safely upgrade these old cables is by rewiring your home..

A full rewire involves removing every piece of old cable and replacing it with new cable.  At the same time new switches and power point fittings are installed and the old fuse board is replaced with a new circuit breaker switchboard, with safety switches.

Your mains cables may also be replaced at this stage.  Your mains are the cables that go from your switchboards to the incoming power supply point.

Rewiring your home usually takes 3-5 days work to complete a full rewire with new mains and switchboard.

There are plenty of older homes in Launceston, so at Mance Electrical we do quite a few rewires, and we also see quite a few rewires done by others.

It’s obvious that all rewires are not created equal.

Some home owners think their house has been rewired – meaning completely and fully rewired, but the truth is often a little different.

 

The Cheapest Quote Rewire

One of the common situations we see is what we call the “Cheapest Quote Rewire”.

In the Cheapest Quote Rewire everything is done to the bare minimum.

The mains cables will probably be new, but the smallest possible size, with no room for expansion.

The switchboard will also be the bare minimum with no room for extra circuit breakers for additional circuits in the future.  Bad luck if you thought you might build on a couple of extra rooms later, or install a nice big heat pump.

An even cheaper trick is to leave your old mains cables in place and fit a load-limiting circuit breaker instead.  If you try and run your heater, oven and clothes dryer at the same time your power will overload and trip out.

The old cables may not be removed as required, due to the time that takes.  New cables will not be installed in a tidy manner and will not be clipped as required – again because of time constraints.

Much of the work may be done by unsupervised apprentices rather than qualified tradesmen.  Regulations are conveniently forgotten in the rush to get the job finished quickly.

With the cheapest quote rewire there is not enough time allowed to do a quality job.  The object is to win the job by putting in the cheapest price and then do it as quickly and cheaply as possible.

There are other types of rewire that are not quite what they seem.  Things might look good on the surface, but there might be an ugly truth lurking underneath

Click here for The Truth About Home Rewires Part 2 – The Cosmetic Rewire

Click here for The Truth About Home Rewires Part 3 – The Too Hard Basket Rewire

 

For a free quote on a “proper” rewire phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711

Or send us a message using the form below

Generators Are Lost Opportunity For Tasmania

Generators Are Lost Opportunity For Tasmania

Hydro Tasmania’s greed and mismanagement, the failure of the Basslink cable and an unexpected drought have brought power generation in Tasmania to a crisis point.

We are now in panic mode with large industrial users cutting production and emergency measures in place.

Hydro Tasmania has committed $44 million to hire up to 200 hundred diesel generators and has predicted up to $22 million a month for fuel to run them.

If those figures are correct, after 3 months running the generators we will have spent $110 million.  And what will we have to show for it?  The generators will still belong to someone else and the diesel will have all gone up in smoke.

Imagine if Hydro Tasmania spent $110 million on solar panel installations across Tasmania.

That amount of money would be enough to put a 5.0kw system on over 12,200 homes across the state.

Or make every single government building, every hospital, every school, college and university, every local council building, all the museums and libraries, and every sports ground and community centre in the state, self sufficient in electricity for the next 25 years.

Spending the money in Tasmania would create hundreds of new jobs with a massive amount of work for solar installers, wholesalers and distributers, truck drivers, etc with the usual flow on effects running through the state economy.  The power saved by using solar generation could then be sold to the mainland, meaning no loss of revenue for the Hydro.

Under the present scheme, most of the money leaves the state.

The dire state of our water storages means there isn’t time to install that many panels before the water runs out.  Recent rains have been welcome but are only a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed.

Lake Gordon for example covers 272 square kilometres and is 43 metres down from it’s full level.  That is an absolutely colossal amount of water and will take years to refill.

The same weather that has brought the rain is also delaying the repair of the Basslink cable.

If the rain continues, we may just avoid the rolling power blackouts that will otherwise be required.  If power cuts do occur it will be a disaster for families and businesses alike.

How many people are well prepared to face a Tasmanian winter without power?

Some people are preparing by buying their own generators, but just owning a generator is not a straight forward replacement for mains power.

The small handyman generator will not power much more than your lights and your toaster.  It certainly won’t run your electric heater.

A generator large enough to run your home, including some of your heating, can be sourced for around $2,000.  That’s fine if you can afford it, but you can’t just run a cord out and plug it into your heat pump.

In order to use the power from your generator you need a generator inlet connected to your switchboard and a proper isolation switch to select between mains and generator power and avoid causing safety issues for your neighbours.

Click here for more info on generators and generator inlets.

Click here for more info on solar panel installation.

There is no easy fix to the power problems we face at the moment. Let’s hope the rain continues, the Basslink cable is repaired and that those responsible for this debacle are held properly accountable.

For advice and quotes on solar panels and generator inlets phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711.

Or email us at admin@manceelectrical.com.au