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Electrician Blog

Great practical tips and advice on all things electrical from our expert Sydney electricians.

4 reasons why it’s important to think about colour temperature in lighting warm white, cool white, daylight

July 14, 2020

4 reasons why it’s important to think about colour temperature in lighting warm white, cool white, daylight

It’s amazing what a difference the color of a light can make in a room. It can really add to the feeling of the whole house. It’s surprisingly important to consider the colour temperature when you’re looking at the aesthetic of a room, and if you try out a few different looks, you might be amazed how much they can change the overall atmosphere. Considering the color temperature of the lighting in your in rooms allows you to optimize them for their intended activity, improving your productivity a.

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July 14, 2020

Kitchen Wars: Electric or Induction

Cooking is an everyday task, but some days, we as wives have no desire to do it. Having to prep, cook, and clean up afterwards, is just one of those things that can drive us all a little crazy.

As a wife, there are days that I come home from work, look at my stove, think about the mess I am going to make, and I just give up and call for takeout. Some nights, I have no desire to deal with my stove and oven.

Every stove has its own way of cooking with some being better than others. Let's look at the difference between electric and induction stoves. We will look at the safety, ease of use, economy, and cleaning of each cooktop.

Sometimes a better stove makes a world of a difference!

Electric cooktops

  • Safety: They are safe, but do have a downside. Unlike induction stove tops, these heat the whole element. This means that if your pot or pan is smaller than the heating element, you run the risk of burns. This just means putting a little extra elbow grease into cleaning.
  • Ease of Use: These are simple to use but they can take a few minutes to heat up; fortunately, they get hot and stay hot. It can be tricky to change the temperature, but it only takes a few minutes.
  • Economy: These tend to run cheaper than induction stoves. They are also simple to maintain since many people use them. Most people prefer them if they are looking for something long-lasting and easier on the wallet.
  • Cleaning: Electric stove tops are easy to clean. They are easy to wipe off - just clean them like you would your counters. Just remember that food is more likely to bake onto the stove causing a little more work.

Induction cooktops

  • Safety: Some models coming out have child safety locks built in. Your kids can't turn on the stove when you're not around! The stovetop also only sends heat to where it is needed. If the pot is a little smaller than the size of the burner, it only heats where the pot is touching.
  • Ease of use: The heat is instant with induction, versus electric stoves, where you have to wait for the burner to heat up before it will heat the pot or pan. This will start heating up instantly which saves on time, heat loss, and energy.
  • Economy: These stoves don't use as much energy as its electric counterparts. These stoves do tend to run at higher upfront costs than electric stoves do. Over time, they will pay for themselves, but there is a difference.
  • Cleaning: The great thing about these stoves is that the heat only goes to the pot or pan. If you happen to overflow, the food will not get baked on as easily as on an electric stove. All you do is wipe off the stove like you would your counter.

It all comes down to your personal preference. Cooking for your spouse and family, cooking in general, should be fun and with minimal craziness. Having an oven and stove that you like to cook with makes all the difference. Be sure to do some more research and ask around. Find the one that's right for you!

Whether you are replacing an existing appliance, or undertaking a kitchen renovation Powerix Electrician can help you with the installation of your new appliances.

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July 14, 2020

Solar Isolator Switch Recall: What you need to know

Have solar power at home or work?

Then pay attention, as an integral part of your system's functionality could be risking not just your installation, but much more.

The Australia Competition and Consumer Commission have recently released information concerning potentially faulty DC isolator switches.

* PLEASE NOTE: Powerix hasn't installed any of the isolators mentioned in this post.

DC isolator switches, used in the interests of safety, disconnect solar panels for the purpose of installation, repairs and maintenance.

The brands referred to in the Worksafe QLD release include:

  • Avanco
  • PVPower
  • Gen3/SPM
  • NHP
  • ISO MAX
  • Salzer Solar

If you have any questions about the below content, or solar power in general, the team at Powerix are here to help. Contact us on 1300 217 428 or 0488 856 928 .

Avanco:

Avanco brand DC isolators have been found to have internal faults, leading to overheating and fires. Sold in Queensland after 1 January 2012, the defective models include:

  • AV/DC4P25A
  • AV/DC2P25A
  • AV/DC4P25AUB
  • AV/DC2P625AU
  • AV/DC2P25AU
  • AV/DC2/2P25AU
  • AV/DC2/2P125AU
  • AV/DC4P25AU
  • AV/DC4P25AUS
  • AV/DC4P25AUT

A order for recall was announced for the affected Avanco isolators. The models subjected to recall have an enclosed rotary switch device; the switch is yellow, with a yellow background. The Avanco branding features on the front. It's worth noting that these isolators may have a marking on the external enclosure, containing the following numbers:

Clear Lid: AV/ENC4P25AC

Opaque Lid: AV/ENC4P25AO

PVPower branded DC isolators

The importers of PVPower brand DC isolators have announced a recall for the products.

PVPower isolators, like Avanco, are rotary types, and have a red switch with yellow background.


PVPower branded DC isolators
PVPower Recalled Solar DC Isolator

Gen3 or SPM branded DC isolators

The importers of the Gen3/SPM brand dc isolators are undertaking a voluntary product replacement program.

Gen3/SPM branded DC isolators are a rotary type, and have a red switch/yellow background around the switch OR a black background around the switch.

Look out for the brand logo on the top corner:

Gen3 or SPM branded DC isolators
Gen3 or SPM Recalled Solar Dc Isolator

NHP DC isolators

NHP isolator models NHP-KDA-432 and KDM-43 have been found to hold an incorrect material, derived from the manufacturing process. A voluntary recall of these isolators gas been announced.

Defects include the switch staying on, despite the handle indicating the isolator to be off. This defect carries a risk of electric shock to the operator of the isolator.

The defective models have been identified as having serial numbers from x2013 - x3813, where X can be any number between 1 and 5.

You can find the serial number on the box and on the base. Note that the ‘X’ prefix only appears on the switch base.

ISO MAX Branded DC isolators

In 2012, the sellers of ISO MAX DC isolators triggered a recall, covering DC Isolators with the following model numbers/markings:

  • Model No. LS16, DCISO 1000V
  • Model No. LS25, DCISO 1000V
  • Model No. LS32, DCISO 1000V

ISO-MAX DC Isolators have a light grey body and a red handle.

If operating at currents in excess of 12A, models LS16, LS25, and LS32 are at great risk of overheating and potentially causing fire, even if they’re being operated properly.

Salzer solar DC isolators

The Salzer solar DC isolator switches can present a risk of fire under certain conditions when switched.

Subject to numerous recalls, the specific model is DCLB232, which is also known as IPV40E and IPV40ES.

If these isolators are identified, it is advised to shut down the AC side of the PV installation, then contact an electrician/solar expert.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

If your household has one of the mentioned solar isolators, worksafe queensland advises the system be shut down immediately.

If unsure of what model isolator you have, dig further by checking your isolator’s operating manual or invoice.

Still don’t know? Get in touch with your local electrician/solar expert.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Resources used:

https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/industry/products/product-recalls

http://www.solarpanelsmelbournevictoria.com.au/solar-power/solar-components/isolator-switches/

https://www.solargain.com.au/dc-isolator-recalls

http://www.cobaltsolar.com.au/DC_Isolator_Recalls

https://www.solaraccreditation.com.au/products/product-recalls/



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July 14, 2020

NSW Smoke Alarm Legislation 2020 & what it means for you?

Did you know when you are asleep, your sense of smell is asleep too? You cannot smell coffee when you are fast asleep, and if your house is on fire, you won't smell the smoke either.

According to a study conducted by Macquarie University and Bushfire and Natural Hazards Co-operative Research Centre - more Australians are killed in residential fires each year than through natural hazards. The fatality rate from residential fires has remained steady over the past 10 years.

Although residential fires are deadly, they can be prevented with the help of working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms can save lives by detecting smoke and alerting the occupants within seconds. They can reduce the risk of death from residential fires by over 50%.

Modern homes have deadlier fires

Fires in modern homes spread faster (less than 5 minutes) compared to older homes wherein fire took over 29 minutes to spread throughout the building.

Modern building materials and furniture react differently to fires and create toxic gases and a higher level of smoke. This puts the occupants at grave risk of inhaling toxic fumes and allows less time to evacuate safely.

Roof on fire

Advantages of smoke alarms

  • Interconnected smoke alarms are preferable for homes so that if one smoke alarm activates, all the smoke alarms will go off so that the occupants have a better chance of evacuating the house quickly.
  • This early warning increases the chance of a safe escape.

Types of smoke alarms

There are 3 types of alarms - Photoelectric Alarms, Ionisation Alarms and Dual Sensor Alarms.

Photoelectric alarms are faster at detecting smoke from burning synthetic materials while ionisation alarms are quick at detecting flaming fires. Smoke alarms are more effective when they are installed in appropriate locations, they are interconnected and more than one alarm is installed. The more smoke alarms in your home, the safer you and your family are.

Smoke alarms installation and testing

Smoke Alarm Legislation NSW 2020

  • NSW legislation provides a minimum level of protection.
  • Under Clause 146A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 and Divison 7A of Part 9 of Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, at least one smoke alarm must be installed on each level in all buildings where people sleep.
  • Smoke alarms must comply with the Australian Standard AS 3786.
  • Failure to comply with the legislation is an offence and you can get a maximum penalty of $550.
  • Alarms installed after May 2006 should comply with AS3786.
  • Fire and Rescue NSW recommends the installation of interconnected smoke alarms in all bedrooms, living areas and garage.

What does the NSW smoke alarm legislation mean for you?

If you are a homeowner:

Consider installing a smoke alarm on every level of your home. If you already have a smoke alarm, you do not need to replace the alarm. However, it is recommended to install interconnected smoke alarms.

If you are a tenant or landlord

  • Landlords are responsible to ensure the property has at least one working smoke alarm on every level of the property.
  • Landlords can access the rented property to install smoke alarms by giving 2 days’ notice to the tenant. Landlords need to replace a faulty smoke alarm within 2 days.
  • For hard-wired smoke alarms, the batteries need to be replaced by the landlord.
  • For a battery-operated smoke alarm, the tenant is responsible to replace the battery. If the battery cannot be changed, the tenant should notify the landlord as soon as possible.

Smoke alarm safety tips

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home including the basement and every bedroom, living area, stairways, hallways and garage.
  • Consider installing extra smoke alarms if you have a large home.
  • Interconnected hardwired smoke alarms are better for maximum safety.
  • Use home sprinkler systems to control fire.
  • Test all the smoke alarms at least once a month.
  • Fire blankets and fire extinguishers can also help you deal with small fires before they get out of control.
  • Discuss an escape plan with your family so they are aware of what to do in the event of a fire.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors if you use gas appliances or heaters in your home.

How can Powerix help you?

Our electricians can provide you with expert advice on the areas where it is beneficial to install smoke alarms. We offer comprehensive smoke alarm solutions - installation, routine testing, and maintenance for homes and businesses across Sydney.

Powerix electrical logo

Speak to our team for more information on 0488 856 928 or complete our online quote request form.

References

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July 14, 2020

NSW Leads Australia with Maximum Number of Rooftop Solar Installations

2020 was a bumper year for solar in Australia.

Australia once again broke its own record for the highest number of photovoltaics installed in a year. In 2020, the installations skyrocketed by a whopping 30% from the previous year.

362,734 rooftop solar PV systems were installed as per the data from the Clean Energy Regulator and analysed by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO. Of this, NSW contributed with over 109,000 installations. The solar uptake is high in suburbs like Marsden Park, Vineyard, Kellyville, Rouse Hill, Camden and Oakdale.

The pattern of installation in NSW is significantly different from Victoria. In Victoria, the installation is focused on five postcodes whereas the installations are spread evenly throughout Sydney. This data is gathered based on the installation from the small-scale renewable energy scheme and construction data.

Solar PV Uptake NSW | Solar Installers Sydney

Australians are committed to reducing their carbon footprint and using renewable energy sources to power their homes. COVID-19 has also enabled homeowners to spend more time on home improvement projects. Rooftop solar power is forecasted to generate 32 gigawatts by 2030 and would eclipse coal.

“Sustained low technology costs, increased work from home arrangements and a shift in household spending to home improvements during COVID-19 played a key role in the increase of rooftop solar PV systems,” Clean Energy Regulator executive general manager Mark Williamson said.

Switch to Solar

At the end of 2020, Australia had over 2.68 million households with solar which means one in 4 households is now enjoying the benefits of solar energy. So what’s stopping you from getting solar? The goal of NSW government is to have net zero emissions by 2050 and you can contribute to this target by installing a solar PV system.

Switch to clean energy with expert solar installers at Powerix. We are experts when it comes to solar PV systems across Sydney, meaning we can help homes and businesses like yours utilise the free and abundant power from the sun. Our experienced team of CEC accredited solar installers offer the custom design, supply and installation of top quality solar systems throughout Sydney. For more information, contact us on 0488 856 928 or complete our online enquiry form .

References

https://www.industry.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-12/australias-emissions-projections-2020.pdf

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/nsw-leads-australia-s-charge-to-record-rooftop-solar-take-up-20210513-p57rp9.html

https://energysaver.nsw.gov.au/households/solar-and-battery-power

https://www.csiro.au/en/news/news-releases/2021/australia-installs-record-breaking-number-of-rooftop-solar-panels

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