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

The Dangers Of Halogen Downlights

The Dangers Of Halogen Downlights

Incorrectly Installed Downlights Are A Fire Hazard

Across Australia, hundreds of homes have been damaged or even completely destroyed by fire caused by old style halogen downlights.

There are millions of the lights still in use across the country and many of them are just a disaster waiting to happen.

The problem with these lights is the heat they generate during normal operation.  The lamps can burn at over 300 degrees C which is plenty hot enough to start a fire in your ceiling.

Due to the potential problems there are strict regulations for installing these lights.  But as so often happens in our industry these regulations are ignored to cut costs or just because the installer doesn’t know what they are doing.

The old style downlights must be installed at the correct distance from flammable building materials such as timber joists, and they must be protected to prevent them being covered by insulation.

We have seen plenty of cases where a wooden beam or ceiling truss has been partly cut away to allow the installation of a downlight fitting, and the timber black and charred as a result of the lamp being so close.

 

Downlights that are covered by insulation are particularly dangerous as the lamp heat is trapped and concentrated in the one area.  Insulation installers generally don’t have a good reputation for dealing correctly with halogen downlights, and once again cost cutting is probably a major factor.

The insulation installer is on a fixed price and many of the workers have no training in the correct safety procedures.

Even where metal insulation rings are installed as required, we have seem pump-in insulation and batts totally covering lights and creating a dangerous fire hazard.

Even if the lights are installed correctly they can still be the cause of a fire.  Birds, mice or rats nesting in your roof space can carry in grass and paper and other flammable materials and build their nest over your lights.  Rats especially like nesting near downlights due to the warmth they generate.

It is possible to purchase fire guarded downlight fittings or guards that you can retrofit to an existing light, but these days they are not the best solution.

Replacing your old halogen downlights with new LED downlights is definitely the way to go.

LED downlights are now very reasonably priced, they use up to 80% less energy, run very cool in comparison and can be installed close to flammable materials and even covered by insulation in some cases.

Click Here to see our post on the advantages of LED downlights

If you have old halogen downlights in your home, you should consider replacing these potentially dangerous fittings, or at least get them checked to make sure you’re not about to have a serious problem to have a problem.

For advice and a free quotation on replacing your old halogen downlights phone Mance Electrical Launceston on 6331 4711

Do You Guys Do  ….. ?

Do You Guys Do ….. ?

We often get asked what kind of electrical work we do, and the answer is “Almost Everything”

 

“Do you guys do heat pumps?”   “Do you guys do domestic work?”

We often get asked if we do a specific type of electrical job and in most cases the answer is yes, because there is very little that we don’t do.

To give you an idea of the wide range of services we offer, here is a list of the jobs and electrical repairs we’ve attended in the Launceston area in the last few days:

  • Repaired the star on top of the Christmas tree in the Brisbane Street Mall
  • Supplied and installed 2 new ovens
  • Installed phone and computer points in a new office
  • Checked the furnace controls in a brass foundry
  • Carried out a 6-month safety check to allow for reconnection of power
  • Repaired a clients lights by turning up their dimmer
  • Replaced an old fuse board with a new circuit breaker switchboard
  • Installed solar panels on 2 homes in Launceston
  • Removed a dead mouse from behind some hotplates
  • Calibrated the additive systems at 5 concrete plants
  • Changed old style down lights to new LED lights
  • Installed new LED sensor lights
  • Repaired 4 hotplates
  • Replaced 2 smoke alarms
  • Wired and installed 16 new power points, including outdoor power points
  • Roughed in wiring for a new shed
  • Provided temporary power for an outdoor event

… and many more small repairs and quotes

 

So if you ask us “Do You Guys Do … ?” the answer is likely to be “YES!”

Click here to check out our Services Page for a more comprehensive listing of the range of services you can access to solve your electrical problems. If you require a service that is not listed, we probably can still do it. so just pick up the phone and ask.

 

 

Phone Mance Electrical Launceston on 6331 4711

 

Solar Panels Take Over Japanese Golf Courses

Solar Panels Take Over Japanese Golf Courses

Japan Turns Disused Golf Courses Into Solar Farms

In the 1980s the Japanese economy was booming and successful business people took up golf in huge numbers.

Golf was a prestigious and expensive hobby and golfer numbers reached a peak of over 14 million players.  New courses were constructed all over the country to meet the strong demand.

The Japanese economy has been stagnant in the decades since then and golfer numbers have declined by over 40%. The result is a glut of disused or under-utilised golf courses.

Solar panel manufacturer Kyocera has found a new use for some of these old golf courses, turning them into solar farms.

A 23 megawatt plant is currently under construction near Kyoto and there are plans for other installations, including a 93 megawatt plant that will power over 30,000 homes.

Since the Fukashima nuclear disaster there has been a surge of interest in renewable energy.  The former golf courses are ideal areas for solar panel installations and the number of solar farms will definitely increase in the future.

For something a little closer to home, check out our video showing the installation of solar panels on the Mance Electrical workshop.  The panels have been in place for just over a year, and every power bill we have received since then has been a credit!

For a free quote and a detailed, site-specific assessment and proposal, phone Mance Electrical Launceston on 6331 4711.

Your High Power Bill Is Probably Due To High Power Usage

Your High Power Bill Is Probably Due To High Power Usage

Have you ever had a nasty shock when they received your power bill?

Maybe your  first reaction was “How could it be so high?  Surely there must be some mistake!”

There are unusual situations that could lead to a high power bill, however 99% of high power bills are due to high power usage.

We’ve done many investigations for clients who have received an unusually high power bill. Sometimes we find there has been an error with the meter reading.

Occasionally we’ve  found instances where one person has been paying for someone else’s power.  These are rare occasions, and always occur in multi- tenancy buildings.

The most common thing that catches people out is excessive use of electric heaters.

Most people underestimate the amount they run their heaters, and they aren’t aware of the running costs.

We have seen clients with quarterly power bills of more than $2,000 simply because they didn’t understand the cost of running their appliances.

It’s easy for costs to escalate quickly if you don’t know the best ways to manage your power use.

Very soon, Mance Electrical will be releasing a free guide to help you identify how much  power your various appliances are using, so you can manage your power consumption to get the lowest possible power bill.

In the mean time, click here to download our free report which has 43 different ways to reduce you power bill, including many low cost and no cost ideas.

www.savepowersavemoney.com.au

Home Automation Horror Stories

Home Automation Horror Stories

 

 Home Automation systems are great, when they work …

Lately we have seen a couple of instances where home automation systems have been a nightmare for the home owners.

 

But what is home automation?  

The term refers to computerised control systems installed to remotely operate electrical items in your home, such as lights, power points, heaters and other appliances.

In some ways it’s difficult to explain exactly what home automation is, because it can be almost anything you want.

Typically these systems will have pre-programmed modes for common situations.  For example you can hit a “goodbye button” as you leave the house, which could lower the heating thermostat, turn on the outside lights, open the garage door and set the security alarm.

You can also make your own programs to suit your particular circumstances.  For example you might create  a mode for when you watch a movie on TV.  The lights in the room could dim to a certain level, the automatic curtains close and the surround sound system turns on.

 

Problems with old systems

There are many fun and convenient things you can do with home automation, but when things go wrong with an older system, it’s definitely not fun.

One popular home automation system that was reasonable widely installed a few years ago now seems to have disappeared completely.  Googling the product name brings very few results.  The manufacturer’s website has no mention of the product.

Good luck with finding parts and someone who is familiar with that system if repairs are required.

Another well known supplier of home automation products is still around and still selling the product, but the components can be quite expensive.

 

What could possibly go wrong?

One of our clients reported their lights coming on by themselves and flickering.  We suspect a fault in the dimmer module that controls the lights, however the client will now need a specialist technician to confirm the fault.  The cost of new parts is likely to be over $1,000.

Another client their went away on holiday for a few weeks.  While they were gone the home automation system turned on the garden sprinkler system and never turned it off. Two neighbouring properties were flooded.

 

Specialist wiring

Most home automation systems require specific power wiring and data cabling.  So even if you decide to pull out the home automation system, it probably won’t be cheap or easy to revert to a normal wiring system.

If you are thinking about buying a property with a home automation system installed, do a bit of research to find out if spare parts and local technicians are available when the inevitable repairs are required.

Be aware that problems with a home automation system could be expensive and difficult to fix.

 

The future

There is a new generation of home automation devices that don’t require specialist cabling or highly trained technicians.  In fact, the control modules are wireless and can just be plugged into an existing power point.  Stay tuned for a future blog post where we’ll explore this cheaper and easier alternative in more depth.

In the mean time if you have any electrical problems at you home, including with a home automation system, please  call your Launceston electrician, Mance Electrical on  6331 4711.