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When Do You Need to Get an Electrical Inspection in Nelson?

Posted on 28 August, 2016 at 19:30 Comments comments (6)

There are quite a few instances when it is recommended you get an electrical inspection done and most electricians in Nelson will perform electrical safety checks to make sure that your home’s wiring and other electrical components are in good working order and do not pose a hazard to you or your family. Here are some of those instances:

Before you commit to buying a house 

A house is a huge financial commitment so if you can find out as much as you can about the property first, it could save you money later on and prevent major problems. An electrical inspection done by licenced qualified electricians in Nelson can also help you negotiate a lower price if you find any property faults.

An electrical inspection can sometimes be included in the overall pre-purchase property inspection report (or building inspection) you get, which will cover things like plumbing, heating, kitchen appliances, fire safety, foundations and more. However, you should not just expect this to be the case, you must ask if they include electricians in Nelson who are licensed and qualified to perform the required inspection.

A building inspector will not normally inspect electrical wiring and smoke alarms, yet these things are extremely important and should be checked before committing to buying a home in Nelson. If your building inspection does not cover the cost electrical aspects it is recommended that you get a qualified Master electrician in Nelson to look at the wiring, test the outlets, check the electrical panel, look at smoke alarms and test the ground fault circuit interrupters.

If your house is old or you have any concerns

If you have been experiencing any electrical problems like regular power outages and blown fuses you should consider calling qualified electricians in Nelson as it can identify any electrical safety problems or deficiencies. It should reveal if any electrical circuits or appliances are overloaded, if there has been any defective work carried out or if there are any problems with the earthing.

Other reasons to have an electrical inspection carried out include:

● If the house is over 25 years old.

● If you have old wiring.

● If any DIY work has been carried out.

On a regular basis after buying a house

Even if you have been in your home for some time, you still need electrical inspections. Your local Electrician Nelson will recommend an inspection at least every five years.

You may not know that householders in Nelson NZ actually have a legal responsibility to have a safe home. This includes using electricity in a safe manner.

These include:

Keeping up regular maintenance.

Getting a certificate of compliance if electrical work is carried out on the property.

Considering installing safety switches.

Contacting your landlord immediately if there are any electrical problems.

Follow these steps and always err on the side of caution when it comes to electricity, as a delayed inspection can have hazardous consequences. Call your local electrician in Nelson to arrange a safety inspection.

8 Most Dangerous Home Electrical Hazards

Posted on 28 August, 2016 at 19:10 Comments comments (0)

With our modern reliance on electricity, there are potential electrical safety hazards in any home, office, or factory. Fortunately, these hazards can be eliminated or reduced by staying aware and taking steps to eliminate their dangers, ideally with the assistance of an electrician in Nelson. These are eight of the most dangerous electrical hazards that could arise in any Nelson home.


1. Poor Wiring and Defective Electric Wires:

Good quality wiring that conforms to safety standards is vital for safety. Poor wiring can increase chance of fire, power surges, arc faults, and other serious consequences. For this reason, it’s always best to avoid do-it-yourself electrical work and get a professional qualified registered Master electrician in Nelson to perform electrical wiring around the house.

Damaged, worn, cracked or corroded electrical wires can increase the chance of electrical accidents. Have a qualified electrician in Nelson check your wiring on a regular basis to ensure wiring is safe. If you need to, upgrade and replace old and faulty wires.

Some hazards include:

Loose or improper connections, such as electrical outlets or switches

Frayed appliance or extension cords

Pinched or pierced wire insulation, which could occur from, for example, a chair leg sitting on an extension cord

Cracked wire insulation caused by heat, age, corrosion or bending

Overheated wires or cords

Damaged electrical appliances

Electrical wire that has been chewed by rodents

2. Outlets Close to Water

Outlets in bathrooms, kitchens, and other living areas with water should be installed a fair distance away from the water source. As water conducts electricity, keeping outlets away from water reduces the chance of electric shock.

Never use a radio, hair dryer, phone, or other device in the bath, near the pool, or anywhere with a wet floor.

3. Wet Hands

Similarly, electrical appliances should never be handled with wet hands as this heightens the chance of getting an electric shock. Yet too many of us tend to reach for the hair dryer with wet hands out of the shower. Keep appliances far away from sinks, bathtubs, showers, and taps.

4. Pouring Water on Electrical Fires

A common error is pouring water on electrical fires. If an electrical fire does occur, avoid pouring water on the flames as water will further fuel the fire and could cause electrocution. Keep a fire extinguisher on site if you’re worried about electrical fires and use that instead of water in times of emergency. If you don’t have one nearby, turn off your electrical power, evacuate your home and call the fire brigade.

5. Inquisitive Young Children

Young babies and toddlers tend to be extremely inquisitive and keen to explore their world. While it’s always best to supervise children of this age all the time, parents and adults expecting children at their house can take extra measures to protect young children.

Any electrical outlet at their height and within their reach can be protected with plastic closures. These fit straight over the socket, prevent sharp objects and fingers from going into the socket. Unprotected sockets can lead to serious injury.

6. Extension Cords

Extension cords should be carefully fixed in place where possible to reduce the chance of tripping or accident. Use plastic socket closures on unused sockets. Don’t use extension cords as a permanent substitute for additional power sockets, and avoid using them for too many appliances at once.

7. Lightbulbs

We don’t often think of lightbulbs as being electrical hazards, but the potential for an electrical fire arises when lightbulbs are kept near flammable materials. These can include beds, drapes, plastics, or other items such as upholstery.

Lights, like all sources of electricity, can also cause electric shock, so ensure you always turn the light switch off before replacing a light bulb, and never replace a light bulb or touch a light switch with wet hands. Always ensure you use a light bulb with the correct wattage to prevent overheating.

8. Covered Electrical Cords and Wires

Heavy covering of wires can cause the cords to overheat, which could lead to an electrical fire. Keep cords and wires away from other items and keep them uncovered.

Similarly, make sure that items like computers and televisions have enough space around them for ventilation, to prevent them from overheating.


One of the best ways to reduce risk of death from electric shock in your home is to install a safety switch, also called a residual current device (RCD). However, never try to do any electrical work on your own. If you think there are hazards present in your home, contact a licensed electrician in Nelson to help you resolve them.

The Importance of 'Earthing' Electrical Currents

Posted on 28 August, 2016 at 18:50 Comments comments (0)

Humans have made some truly remarkable discoveries in the electrical field, and one extremely important lesson has been the importance of earthing electrical currents.  An Electrician in Nelson is required to provide earthing to the NZ standards. Electricity has provided countless benefits to people, but it still remains one of the most deadly elements readily available in our daily lives, and unless you have earthed your electrical systems you are taking a rather large risk.

In an electrical circuit, there is what’s known as a active wire, which supplies the power, and a neutral wire, which carries that current back. An additional ‘earthing wire’ can be attached to outlets and other electrical devices and also securely connected to the ground at the switchboard. This earth wire is an additional path for electrical current to return safely to the ground without danger to anyone in the event of a short circuit. If a short circuit did occur, the current would flow through the earth wire, causing a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker – an outcome much more preferable than the fatal shock that could result if the current was not earthed. This has been law for electricians in Nelson for many years.


The following is a look at some of the main reasons why earthing electrical currents is so important.


One of the most important reasons for grounding electrical currents is that it protects your appliances, your home and everyone in it from surges in electricity. If lightning was to strike or the power was to surge at your place for whatever reason, this produces dangerously high voltages of electricity in your system. If your electrical system is grounded, all of that excess electricity will go into the earth — rather than frying everything connected to your system.


Having your electrical system grounded means you will be making it easy for power to be directed straight to wherever you need it, allowing electrical currents to safely and efficiently travel throughout your electrical system.


An earthed electrical system also makes it easier for the right amount of power to be distributed to all the right places, which can play a huge role in helping to ensure circuits aren’t overloaded and blown. The earth provides a common reference point for the many voltage sources in an electrical system.


One of the reasons why grounding helps to keep you safe is because the earth is such a great conductor, and because excess electricity will always take the path of least resistance. By earthing your electrical system, you are giving it somewhere to go other than into you – possibly saving your life.


Without a properly earthed electrical system, you are risking any appliances you have connected to your system being fried beyond repair. In the worst-case scenario, an overload of power can even cause a fire to start, risking not just extensive property and data loss but physical injury as well.


It’s clear that earthingelectrical work is a smart move, but how does it work?

In most homes, the wiring system is permanently earthed to a metal rod driven into the ground or a metal pipe extending into the house from an underground water-supply system. A copper conductor connects the pipe or rod to a set of terminals for ground connections in the service panel. For wiring systems that use electrical cable covered in metal, the metal usually serves as the ground conductor between wall outlets and the service panel.

In wiring systems that use plastic-sheathed cable, an extra wire is used for earthing. Since electricity is always looking for the shortest path back to the earth, if there is a problem where the neutral wire is broken or interrupted, the grounding wire provides a direct path to the ground. Through this direct physical connection, the earth acts as a path of least resistance, preventing a person from becoming the shortest path, and suffering a serious electric shock.


You can usually tell whether your electrical system is earthed by checking your power outlets. If they accept plugs with three prongs, your system should have three wires, one of which is a earth wire.

Similarly, an appliance designed to be earthed is equipped with a three-wire cord and a three-pronged plug. The third wire and prong provide the ground link between the metal frame of the appliance and the grounding of the wiring system.


When dealing with appliances, make sure you:

Do not touch an appliance if its cord’s insulation has begun to wear away where it enters the metal frame. In this situation, contact between the metal current conductor and the metal frame could make the whole appliance alive with electricity, and touching the appliance could cause the current to surge through you.

Inspect, maintain, and organise repairs of wires where they enter a metal pipe, an appliance, or where in-wall cables enter a switchboard.

The best thing you can do to create a safe electrical system is to ensure the whole system is earthed and the earth circuit is electrically continuous.

Earthing your electrical system is a smart and easy way to make it a whole lot safer, as well as to protect against the very real possibility of having to deal with fluctuations in power supply. If you want to safeguard all of your important assets, whether at home or at the office, as well as look out for the health and safety of everyone around you, find out if your electrical system is earthed — and if it is not, get it done.

Talk to your electrician

If you are still unsure about the importance of earthing electricity, or are just not 100% certain whether or not the electrical system at your place is earthed properly, have your local electrician come and do a check of your home or office wiring. If you need alterations done, you need to call a qualified registered NZ electrician in Nelson to conduct the upgrades for you. 

How Much Power is Needed to Run an Average Home in Nelson?

Posted on 28 August, 2016 at 18:40 Comments comments (1)

Modern homes in Nelson use far more electrical appliances than ever before, and as a result, much more power is required to be able to run the average home. Advancements in insulation and modern technology have gone a long way towards making the absolute most of our power usage, but when it comes down to it, there are still several ways that we can reduce our power usage. The following is a brief look at how much energy is required to run an average home, as well as some of the ways to minimise the amount you are using.

Obviously, the amount of power it takes to run a home will vary considerably based on the way you live and the amount of electrical appliances, temperature control and so on that you use on a regular basis. It could also depend upon:

how big your residence is

the number of people living there

the type and number of appliances

when and how appliances are used

whether you have a pool, spa, air conditioner or other energy-hungry devices

the climate you live in (and therefore whether you need to use more heating than other places)


It’s relatively easy to figure out how much electricity your appliances use if you know their wattage. The wattage is usually printed on the appliance or its packaging, and is followed by a ‘W’ for watts or ‘kW’ for kilowatts. This will tell you how much electricity the appliance will use for each hour that it is running. Here are some examples to help you get an idea of the amount of energy popular electrical items use.

Light bulb — A 100 watt light bulb would use 1 kWh in 10 hours

Electric oven — Set at 180C for 1 hour, an electric oven uses around 2 kWh

Crock pot — Set at 95C for 7 hours, a crock-pot uses around 0.70 kWh

Toaster oven — Set at 180C for 1 hour, a toaster oven uses 0.33 kWh

Microwave oven — Set on High for 15 minutes, a microwave oven will use 0.36 kWh

Electric oven (convection) — Set at 165C for 45 minutes, an electric convection oven will use 1.39 kWh

Refrigerator (pre-1976) — 2200 kWh

Refrigerator (1992) — 1100 kWh

CEE Tier 3 refrigerator — 425 kWh

Desktop computer — 60-250 watts per hour

Desktop computer (on sleep mode) — 1-6 watts per hour

Laptop computer — 15-45 watts per hour, or 72 kWh per year

LCD monitor (20-24”;) — 18-72 watts per hour

Washing machine (hot/warm water setting) — 4.5 kWh per load

Washing machine (cold water setting) — 0.3 kWh per load

Television — 200 watt TV used for 6 hours = 1.2 kWh

Fan — 2400 watt fan used for 8 hours = 19.2 kWh

Phone charger — charging a phone for a year = 2kWh

The average Nelson house uses 18 kWh per day, and 6,570 kWh per year.

While the volumes may vary considerably, on average  use 38 per cent of their home energy on heating and cooling, 25 per cent on water heating, 16 per cent on electronics and appliances, 7 per cent on fridges and freezers, 7 per cent on lighting, 4 per cent on cooking and 3 per cent on stand-by power.


Considering that humans lived for thousands of years without electricity and survived just fine, it is incredible to see how addicted to electricity people have become. Most of us feel lost in a blackout.

But electricity isn’t magic, and it requires a lot of natural resources to make it work. So conserving energy is not only good for your power bills, it will help reduce the carbon emissions that we are releasing into the atmosphere.

There are plenty of easy ways to be responsible with your power usage and conserve energy in your home.

Here are a few of the things you can do to reduce your home’s power usage:

Wash your clothes in cold water

Set your computer to automatically switch to ‘sleep’ mode when not in use

Make better use of natural light

Watch less television

Take shorter showers

Re-insulate your home

Minimise your air-conditioning use

Switch appliances off at the wall when they aren’t in use

Use a lamp instead of a main light when you only need a small amount of light

Use energy-saving bulbs, like compact fluorescent globes

Always turn off lights in rooms you aren’t using

Use an electric kettle to boil water rather than the stove

Only run the dishwasher when it’s full, and use the economy cycle where possible

Dry clothes naturally rather than in the dryer where possible

Dress appropriately for the seasons, rather than immediately turning to air conditioners or heaters

Insulate your roof

Set your fridge to 4 or 5 degrees and your freezer to between -15 and -18 degrees

For more tips and ideas on how to reduce your electricity usage, call your local electrician in Nelson.


Master Electricians in Nelson

Posted on 14 September, 2014 at 19:00 Comments comments (0)

For all electrical work in your home, beyond changing a lightbulb, it is vital that you consult a qualified registered NZ electrician.


No matter what electrical job you need doing in your home in Nelson, a registered qualified electrician will be able to help you.


What an Electrician Does


Electricians work with all of the electrical components of the house. Electrical services they provide include but by no means are limited to:


Electrical rewiring: Your home may need to be rewired, either partially or fully, if you live in an older house in Nelson and all electrical cicruits or power points will need to be replaced. This is more common in old buildings and properties which were poorly wired during consutrction. Due to limited access, brick buildings tend to be costlier to rewire.


Electrical repairs: From time to time, the electrical outlets in your home will need to be repaired. a licensed electrician can assist with all electrical repairs including replacing power points and repairing wiring.


RCD Safety switches: Residual Current Device, these protect you and your family from faulty appliances and damaged wiring. The RCD safety switch works by monitoring the flow of electricity through a circuit and trip when the electrical current escapes from the system.


Lighting: If you need lights installed or repaired in your home or commercial premises, a qualified electrician can help. Whether you have LED, track, fluorescene, neon, halogen or flood lights or would prefer downlights or garden lights, security lighting, an electrician can help with installation and repair.


Wiring a new home: If you are building a new home, you will need an registered qualified electrician for wiring and installing all the electrical circuits and outlets. Proper planning and consultation will ensure you have an electrical system that suits the layout and design of your new home.


Power points: A registered qualified electrician will be able to consult on the amount of power points you need and their placement in the home.


Switchboards / Fuseboards in Nelson : These route electricity around a building and this is where circuit breakers and RCD safety switches are installed and they are designed to protect your circuits and from electrocution. Switchboards can also help to isolate faulty wiring and appliances.


Test and tag in Nelson: This involves testing and labelling electrical equipment so that the electrician can identify and repair faulty items. Electrical test and tag equipment can also detect insulation deficiencies and earth leakages.


Renovations in Nelson: If you are renovating your home or commercial premises in or around Nelson an electrician will need to be consulted to install or remove power points, socket outlets and lighting. Electricians can also assist with routing new wiring and installing switchboards in the newly renovated rooms and additions / alterations.


Solar Power Nelson: Installing a solar power system can help improve the energy efficiency of your home and reduce your energy costs. Electricians who specialise in installing solar power units can advise on the most suitable option for your home.


Back Up Generators Nelson: It can be a good idea to install a back up generator to provide a back-up source of electricity in your home. You should buy a back up generator depending on how often you will need it. Your electrician will be able to advise on a suitable generator to suit your needs.


Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS): A UPS is a back-up system used to protect electrical equipment from surges and power failures. The system provides backup power to equipment such as modems, fax machines and computers.


Other tasks electricians can perform include:


Installing data cabling


Handling and installing fibre optic cables


Installing a home automation system


Installing home entertainment systems


Advising on and installing alarm systems / security systems


Installing electrical equipment e.g. water heaters and air conditioners


Selecting an Electrician


It is essential that your chosen electrician is fully qualified registered NZ electrician.


Will the professional provide a certificate compliance and electrical safety certificate? This states that the work that has been performed has been done by a professional and has been tested and is safe. It acts as a guarantee to you.


Also, ask for several quotes before selecting a professional electrician. It is very important that you are comfortable and confident with the person or company that is performing the work.

When You Should Call an Electrician in Nelson

Posted on 29 July, 2014 at 20:00 Comments comments (0)

When To Know You Should Call an Electrician


Unlike many home improvement projects, electrical work in Nelson must be carried out by a registered electrician . If you're unsure when to call an electrician, here are some of the instances that you should.


1: You are not sure what to do


You may fancy yourself as being quite handy and may have a couple of home improvement projects under your belt, but electrical work is in a league of its own. Wiring alone is complex enough to confound even some professional registered electricians.


More importantly, electrical work is highly dangerous and mistakes can lead to fire, injury, financial loss and death. If you know little or nothing about electricity, do not attempt to work on the problem alone. You should call a licensed registered NZ electrician.

2: The fuses or circuit breaker keep tripping


Does the power go out whenever you turn on any of your appliances? This could be a sign that your circuits are drawing too much current than they are able to carry. It may also mean there's a problem or damage with one of your home's circuits. Either way, this may indicate a serious problem with the electrical system and needs to be checked out by an electrician.

3: There are excessive extension cords and power bars in use


Do you sometimes trip over your carpet thanks to the many cables that snake underneath it? Or maybe your electrical socket outlets are overloaded with so many power cords that they're beginning to look like a spaghetti of cables? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you might not have enough electrical outlets installed in your home.


Apart from the risk of overloading your circuits, running cords under carpet is just dangerous. This can cause the cords to fray and turn into electrical hazards. Call an electrician to put in more electrical socket outlets, especially in areas of your home that need them. That way, you won't have to overload circuits or run cables under your carpet.


4: The lights keep flickering


There are usually three possible reasons why your lights keep flickering:


The bulb is loose.

The voltage is fluctuating.

There's something wrong with the switch or connection.

It's easy enough to check if a bulb is loose: if it's the only one that's flickering, then it probably just needs to be tightened up. But if the flickering isn't limited to one or even two bulbs, then there might be something else. If several bulbs are affected, then you may have to call an electrician because the answer won't be a straightforward one.


5: Socket outlets and switches feel hot or warm


Ever noticed if your home's socket outlets, switches, or any other surfaces with electrical systems under it feel warm to touch? Did you see if the surface of these switches and outlets have darkened? Do you sometimes feel a mild shock when you touch these surfaces? At the very least, the affected circuit may be overloaded. Make sure you contact an electrician the moment you notice any of these symptoms.


6: The electrical system and wiring is more than 25 years old


Exactly how old is your home in Nelson? If it's been around for more than 25 years, then you may have to get electrical wiring and switchboard upgraded because it's probably not meeting todays saftey standards. An upgrade is necessary not only because there have been advances since the electrical system was installed, but also because of aging and wear, which could be dangerous to you and your household.

Electrical Fire Safety Tips for homes in Nelson

Posted on 29 July, 2014 at 19:10 Comments comments (0)

Electrical Fire Safety Tips for the Home


Electrical fires are a huge danger in Nelson and electricians come accross very outdated dangerous unsafe switchboards that are in need of an immedaite upgrade to todays saftey standards. Unlike regular fires, which can be put out by water, electrical fires require a special kind of fire extinguisher before it can be put out. Water is unsafe to use because the electricity in the fire can be conducted to anything that the liquid touches. This means that anyone who gets wet can be electrocuted as well. the good news is, electrical fires can be prevented. Here are a few tips on how.


Do not overload socket outlets


Overloading power outlets by plugging multiple appliances in at a time through extension cords and multi power boards. Doing this overworks the electrical circuit and exposes your home to the risk of electrical fire. You can still use extension cords, but you'll have to pay attention to what you plug in.


Before plugging anything into your extension cord, check its current  rating, which is usually listed on the product's back or underside. The trick is to not plug in appliances that will collectively go over the extension cord's current rating. Exceeding this could cause the wall socket to overheat or even catch fire if there is insufficient protection installed in your switchboard due to old ceramic type fuse's having the wrong rated fuse wire put in them by mistake of the home owner.


To play it safe, use only one extension cord for each power outlet. Never plug an extension cord into another one.


Use only appliances that meet safety standards


The price of your electrical appliance doesn't guarantee its safety and quality. Instead, stick to devices that have been tested to meet safety guidelines. Choose appliances that carry safety testing certifications as these products provide better electrical safety in your home.


Get a RCD safety switch installed


Residual-Current Device Safety switch circuit breaker. It's an electrical safety device that monitors the flow of electricity coming in and out of a circuit. If the switch detects that there is a flow of current to the ground, like if a faulty appliance is plugged in or someone inserts a utensil into a toaster, the power supply will automatically shut off.  RCD Safety switches can cut the power supply in as little as only 30 milliseconds.


RCD safety switches save lives, which is why it has been a legal requirement for electricians to install them in new homes in Nelson since the 1990s. If your home was built before that time, then have a safety switch installed. Just make sure you test it every three months to ensure that it's functioning properly.


Keep a close eye on young children


If you have young children in your home, keep a close eye on them whenever you can. Do not let them play with power sockets, cords, and electrical appliances--especially ovens, space heaters, cookers, televisions, and other similar devices that can harm them. Because of this, you should see to it that all power outlets in your home have plastic socket covers.


Check for correct wattage of light bulbs before using them


Did you know that one of the common causes of electrical fires in Nelson is when people install a bulb with the wrong wattage? Placing a bulb with higher wattage could cause the light fitting and the circuit to overheat and start an electrical fire. As a result, you should always check that you have the right bulb. The information you need is on the bulb itself, so finding out shouldn't be a problem. If you're not sure, you can always ask and electrician.


Don't forget to look at the socket where the bulb is going to be installed. It should have a sticker that shows the maximum wattage.


Stop doing DIY electrical work


Changing a light bulb shouldn't be a too difficult. However, once the project becomes more complex, you should call an electrician instead of doing electrical work by yourself. Do-it-yourself (or DIY) electrical work is dangerous; if you do it wrong (and it's likely if you're not a certified electrician), you could cause a fire or get electrocuted. Most of all, certain unlicensed electrical work is against the law. 


Ensure proper ventilation of appliances


As a safety precaution, keep electrical appliances away from flammable material like clothes, carpets, and curtains. Electrical appliances commonly heat up when used after a while so you should ensure that there's enough space between the device and any combustible items.


Don't use appliances that smell, jolt, or emit heat


Does any of your power cords or electrical appliances feel unusually hot, cause minor shocks, or emanate a strange, metallic smell? If so, stop using them. These problems are probably caused by a short circuit in the appliance. Continued use could lead to overheating, further jolts, or even electrical fire.


Install smoke alarms in your home


According to statistics, 88 per cent of deaths caused by fires in residences are those with no smoke alarms. Most of these fires happen at night when people are asleep. Interestingly, half of these deaths were due to smoke inhalation, not burns. If for some reason your home still doesn't have a smoke alarm, you should have several installed right away.


The best places to put a smoke alarm are in sleeping areas and hallways leading from bedrooms, provided that there's no strong breeze that can carry smoke particles away. To avoid false alarms, don't put a smoke alarm in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages, and near fireplaces. If you already have smoke alarms in your home, make sure they're always in good condition and have functioning batteries.

Rewiring Your House in Nelson

Posted on 23 July, 2014 at 21:00 Comments comments (0)

If you live in an older house in Nelson, chances are it might be time to rewire. Homes built as recently as the 1980s might not meet today’s safety standards as consumers now rely on so many things that require electricity. With bigger flat screen televisions, high-speed Internet access (which requires special Cat-5 wiring per the phone company) desktop computers, and more, your home has to pull a lot of energy just to keep up with demand.

Old wiring can deteriorate until it’s a hazard, eventually leading to nuisances like blown fuses to dangerous electrical fires. And, old wiring might not pass an inspection, especially if you are planning on putting your home on the market. Rodent damage is also very common for electricians in Nelson to come across.

If you aren’t sure old wiring is a problem in your home, here are three ways to tell.

• Your wiring looks as if its deteriorated or cracked of falling apart. To determine if you have old wiring, the first thing to look for is black wire leading into your switchboard, usually placed inside the home. It contains both miniature circuit breakers and residential current circuit breakers. Black wire is a good indicator of age because modern 21st century wires are coated in PVC material giving them a white color. The old black wires are coated with rubber that deteriorates faster and allows wires to contact. Ultimately, wires that have the PVC coating will last longer over time.

• If you only have one outlet per room, you are seriously underserviced. You should have outlets every six to eight feet for your appliances, and your socket outlets need to be properly earthed for three-pin appliances.

• Last, you know something is not right if you’re experiencing blown fuses or power outages. If you’ve replaced a fuse more than once in the past year your wiring cannot handle what you need it to. Unless you have your wiring fixed your problems will only persist and you’ll just keep blowing fuses-why waste the money?

Ask Payless Electrical to send a licensed electrician for a safety check. 

New wiring is well worth the cost in peace of mind and in safety.

Switchboard/fuse board Upgrade Nelson

Posted on 22 July, 2014 at 20:45 Comments comments (0)

Do You Need an Electrical Switchboard Upgrade?

If your switchboard looks like the one in the above picture then your answer is yes you do need a switchboard upgrade.

How old is your home? More pertinently, how old is its wiring? If it’s been a while since your home’s electrical switchboard has been inspected and upgraded, or if it still uses old ceramic fuses, it could be putting you and your family at risk or be an emergency waiting to happen.

Switchboards are an essential part of your home’s electrical system. They route the electricity around your home and these days include safety switches to protect you and your family from electrocution.

All over Nelson people with older homes have recognised the need for electrical switchboard upgrades. Your switchboard should look like this image below.


Switchboards or Fuse boards

So, when was the last time you had an electrician check your switchboard? Many homeowners are unaware of the importance of switchboard maintenance, or of the triggers that signal the need for an upgrade including:

-flickering lights

-power tripping

-short circuits

These can often be the first indicators that your switchboard is past its ‘use-by-date’.

The importance of your switchboard is that it effectively manages the distribution of power throughout your home. The age of your home and switchboard is important to acknowledge as older homes were built in an age when homes did not use a myriad of electrical appliances.

The demands on an electrical switchboard were lower in homes that needed power for just an oven, refrigerator and a heater, plus one or two other small appliances, like a toaster and iron.

These days however, we see multiple computers, printers, televisions, sound and security systems, blenders, mixers, pool cleaners – the list goes on.

For safety and appliance protection, modern switchboards now have circuit breakers and RCD's (residual current device) rather than fuses. If the circuit is overloaded the switch will automatically flip to break the circuit and avoid the affected appliance.

Do You Need a Switchboard Upgrade / fuse board upgrade?

Do you have a home that still retains its original ceramic fuse box? If so, it is time to call us at Payless Electrical for a switchboard upgrade. Fuse box switchboards and rewirable ceramic fuses do not comply with today’s standards.

Apart from non-compliance issues they can pose a fire risk and a hazard for electrical shock. 

If your home has electrical switchboards dating back to a time before safety switches were included as standard, then a safety check is needed – and an upgrade to incorporate, at the very least, a mandatory working safety switch.

If you need circuits added but your meter box is too small for any additional metering – again, it is time to upgrade.

Maybe you are interested in solar panels and inverters, or have had them installed. These can involve new metering and switch gearing that can require additional space and, not surprisingly, a switchboard upgrade.

Today’s switchboards are fitted with safety switches and automatic trip circuit breakers as standard.

Is it Expensive to Upgrade?

When compared to electrocution or house fire, any investment in their prevention should be considered small. Even without the potential risks posed by an out-of-date switchboard, the time and cost investment in a switchboard upgrade should be considered to be small.

Call an Electrician

Licensed electricians are the only people able to maintain, inspect and upgrade your switchboard. This is not a home handyman, or DIY job. Hiring a certified licensed registered electrician for these tasks is not just good advice, it is law.

When we upgrade your switchboard, it provides an opportunity for us to inspect your wiring. It also means an evaluation can be made of possible future electrical circuits that may be required, and even whether there may be a need for additional power points in your home to safely accommodate your appliances.

The types of circuits that can be added to your home include but are not limited to:

-lighting, which can include security sensors also

-smoke detectors

-air conditioners, ceiling fans, and heating units

-bathroom heating and exhaust fans

-additional power points

After installing a switchboard upgrade we are able to test the running of the unit. This is an important step, and the time required and the complexity of the process can vary depending on the switchboard upgrade.

As our lifestyles change and our households are becoming more dependent on appliances, switchboard maintenance and upgrades become more important.

For your own safety, always ensure you engage the services of a licensed electrician.

LED Lighting Nelson

Posted on 22 July, 2014 at 18:55 Comments comments (0)

Light emitting diodes, commonly called LEDs, are becoming more and more widespread in all uses for electricians in Nelson. You may think they are a new invention but they have been in commercial use since the 1970s as replacements for incandescent and neon indicator lights on electronic equipment. It has only been recently that LED manufacturing has reached a point where LEDs can be used to replace conventional lighting such as incandescent and fluorescent bulbs.

Before we discuss the benefits of LEDs, let’s review how LEDs operate. LEDs differ from conventional light sources in the manner in which they produce light. Incandescent lamps are composed of a tungsten filament surrounded by a glass bulb filled with an inert gas. The tungsten filament is heated by electric current until it glows and emits light. On the other hand, fluorescent lamps are composed of a glass tube coated in phosphor and a very small amount of mercury. An electric arc excites the mercury atoms, which emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation. When the UV rays strike the phosphor coating, they are converted and emitted as visible light.

An LED is essentially an electronic component referred to as a solid state device. When used in lighting, it is referred to as SSL (Solid State Lighting). It is composed of crystalline layers of semiconducting materials to form what is called a p-n (positive- negative) junction. The one-directional travel of electrons and electron holes flow into the junction between the semiconducting materials and combine to release energy in the form of photons. Depending on the semiconducting materials, the emitting light can be invisible or in the visible spectrum of radiation. Red LEDs are based on aluminum gallium arsenide (AlGaAs), blue LEDs are made from indium gallium nitride (InGaN) and green from aluminum gallium phosphide (AlGaP). The components are covered in an epoxy lens.

Since “white” light is necessary for most lighting applications and LED’s do not initially produce white light, a method of generating white light had to be developed.

The first method uses Red, Green and, Blue LEDs to form multiple LED chips sometimes referred to as an RGB-LED . By mixing multiple wavelengths of different LEDs, an approximation of “white” light is emitted. By the use of a controller, combinations of wavelength intensities can create a multitude of colors allowing the designer to adjust the white light to a specific color temperature. However, because of the use of three LEDs for each chip, this type of chip is often more expensive to manufacture.

The second method uses a single blue Indium-Gallium-Nitride (InGaN) LED with a yellow phosphor coating to create white light. This is the method that results in the more commonly seen “white LED”. The low cost and sufficient performance makes it the most widely used technology for general LED lighting today. The disadvantage is the inability to dynamically change the character of the light and the fact that phosphor conversion reduces the efficiency of the device.

LEDs come in two different basic categories, low power and high power. Low power LEDs are typically 0.1 watt, low current (~20 milliamps) and low voltage (3.2 volts DC). This type is used as indicators due to the small output of light, around 2 to 4 lumens. High power LEDs are manufactured in 1 to 3 watt packages, high current (350-1000 milliamps) and currently maximum 138 lumens per watt and are the type used for lighting. Compare this to a 100 watt incandescent bulb at 17 lumens per watt, a 32 watt T8 fluorescent at 85 to 95 lumens per watt, or a compact fluorescent at 48 to 60 lumens per watt.

Because the light output of individual light-emitting diodes is small compared to incandescent and compact fluorescent lamps, multiple diodes are typically arranged in arrays to achieve the desired light (lumen) output.

With some units, the LED array is an integral part of the luminaire/fixture, unlike an incandescent light source where you replace the bulb when it fails. There are several reasons why the LED array is part of the fixture. The main reason is heat dissipation. The fixture is designed in conjunction with the LED array to properly dissipate the heat generated by the many individual LED chips. LEDs lose their efficiency if allowed to heat up.

There has also been the introduction of the LED Module System made of the LED modules, power supply and control interface modules. This allows for a building block approach to create a variety of lighting patterns. There are now commercial LED lamps that are designed to replace incandescent quartz halogen lamps such as MR and PAR and fluorescent T8 36w lamps in existing installations without the need to replace the fixture.

From learning about the operation of LEDs you probably have realized the various benefits of using LEDs for a lighting source. So, to help solidify your thoughts on LEDS, here are excerpts from two energy reports giving you some percentages of savings.

According to the ICT for Energy Efficiency report compiled by the Ad-Hoc Advisory Group (European Commission) composed of Information and Communications Technologies providers, industry associations, end-users including regional and city groups as well as leading academics:

“Solid-state light sources, i.e. light-emitting diodes (LED) and organic light emitting diodes (OLED), may in the future outperform almost all other light sources in terms of efficiency and thus provide a saving potential of about 50% of the electrical energy used for lighting. If the advanced LED technology is combined with intelligent light management systems, which will control the light output according to ambient lighting conditions or people’s presence, another 20% can be saved – in sum 70%.”

But it doesn’t end there with the tremendous energy efficiency of the LED’s. There are also environmental aspects that need to be mentioned. The ability to direct the light from LED fixtures toward the desired area reduces light pollution. As well, LEDs do not contain mercury, lead, or glass.

In January of 2011, the DOE (US Department of Energy) released a report that targets the use of LED lighting in 12 specific product types spread over three general categories: general illumination, outdoor lighting, and consumer electronic displays. For general illumination applications, four markets were analyzed: PAR, BR, and R-shaped; MR16; 2-foot by 2-foot troffer fixtures; and general service A-type. For outdoor lighting, four markets were analyzed: roadway, parking, area and flood, and residential. DOE also analyzed four applications for consumer electronic displays: televisions, laptops, monitors, and mobile handsets.

The report indicates that converting to LED-based light sources could approach an estimated annual saving of 263 terawatt-hours. This is the equivalent of taking 21 million households off the power grid. The DOE SSL 2010 Multi-Year Program Plan predicts that commercial LED luminaire efficacy will increase 155% over the next decade to 219 lumens per watt (lm/W). Assuming that the LED replacements within each niche improve according to the DOE’s SSL 2010 Multi-Year Program Plan predictions for 2020, LED efficacy increases the total potential energy savings dramatically to 399 TWh. This equates to a forecasted primary energy savings of the total energy required to power nearly 32 million average U.S. households.

According to the DOE report, the advantages other than just energy savings include: longer operating life, reduced radiated heat, minimal light loss, dimmability and controllability, durability, enhanced performance at low temperatures, safety improvements, smaller package size, uniform illumination, mercury reduction, enhanced product appearance, improved color rendition, and lower lumen depreciation.

Now, let’s summarize the advantages of LEDs as well as the disadvantages.

Advantages of LEDs

Efficiency: LEDs can produce more light per watt than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. This is improving with every new generation of LEDs.

Color: LEDs can emit light of an intended color without the use of color filters that traditional lighting methods require. This is more efficient and can lower initial costs. As well, with the use of RGB LEDs any desired color can be achieved during actual operation.

Cool light: In contrast to most light sources, LEDs radiate very little heat in the form of IR that can cause damage to sensitive objects or fabrics. Wasted energy is dispersed as heat through the base of the LED.

Size: LEDs can be very small (smaller than 2 mm) and are easily populated onto printed circuit boards. This allows for the design of very low profile luminaires/fixtures.

On/Off time: LEDs light up very quickly. LEDs are ideal for use in applications that are subject to frequent on-off cycling, unlike fluorescent lamps that burn out more quickly when cycled frequently, or HID lamps that require a long time before restarting.

Life time: LEDs can have a relatively long useful life. One report estimates 35,000 to 50,000 hours of useful life, though time to complete failure may be longer. Fluorescent tubes typically are rated at about 10,000 to 15,000 hours and incandescent light bulbs at 1,000–2,000 hours.

Shock resistance: LEDs, being solid state components, are difficult to damage with external shock, unlike fluorescent and incandescent bulbs which are fragile. This makes LEDs an ideal light source where the fixture is subject to vibrations and jarring.

Focus: The solid package of the LED can be designed to focus its light. Incandescent and fluorescent sources often require an external reflector to collect light and direct it in a usable manner.

Environmental: LEDs do not contain mercury, unlike fluorescent lamps.

If you are looking for electricians in Nelson that specialise in LED lighting call Payless Electrical.