Frequently asked questions

How do I stop my Smoke alarm beeping

Smoke alarms beep for 2 simple reasons. Firstly, if there is smoke detected Secondly, to get your attention.
Like a crying baby they need something and will not stop making an annoying noise until they get it. The most common reason is a flat or low battery. This can be fixed by simply replacing the old battery for a new one. 

Sometimes smoke alarms will beep because the power supply to them has been lost. This problem may require the attention of an electrician or could be a blown fuse. Even hard-wired smoke alarms have a battery installed for the rare times there is a blackout as you still want the smoke alarm to work during the blackout.

The simple rule is not to ignore or remove a beeping smoke alarm. There have been many house fires where the smoke alarms were either not operating or were non existent. Loss of life could have been prevented if installed correctly or simply installed at all.

If you change the battery and it is still beeping call the electrician.

Is it worth swapping to LED's

If you are thinking about savings on your energy bill, or savings on your carbon footprint, the answer is yes!.

LEDs are more energy-efficient than halogens, so they can save you up to 85% on your lighting bill. In many households and businesses that could make 1/3 of your total bill. they also  last longer – more than 10 years (considering you purchase quality brands) – so you need to change them less often. LEDs are also safer – they run 220℃ cooler than halogens.

Why do I need a safety switch?

A safety switch is a very sound investment for every house and the people that live in it. They literally save lives. Most people will never receive an electric shock in their lifetime, but unfortunately there are many of us that will be in the wrong place at the wrong time and receive one.

A safety switch can ensure that the shock you receive will be over in a mere 30 milliseconds as it only takes that long to trip the circuit. Safety switches continually monitor the electricity going in and coming out of a circuit and don’t distinguish between a person or other item if electricity is leaking. You will be very grateful to have a safety switch if you touch a faulty appliance or exposed wire.

 Does my installation  have a safety switch?

Most people can not distinguish between a comon "circuit breaker" and a "safety switch" or "RCD". so they assume that they have one installed. As a matter of fact many  properties were built or updated in a time when safety switches were not compulsory or even invented yet.

They are easily distinguished from the "cicuit breaker" as they have a test button on them. this button should be activated at least once every year to make sure the switch is operational (manufacturers recommend test every month). They also have a green label sticker marking the circuits purpose.

According to Australian standarts, all electrical installations should have at least two safety switches to protect both lighting and power outlet circuits.

 Will I save energy by adjusting my HWS

Yes you will. Most storage hot water systems run on full throttle...which means that the heating element is constantly working to keep up with heat dissipation. By adjusting the thermostat a bit, enormous results can be archived. 

Some people may have to turn it up in winter and turn it back down in summer depending on the size of their tank...That can be a bit annoying but it's worth it, for your wallet and most importantly for the environment.


 LED Flickering: why do my lights flicker at random times?

Common reasons for flickering or flashing LEDs are dimmers, non-compatible transformers or drivers and failed internal electrical components.

If there are a number of lights which are all flickering in the same manner then it is highly likely that the LEDs are not compatible with the installed dimmer. If there is no dimmer then the LED lamp may not be compatible with the existing or new transformers.

If there are no dimmers or transformers than you may be experiencing a failed product (usually capacitors internally) or you may be using an automation system like CBus which has a constant 240V line voltage that can cause LEDs to stay on dim or flicker.

In some areas of Sydney, people experience flickering of their LED lights when connected to a dimmer, This may be being caused by the injection of a high-frequency signal onto the electricity grid by your electricity supplier. The signal is commonly used for off peak metering

This will affect devices such as fans, toasters and dimmers as well as energy efficient lighting in particular LED'S.

You will need to get in touch with your electricity supplier to find out the intensity and frequency of ripple. Once that has been determined, they may have to come out to conduct an audit of the property and suggest an appropriate filter to fix the issue.

Tillman Lewisham Electrician

LIC: 292845C
ABN: 60383515412