Serving Newcastle & The Hunter Valley

The ins and outs of house electrical wiring

24 September 2016

It’s important to understand how your house electrical wiring works to identify potential issues and know when to call in the professionals before small issues become big problems.

In most states in Australia you must have a license to undertake any electrical work in your home. That’s not only to ensure your safety, but also helps to protect you against shoddy work carried out by an unlicensed tradesperson.

While you’ll need to hire a licensed electrician for most electrical work in your home, it helps to understand how your house electrical wiring works to identify potential issues and know when to call in the professionals before small issues become big problems.

Here are the answers to the most common questions about house electrical wiring:

What type of meter do I have?

Your main power line is usually connected to the electrical meter which is most often installed on the exterior of your home. This is used to measure how much electricity your home is using, and will be periodically checked by meter-readers from your energy supplier. Older meters are mechanical with spinning wheels that indicate your power usage, while some new models provide digital displays.

There are two common types of meters:

1. Interval meters: These provide detailed information about your electricity usage by recording how much energy is used in 30-minute intervals with different rates applied during various time periods throughout the day.

2. Accumulation meters: These are also known as flat rate metres and measure only your accumulated electricity usage.

How do I turn the power off?

Electricity is controlled and distributed through your fusebox. This is also where you’ll find the main switch that controls all the electricity coming in your home. Switch if off to completely stop the flow of electricity into your home in the case of an emergency or when doing work near electrical wiring.

What happens in a power overload?

Certain household appliances can sometimes cause a power overload. Circuit breakers — also found in your fusebox — are a key safety measure that detect faults or overloads and automatically turn off the power supply to affected zones.

When a circuit breaker turns off — or ‘trips’ — often the problem is with a certain appliance that has overloaded the system. Identify the appliance, turn it off, then reset the circuit breaker switch in the fusebox. If the power fails to turn back on, you’ll need to call a licensed electrician to identify and fix the problem.

Don’t try this at home

Beyond resetting a circuit breaker due to a basic power overload caused by a household appliance, it’s important not to try to do any house electrical wiring yourself. Not only is this illegal if you are not a licensed professional, but it could also put your safety at serious risk. Rather, call in a licensed electrician to ensure the job is done right.

 

For assistance with electrical wiring in Newcastle or the Hunter call GKT Group on 1300 766 324.

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