call: 0428 158 086

Author Archives

26 Aug 2017
0

One Safety Switch May Not Be Enough

The risk is real… One safety switch may not be enough.

The Queensland Government is encouraging homeowners and landlords to have electrical safety switches installed on all household circuits.

The Risk is real – one safety switch may not be enough advertising campaign raises community awareness of how safety switches reduce the risk of electric shock.

Safety switches help protect your family and anyone else visiting your home. Regardless of whether you own or rent, you should consider having safety switches installed on all circuits.

Safety switches protect you, your family and anyone visiting the property from electric shock.

The risk is real. One safety switch may not be enough.

If you are unsure, whether you are a tenant, landlord or homeowner, call us to see if your home is safe.

General Safety

No tags here

3 Apr 2017
0

YouTube – Underground Mains

Underground Mains Issue – Video#1

Apr 2017

Checkout our latest youtube post here we look at an underground mains issue in Brisbane.
Also check out our entire video library here at our 24HEEB channel.

What do you think? Please comment below.

21 Mar 2017
0

What To Do In A Blackout

What To Do In a Blackout

Mar 2017

brisbane blackout

What to do first

Is there lightning close to your premises? If there is lightning striking close to you then it’s a good idea to take some precautionary measures.

First, you need to physically unplug all devices and appliances from the socket. Once this is done time to put your feet up, literally.

If your house is struck by lightning you can protect yourself from ground dispersing current spike by adding extra insulation between you and the floor, one thing you can do is sit down on your sofa couch or lounge and put your feet up on it.

This way any potential difference between your feet has been eliminated. If your house is higher elevation or is built on such as ground with rich iron in the soil you may receive more lightning strikes than is otherwise probable. In order to protect your house in this case read the following article dealing with lightning protection.

Who to call for help?

Now it’s time to identify whether this blackout is local or widespread. Your best bet is to wait for the storm to calm down, then, when it is safe to do so just walk down the street and check whether your neighbours’ lights are on or off. If the blackout is area wide then you do not need to do anything, the local electricity provider will be aware of the outage and will dispatch emergency crews to fix the problem.

In Brisbane your electricity distributor will most likely be Energex (call 13 62 62) or Ergon (call 13 22 96). However if the blackout is localised to just you then you may need to call an electrician. If you’re not sure or you cant get through to the electricity distributor and would like to speak to someone immediately you can call us here at 24 Hour Emergency Electrician Brisbane on 0428 158 086 and we will advise you on your situation.

For property damage and immediate physical assistance call the State Emergency Service. In all states the SES number is 13 25 00.

The rollout of fibre NBN comes with it a consequence to phone service. Fixed landlines now operate using VOIP (voice over internet protocol) on the fibre network and no longer over copper.

The home phone was powered through the 5V from the phone line, but now we operate over the internet, we need to use our modems to transfer this voice data, and our modems require power.

So in a blackout your home phone will no longer be an option, so you need to use your mobile. So hopefully your phone has some charge. If not, try using your car to charge your phone. Or a laptop running on battery power to charge the phone.

Prolonged Blackouts

The good news is that some essentials are still functional. If you are connected to town water (which 92% of the Australian population is) then your water is still going to be working because it is gravity fed. This means you still have access to drinking water. Are you connected to a gas supply?

Whether you have your own gas bottles or connected to a central supply the good news is that this is still working too. So you’re still cooking and heating as usual. If you are on tank water then unfortunately your water is also blacked out, because it is most likely pumped to your taps with an electric pump. In this case a great trick for getting a free shower and topping up your drinking water bottles, is head down to your local beach and utilise the showers there. If you’re not brave enough for a cold shower however then maybe hit up your local gym, this may be the next best low cost shower option.

What to do for essential services? Unfortunately there is not that much that can be done to speed up repairs or replace your essential services during a blackout.

What to do for lighting? Well there are a few options. A popular option is candles. Candles are cheap and produce a nice natural light and last for at least a few hours, which is quite an economical choice over torch light which requires batteries that are these days quite expensive. So if you are going to get by with torch light go for high efficiency LED bulbs, this way battery replacement is less frequent. Another option is a fuel based lamp, these are cheap to run too but more volatile, so caution must be exercised in order to avoid starting a house fire. Head down to your local camping store if you are looking for a lamp. Your local supermarket can supply you with candles and torches.

What to do for food?

Well it depends what you have in your cupboards. If your all out then maybe its time to eat out, or grab some simple meals from your local shop. In the situation of a prolonged blackout it is also a great option to grab your esky and fill it with the frozen items from your freezer. Leave space on top for your fridge items.

Uninterruptible.

If you require an uninterruptible 24 hour supply then you will need a carbon fuelled electric generator inverter and/or a solar panel system with high capacity batteries and controller. Both of these systems work well, the generator is noisey, produces exhaust and is expensive to run, whereas a solar solution is much more expensive to set up initially.

So that’s what to do in a blackout! We hoped it helped. And remember don’t panic because help is not far away if you need it. Thanks for reading another 24HEEB post, if you enjoyed it and found it helpful please Share, Like or comment below.

15 Mar 2017
0

Check out our new graphics

24HEEB BLOG – New Digs
Mar 2017

24 emergency electrician

Check out our new graphics. Here at 24 Hour Emergency Electrician Brisbane we are committed to continuous improvement and defining the world class standard in quality service. Along with our customer service, technical knowledge, experience and latest technology we also like to keep abreast of latest in the digital world including web, apps, social media and graphic design. So check out our latest graphics and let us know what you think. Share or like us on your social media of choice, or recommend us to a friend.

Comment below to let us know what you think.

21 Sep 2016
0

Moving A Power Point

power_point
power_point

Moving A Power Point

Sep 2016

**WARNING**

ONLY A LICENSED QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN MAY MOVE A POWER POINT IN AUSTRALIA. IT IS ILLEGAL TO TRY AND MOVE A POWER POINT YOURSELF. THIS ARTICLE IS FOR INFORMATION & INTEREST ONLY AND IS IN NO WAY INTENDED TO INSTRUCT OR GUIDE THE READER TO PERFORM THIS THEMSELVES. AN ALTERED POWER POINT THAT HARMS A PERSON OR RESULTS IN DAMAGE TO A PROPERTY MAY RESULT IN CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE. IT WILL VOID HOME AND CONTENTS INSURANCE CONTRACT.

So we perform this quite a bit and its interesting to see how its done, but we must stress that you must not try this yourself, it is extremely dangerous, only a licensed electrician can do this. Ok, so lets have a look at how they do it.

Step 0: Proper attire

An electrician will wear thick rubber boots and insulated gloves whilst performing any work in order to reduce the risk of electrocution by adding extra impedance protection in the case of error or failure.

Step 1: Disconnect the power at the mains fusebox / switchboard

This is obviously the most important step. Before working with wires, the electrician must ensure that the wire is cut off from the supply and therefore not ‘live’. To do this the electrician identifies which section of the circuit the power point sits in, and then turns this section of the circuit off at the mains fusebox or switchboard. If unsure the master switch can be disabled so that all power is disconnected to all parts of the circuit.

Step 2: Test the power point

Before proceeding further the electrician has to test that the line is in fact dead. So one way to do this is to plug in a device or appliance that they are certain is functioning correctly. They turn it on and confirm that it doesn’t work. They then use another appliance to double check. Double checking and redundancy is the name of the game with safety and electricity. Now that they have confirmed both appliances (which are known to be operational) are dead they then use a high voltage multimeter or electrical test screw driver to test again.

Only once all these tests are passed can the electrician proceed to handle the wires. It is interesting to note that an appropriate appliance should be used to test the disconnection of the power first, because within that circuit segment (in which the power point lies and which has hopefully just been disconnected at the mains switch) multiple power points (and therefore appliances, devices and other plant) are likely to wired to it, which means there may be residual capacitance available in that circuit segment. The appliance should draw this remaining charge, whereas a voltmeter will not.

power point wired removal

Step 3: Remove the power point

To remove the power point from the wall the electrician first removes the cover/skirt/face plate from the power point by gently pulling on it. Underneath are two screws that mount the power point to the wall. Unscrewing these detaches the power point from its mounting, some power points screw into a metal wall mount plate that sits behind the Gyprock. The electrician first removes a single screw then rotates the plate down exposing the hole behind to determine what kind of mounting has been used, and then gently holds the mounting with pliers as the other screw is removed, so that the mounting plate doesn’t fall down the wall cavity.

15 amp single power point

Step 4: Remove the wires from the back of the power point

The electrician unscrews the bolts that hold the wires into the power point connection. Once loose these wires are taped and capped up. To stop the wires accidentally falling back into the wall cavity they can be taped to an object (such as a hammer) or to the wall or bench.

The colour of the wire indicates what it is. Remember that: Brown – is the active phase; Blue – is the neutral, Green + Yellow – is earth ground. If uncertain a photo can be taken of the wiring arrangement on the back of the plate so that the wires are reconnected in the correct spot. The wiring arrangement of a power point is indicated using colour labelled sockets and is pictured here in this figure; the red socket is for the active phase (or live, which is the brown wire), the black socket is for the neutral (blue wire), and the green socket is for the earth ground (green + yellow wire). The wiring arrangement of the plug is shown below.

Step 5: Cut the new hole

Using a pencil sketch an accurate outline of the required hole onto the Gyprock. Drill a hole (atleast 5mm) inside each of the four corners of the rectangle, open the holes up with a file. Now that the hole is of decent width fit a jigsaw, hacksaw, or blade, into a hole and cut between holes along the perimeter. Clean up the edges with a file or sandpaper if a neat edge is required.

The electrician must exercise extreme caution whilst cutting through the wall, if a live wire is accidentally severed or sheared it could result in electrocution and death. For this reason the electrician makes extra effort to check that there are no wires in the cutting path and to cut at wall depth only and no deeper.

240vacplug

Step 6: Extend the wires (optional)

Now that the new hole is cut the electrician can see if the wires will reach then new location. If they do not then the wires will need to be extended. To do this the recommended approach is to use a mains wire extension box, these are commonly used to join/extend wires in Australia. This is pretty straight forward. The electrician uncaps the wires, inserts each into the correct socket then screws up the clasping mechanism. Then the lengths of new wire are cut to size and the insulation is stripped on both ends to about 40mm. These new wires are each inserted into their correct socket and again screwed tight. The box itself is then closed with screws, and can then be placed inside the wall cavity.

It is also possible to extend the wires by joining them using the solder and heatshrink technique, if you are interested to see how an electrician might do this then refer to this blog post on joining wires.

power point wiring

Step 7: Wire up the power point in the new location

Before joining the wires to the back of the power point plate, first the electrician takes the wall mounting back plate and threads the wires through it, then inserts this plate into the hole, and tapes it roughly in position so that it is ready to be screwed in, in the next step.

Now the wires can be joined to the power point plate. Similarly to how they were removed, they are inserted into their appropriate sockets and screwed in. The electrician must take care to screw the wires into the correct socket. They may check the photo they took before, or the previous figure has been reproduced here but with additional labelling for clarity.

Step 8: Mount power point in the new location

The electrician now mounts the power point to the wall using the internal wall mounting that was loosely housed in the previous step. So first the electrician places the power point into the hole and marks the location of both screw holes on the wall by means of a pilot hole, which can be done by applying small pressure on the Gyprock with the screw. The electrician then pulls the power point out of the hole in order to access the mounting plate behind. The power point is rotated so that the correct screw hole is aligned to the mark that was just made but that the large hole in the Gyprock wall can be accessed by hand.

Then the screw is torqued through the Gyprock enough to protrude a small distance out of the other side. The mounting plate can now be aligned using the protruding screw and once aligned this screw is torqued a little more, just enough so that it doesn’t fall out. The other screw is then torqued in through the Gyprock but not through the power point, and the other side of the interior wall mounting is aligned to it. Once both holes are aligned, the mounting plate should be taped in place. The last screw is removed from the wall. The power point is then placed in its correct location and the removed screw is then inserted and tightened. The original screw can then be tightened up. Now that the power point is housed correctly on the wall the cover plate is pushed on.

Step 9: Patch the old hole

Here we are assuming that the electrician is working with a Gyprock wall. Cut a piece of stiff cardboard to cover the shape of the hole with atleast an additional 10mm overlap. Cardboard of 5-8mm thickness should do fine. Poke a hole through the cardboard then feed sum string through it and tie off the string on one side so that it doesn’t pull back through. Work the cardboard into the hole (by folding or other) and pull it into position with the string, ensure there are no gaps.

Apply PVC wood glue to the perimeter/edges where the cardboard meets the Gyprock. Blast the glue with a hair dryer in order to partially set it so that you can let go of the string. Wait for this to dry completely. Add water to plaster powder and mix, apply the wet plaster to the hole with a paint scraper, and distribute until even coverage is achieved. Wait for it to set completely. Sand the plaster back to achieve a smooth finish, if required apply more plaster and repeat step. Using the same (or very similar) colour, paint over the plaster feathering the edges so that when dry it is indistinguishable as a fresh coat.

Step 10: Turn power back on and test

Turn the power back on at the mains switch, and test that the power point is working by running an appropriate appliance through the power point.

OK and that’s all there is to it. Job done. Remember that only a qualified licensed electrician can do this. It is illegal to try and do it yourself and is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS, you risk electrocution and death. So remember to exercise extreme caution around electricity at all times and never do it yourself, always hire a professional.

21 Aug 2016
2

Basic Wire Joining

Basic Wire Joining

Aug 2016

Rolls of electronic grade wire

In this post we will show you how to join and extend wires, we will be using a low power application for our example such as a telephone line (5V DC) or audio speaker cabling.

What diameter of wire (likely copper) is appropriate for your purpose? Well it depends entirely on the maximum current the wire is designed to transmit. Generally speaking low current applications use a narrow wire, whereas high current applications require a large diameter wire. See this guide for more info.

You will need:
Wire
Wire strippers and cutters
Solder
A soldering iron
Heat shrink or electrical tape
Heat gun (or the soldering iron will also suffice)

soldering iron in stand

Step 1: Prep your workspace

You want to set up on a flat non conductive surface, a wooden desk bench or table is suitable. Cover the surface with something to protect it from excess flux and solder. A few layers of newspaper usually suffices. Turn on your soldering iron and allow a few minutes for it to heat up to its operating temperature. Make sure the tip of the soldering iron is safely housed in the stand so that it doesn’t burn anything.

wire strippers

Step 2: Strip the wires

Measure out the length of wire that you would like to use to join to the existing wire. Cut the wire at this length allowing a little extra for the joint. Now you need to get the wires ready to be joined, so we need to remove the outer insulation covering the wire. Place the wire into your wire strippers and squeeze the handle. You should strip between 5 – 40 mm of insulation depending on how much wire is required for the join.

heat shrink various

Step 3: Prep the heatshrink (optional)

If you are joining two wires together that are already attached on their other ends, and you don’t want to disrupt these joints, then its time to insert heatshrink, because once the joint is formed it will be too late to put the heatshrink on. If one of the wires has an open end, then dont worry because we can thread the heatshrink on later.

It is common practice to double or triple insulate wires and joints. In your heatshrink set/collection first find the lowest diameter heatshrink (of matching / appropriate colour if required) that can fit over the wires. Cut off a section of this heatshrink and thread it onto the wire. Ensure that it is long enough to cover the soldered joint and reach both sides of the insulation. Now cut a longer section of heatshrink that is slightly larger in diameter than the last, and thread this onto the wire. We require generally use a large diameter heatshrink because this piece is designed to go over the first one. Repeat this last step if the wire/joint requires triple insulation.

tub of flux

Step 4: Tan the wires

Tanning a wire readies it for solder connection.
To tan a wire heat the wire for a few seconds using the tip of the soldering iron, once hot melt some flux (or if you dont have flux just use some solder, which contains flux in the core) onto the wire.

**Note:
Electrical solder is commonly composed of Tin (Sn) : Lead (Pb) at ratio 60:40, and contains a flux / resin core. The temperature of the soldering iron will liquify the lead but shouldn’t be hot enough to vaporise the lead, however it is still important to avoid inhaling the fumes produced during soldering.

solder rollsoldering iron
joined wire

Step 5: Join the wires

We can join the wires side to side for normal applications. However if the joint has to be resistant to tension, then we can use a hook join. In a hook join both ends of the joining wires are looped through one another and the end of the wire is soldered back to itself, the soldered joint should close the loop so that it cant move around.

We wont be able to simultaneously hold the two wires and apply the solder and hold the soldering iron. So we need to use a desk vice or clamp (or clip or peg) for assistance. If none of those are available you can use a trick i like to use; get a pair of pliers and put a rubber band around the handle so that it stays clasped tightly, and use that to hold and position one wire. So now we can use one hand to hold the soldering iron and the other to hold the other wire (or the solder).

Since the wires have been tanned they should cooperate nicely now we come to join them together. Now that the two wires are in position melt some solder onto the joining interface. As the solder melts it will tend to migrate towards heat, using this principle, quickly but lightly, work the solder into position for a good join (or so that complete coverage is achieved). Once this is done immediately remove the soldering iron from the join, allowing the joint to cool and in doing so form a solid permanent bond. Heating the wire/s or solder for too long is undesirable because the heat will transfer through the wires where it may damage the electrical/electronic components attached to the other ends, loosen solder bonds, melt the surrounding wire insulation, or burn the housing. So use as little heat as possible.

nail-clippers

Step 6: Clean up the joint

There is likely to be some excess solder or excess wire at the ends. You can remove this in order to obtain a clean tight joint. Cut off any excess material using wire cutters, tin snips, or the cutting edge on pliers. Nail clippers can also be used, and because they are smaller and lighter, tend to work better for smaller jobs, and produce neater results.

heat-gun

Step 7: Heatshrink the joint

To insulate the joint that we have just created, we need to cover the exposed metal. If you skipped step 3 go back and do it now. We work from tightest to loosest fitting heatshrink so once the narrowest diameter heatshrink is in place over the joint apply heat to it in order to activate it. The preferred method is with a heat gun, which blows hot air, however if you don’t have a heat gun you can simply use your solder iron instead, but care must be taken not to damage the heat shrink. Now repeat this step using the next tightest fitting heatshrink.

After you have finished soldering clean the tip of the soldering iron whilst its still hot with a damp sponge.

repair
And that’s about it, another job well done. Stay tuned to our blog for more interesting posts. Please comment, and let us know if you have any ideas for future topics.

9 Mar 2016
4

RCD Installation

RCD Installation

Feb 2016

RCD Switch

Welcome to our first instalment of our blog on Emergency Electrical job’s in Brisbane.

We begin on a late night job we attended in Stafford, North Brisbane. A lady called us to come out quickly to help get power back on to the entire house. We quickly arrived on-site and went into complete fault find mode. We started by testing the main switchboard and with this testing you have a series of small but crucial methods we use as electricians to get a good understanding of what’s going on with the basic structure of the wiring in the board and in the house.

We continued a visual inspection upstairs in the house and found everything to be ok.

We then started another check and tested the RCD’s or ‘safety switch’ and after that procedure the safety switch protecting the light circuit was failing the test.

The wiring in the bottom of the RCD was installed incorrectly and in turn had burnt out the terminal.

Residual current devices are specifically designed to prevent electrocution, they filter out the high current transient before it is allowed to short to ground. The RCD has saved many lives in Australia. But incorrectly installed (as this one was) it would be completely ineffective to prevent loss of life. So it is absolutely imperative to ensure that your RCD safety switches have been installed correctly and tested by a licensed professional.

This was then replaced and tested.

With another full check on the installation, we could safely say that we could turn the power back on and sign off the job.

The customer was over the moon as she now had power back on and could watch her TV show.

Whenever in need of an Electrician in Brisbane to complete a fault find call us any time to deliver.