Why It’s Good To Have A Flat Bottom

Why It’s Good To Have A Flat Bottom

When it comes to cooking pots, a flat bottom works best.

A client called us recently to complain that their hotplates were slow to heat up and that it took a long time to cook anything on the stove top.

We did the usual tests of the elements and simmerstat controls and checked for heat damaged wiring under the hob.

Everything seemed to be in good order and working correctly so the client offered to give us a demonstration. A pot was filled with water and the hotplate was turned up high.

The water did take quite a while to heat up yet the hotplate tested fine again. Our technician then noticed that the bottom of the pot was quite curved, so that most of the base of the pot was not actually touching the hotplate.

Further investigation found that a couple more of the client’s pots had a similar curve of the base.

If the bottom of the pot is not flat and not touching the hotplate then the heat does not transfer well from the hotplate to the pot.

A curved pot will still work but it takes longer to heat up and may not get as hot as it could.

This also means a higher cost of using the hotplates as they will always be running longer in order to achieve the desired result.

In this case, the client opted for a new set of pots and the problem was solved.

Using a pot that is too large and hangs over the side of the hotplate element can also give slow cooking times. Always use the appropriate sized pot for each element.

If you have the opposite problem with a hotplate that is just too hot, to click here see our previous blog post on how to fix that problem.

If you need your hotplates repaired in a hurry, or some free advice on how one to deal with an electrical problem of any kind, phone Mance Electrical Launceston on 6331 4711.

Installing Solar Panels On Mance Electrical Workshop (Video)

Installing Solar Panels On Mance Electrical Workshop (Video)

See the Mance Electrical team installing 40 solar panels on our workshop roof.

The process begins with installation of the support rails.  These must be leveled and spaced correctly to support the solar panels.

Once the rails are in place, the panels are fixed down with brackets that clamp to the rails.  The power and earth cables are installed, along with the required isolation switches.

The inverter is mounted in the appropriate location within the building and the cables from the solar panels are connected to the inverter.

The inverter takes the DC power from the solar panels and converts it AC power which can be used in your home or business.

Click here to check out our previous blog post to see how well our system performed for the first three months.

Solar power works.  You can get electricity free from the sun.  For more information and free quotation and avice call us at Mance Electrical Launceston on 6331 4711.


Kill Your Power Bill With Solar Panels

Kill Your Power Bill With Solar Panels

I was quite excited when our latest power bill finally arrived in the mail.

It was our first full quarter since we installed solar panels on our workshop.  For the first time ever I was actually looking forward to opening it. I tore open the envelope, and was immediately quite disappointed.

Hmmm, we still have to pay over $800.  I thought we’d do better than that…

Then I had a closer look and realised it was $858.00 in credit.

Alright!  That’s more like it!

The 40 solar panels on the roof had generated around $1,100 worth of excess power from September to December in Launceston spring weather.  Aurora fees associated with the installation were around $250.

The next three months should be even better, with a nice hot Tassie summer on the way.  We will need the extra credits to get us through the winter as we do use a lot of power for heating.

If our calculations are correct, our 10 kilowatts of solar panels should reduce our annual power bill to zero.

We were lucky enough to install our solar panels in time to take advantage of the generous 28 cent feed-in tariff, which has now ended.

Even so, solar panels are still a good idea for Launceston businesses and homes that use most of their power during the day.   Check back here again soon as we’ll explore the financial returns in more detail in an upcoming blog post.

Would you like a free onsite assessment and a fixed price quotation by an experienced and accredited tradesman – the guy who is actually going to install the solar panels – rather than a door to door salesman?

If you’d like to get excited about your next power bill, phone Mance Electrical Launceston on 6331 4711.





Common Oven Repairs – Door Seals And Hinges

Common Oven Repairs – Door Seals And Hinges

Is Your Oven Slow To Heat Up? Does It Seem To Take Ages To Cook Something Properly?

If your oven is heating up but taking a long time to get to the correct temperature then the element is probably ok.  Elements usually tend to work or fail, not operate at half power.

Check The Thermostat
The problem could be the thermostat, and you can check that yourself if you have a cooking thermometer.  Place the thermometer in the oven, set the oven thermostat to 180 degrees and when the oven indicator light goes out, check the temperature on the thermometer.  It might not read exactly 180 degrees but it should be fairly close.  If it is substantially different then the thermostat will probably need replacing.

Check The Door Seals
Another common cause of your oven being slow to heat up and taking a long time to cook your food is a faulty door seal.  A damaged or missing or poorly fitting door seal can allow much of the heat to escape, resulting in slower cooking times.

Door seals are fairly easy to replace and you can do it yourself as long as you get the correct spare part.  To get the correct part you will need the model number of your oven.

Find The Model Number

Getting the model number is not always as easy as it should be, as most manufacturers seem to either hide this valuable information, or put it on a sticker that is designed to fade and become illegible soon after purchase.  Check for stickers inside the oven or grill door, or on the back the removable kick panel below the oven door. If you are lucky enough to locate and actually decipher a model number you have a good chance of getting the right door seal.

Check The Door Hinges
Loose or worn door hinges are another common cause of heat loss that results in slow cooking times.  The oven door hinges may be worn out if you can see a gap at the top of the door, and the door does not close firmly against the body of the oven.  You may also need to change the door hinge guides, which are inside the oven body.  New hinges won’t make a lot of difference if worn out hinge guides are not replaced.

Once again, having the model number of the oven, not just the model name, will be important for getting the correct parts.

If you are losing heat from your oven due to worn hinges or a faulty door seal then it’s also costing you money in extra power used due to the extended cooking times.

If you are having problems with slow cooking times and low oven temperatures, or need any oven repairs fixed as quickly as possible …

Phone Mance Electrical Launceston on 6331 4711 for same day repairs to your cooking appliances, including all makes and models of oven, stove and hotplates.






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.




How Much Electricity Would You Need To Make 1.75 Million Cups Of Tea At Once?

How Much Electricity Would You Need To Make 1.75 Million Cups Of Tea At Once?


Every week day at 7.00pm the British National Grid Control Centre braces for a once off, massive surge in electricity demand.

As the credits roll on the evening’s episode of Eastenders, up to 1.75 million Britons head to the kitchen to make a cup of tea.

The surge in demand is met by bringing online fast acting hydro electric power stations in Scotland and Wales and also power imported from France. The peak lasts for less than 15 minutes but the additional demand can be as high as three thousand million watts.

Other countries experience similar “TV Pickups” during commercial breaks in major sporting broadcasts, requiring the power supply authorities to carefully manage their output to meet the peak demands.

In Australia the affect is apparently less noticeable and is due to a combination of electric kettles and the opening of fridge doors.

Have you ever tried to save a little time and possibly a little power by filling your kettle with water from the hot tap?  The best way to save power and have a great cup of tea is to start with cold water and only fill the kettle with as much water as you need for the drinks you are about to make.

Tea connoisseurs say that the lower oxygen content of preheated water, along with mineral deposits that build up in your hot water cylinder can affect the taste of your tea.

It’s a good idea to give your kettle a rinse out occasionally too, as minerals, calcium and other water additives are left behind as the water boils away and can become more concentrated over time if not removed.

Different types of tea respond better to different temperature water and generally the lighter teas should be made with water that has cooled slightly after boiling, while darker teas need hotter water to bring out their full flavour.

Adjusting the amount of water you boil in your kettle won’t make a huge difference to your power bill if you just do it once, but the trick to reducing your power bill is doing a few of the right things every day.  All the little savings add up to real money when done consistently over a period of time.

For more power saving and money saving ideas, including many no cost and low cost ideas, head to www.savepowersavemoney.com.au and download our free ebook.

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