The Electrical Company WA

Expert Tips

Q: My electricity bill is getting higher and higher. How can I save money?

A: There are some simple ways to save electricity around your home. When you aren’t using electrical equipment and appliances, turn them off at the wall as they still use power when they are on ‘standby’. Use power when it is off-peak - usually later at night and on weekends. You could also switch from halogen lights to LED lights, which are much more energy-efficient and last a
lot longer.



Q: Why is my light switch hot?
A: If your light switch is hot to the touch, you have a problem. This is not normal and could mean that there are serious wiring issues hiding behind your walls. Your best course of action is to get a licensed electrician to check the problem. 



Q: My light bulbs don't seem to be lasting very long. What's the problem?
A: There are a number of reasons that light bulbs are not lasting as long as they should. These include the wattage of the bulb being too high for its purpose, insulation being too close (for example in downlights), bad wiring on the circuit or in the mains, too much total wattage on one dimmer switch or a poor connection on the circuit. As with anything electrical, it's best to consult a licensed electrician who will find and solve the problem.



Q: Our circuit breaker keeps tripping and we can’t figure out the problem.
A: One of the most common causes is overloaded power points. Try removing devices such as phone chargers when they’re not in use, as they continue to draw power. Spread your appliances around the power points in your home, rather than having them all connected in one place and never daisy chain power boards. You could also ask a qualified electrician to install more power points to spread the load.



Q: We live in an old house. How long does wiring last and how do you know if it needs to be replaced?
A: Wiring doesn’t last forever and can degrade over time. The best thing to do is have your wiring inspected by a registered electrician, and they will be able to give you an electrical installation report and advice on the best course of action.



Q: Now and again my overhead lights flicker. What's causing this and how do I fix it?
A: Flickering lights can be caused by a number of things. These include a dimmer switch that isn't compatible, a loose connection somewhere in the electrical circuit or a faulty light switch. Problems such as these should always be inspected by an electrician as what's causing the lights to flicker could pose a fire risk.



Q: What’s the difference between a circuit breaker switch and a safety switch?
A: Circuit breakers (MCBs) and fuses are there to protect electrical cables and fittings from overloading and short circuits, preventing electrical fires. Safety switches (RCDs) can prevent electrocution by switching off the power in the event of an earth leakage. A licensed electrician can carry out a safety check in your home to make sure your safety switches are working correctly, and you are fully protected.



Q: What's the difference between LED and halogen downlights?
A: Halogen bulbs are extremely compact and emit a great deal of light, but they also create lots of heat. This poses a fire risk and also makes them very energy inefficient. LED lights stay cool and are much more energy-efficient, saving up to 90% of your downlight energy consumption. They will also last about 10 times longer than a halogen bulb.