Laser Electrical Launceston is your ‘Totally Dependable’ electrician, offering an extensive range of electrical services across Tasmania.  We answer some frequently asked questions below.  If you have further questions, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss them with you.

1. I don’t have any hot water. Do I need a plumber or an electrician?

This is a good question.  In most cases the problem is electrical.  It is usually an element or thermostat problem, and therefore electrical.

This still applies if water is running out of the small electrical cover, as it is often the element seal leaking.  If the cylinder is old or leaking from the pressure relief valve or other fittings, it may need repair or replacement, and this requires a plumber.

2. Do you accept credit cards?

 We accept credit cards, phone payments, direct transfer, cheques or cash.            

3. Do you charge for quotes?

No not usually, but in the case where insufficient information is available and longer than normal time is required to quote, then it becomes a consultancy job and negotiated accordingly. For jobs under $1000.00, usually an estimate can be provided.

4. Is solar PV grid-connect still cost effective?

Yes it is, especially if you use the power when the sun is out during the day.  Even though the feed tariff has been reduced, if you are using the power as it is produced, it cancels out your metered amount at the full rate.  Also, government rebates still apply.

5. What is an RCD?

RCD’s and RCBO’s, also previously known as ELCB’s , while having some technical differences are all essentially what is now referred to as a safety  switch or safety circuit breaker. 

These are mandatory on most new circuits and are a wise investment in any installation. Safety switches:

  • Help to prevent electric shock and fatalities.
  • Help to prevent fires caused by old or faulty wiring.
  • Help identify faulty appliances before they become even more dangerous.
  • Help to identify rodent, ant or water damaged cabling.

RCD = Residual Current Device
RCBO = Residual Current Circuit Breaker with Over current protection
ELCB = Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker

6. Can I do my own electrical work or help you do my work?

No, for the following reasons:

  • It is dangerous to do so and can lead to fires, death and injury.
  • Electrical work is classed as such is highly regulated. It can only be carried out by a licensed electrical contractor who is also a licensed technician or by a licensed technician who is employed by an electrical contractor.
  • All but the smallest repair jobs are required to be documented on certificate of electrical compliance notices and submitted to both the regulator and the customer.
  • Penalties and fines apply for all non-compliant work.
  • Properties with sub standard or illegal wiring often cannot be insured, and if they have been insured can have claims rejected.
  • Electricity cannot be seen and therefore specialised tools and test equipment are required to carry out this type of work competently.
  • We cannot tell you how to do our job, apart from being unethical it is also illegal for us to tell you.
  • All electrical contractors are legally obliged to report any unsafe and or amateur wiring.

You should only use licensed, well-trained electrical contractors who are experienced and up to date with compliance and the latest safety issues.

7. Can I do my own telephone or data cabling?

No, for the following reasons:

  • This type of work also requires a license.
  • It is regulated by the ACMA.
  • Very large fines can be applied.
  • It requires special knowledge and training to do competently.
  • It requires specific tools and test equipment.

8. Can I dig or supply my own trench for underground cabling?

Yes, this is perfectly all right as long as it meets the relevant standards. It is often more practical in cases where there is already earth works being carried out on site, or simply for economic reasons.  It is a good idea to “dial before you dig” where appropriate.  We can also do the complete job.

9. Why is my hard wired smoke detector beeping?

Hard-wired smoke detectors have a 9-volt battery for back up purposes when there is a power outage. When this battery is running low it causes the detector to beep, indicating required replacement.

10. How long do smoke detectors last?

Smoke detectors have a life of 10 years and should then be replaced. This is because the sensing element becomes less sensitive and does not comply after that period.  The smoke detector has a date on the back of it and the 10 years starts from that date.  It is important to maintain and replace detectors when due because it is proven that they save lives.

11. I have a circuit breaker that keeps tripping or a fuse that keeps blowing. What should I do?

You should most definitely have the problem check by a qualified electrical contractor.  There are many and varied reasons why this may be occurring ranging from overloading of circuits to faulty cabling or equipment.  In all cases, it requires the expertise of a licensed electrical contractor with the correct equipment and experience in fault finding techniques.

 12. Is it expensive to have a surge arrestor fitted to my switchboard?

Not usually.  In most modern switchboards it is relatively easy to install one and also a very good investment. Surges can come from a variety of sources, either a grid related problem such as wind affecting the overhead lines, a transformer failing, a vehicle hitting a pole or lightning due to a local storm.

We have assisted a great number of these concerns in recent years, mostly due to lightning.  The mid-level style surge arrestor is a very good starting point, as it can save your valuable electronic devices from being destroyed.  The average house has more electronics than ever before. There are sensor lights, smoke detectors, circuit boards in ovens, washing machines, clothes dryer, microwaves and fridges. Then there are televisions and computers and all of their associated add-ons.  Without any protection, all of these items are at risk of random destruction from surges.