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FAQ

What’s the difference between a circuit breaker (fuse) and a safety switch?

The older protection devices such as the ceramic fuses generally protect the wiring, they do not protect you.

Most consumers believe that when something goes wrong in the electrical system “The fuse blows” and protecting themselves from the risk of electrocution, THIS IS NOT THE CASE.

Fuses blow for 2 reasons. Firstly, a short circuit, when a live wire makes contact with an earthing system. Secondly, an overload on the circuit.

Safety switches are you and your family’s insurance against electric shock. They are designed to prevent injury or death.

On a normal power circuit, the current flowing to an appliance returns through the neutral wire. If the circuit is compromised, the electricity can leak to earth through a person in contact with the appliance, causing death or serious injury.

A safety switch detects the loss of power from the circuit, and cuts the supply of electricity in as little as 30 milliseconds – 0.03 of a second. Importantly, this response time is faster than the critical section of a heartbeat, and therefore significantly reduces the risk of death or serious injury.

Caution notice

This information is provided as a guide only to RCD and circuit breaker fault finding. If you are not confident in conducting this procedure, Call us on 1300 669 135.

My safety switch has tripped off and I cannot reset it. What can I do?

Step 1: Turn the main power switch on the switch board to OFF, then turn the safety switch ON (it should Stay on), then turn the Main Switch On. If safety switch trips OFF proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Turn off all power points in your home. Then remove each appliance power lead from their power point.

Step 3: Turn safety switch ON. If safety switch stays ON there is a potential fault with an appliance. If safety switch trips OFF you need to proceed to step 4.

Step 4: Turn the main power switch on the switch board to OFF. Switch all circuit breakers OFF or REMOVE all fuses. Note fuses need to be return to their original fuse holders. Turn the safety switch ON (it should stay on) then turn the main power switch ON. (Safety switch should still be ON)

Step 5: One at a time, carefully INSERT each fuse into the correct fuse holder (the main power should be turned off prior to returning the fuse) or turn circuit breakers ON. When the safety switch trips, you have identified the faulty circuit. REMOVE the last fuse or turn that particular circuit breaker OFF. You can continue inserting the remaining fuses/turn circuit breakers ON. You should have one fuse which is removed or one circuit breaker that is OFF.

Step 6: Contact Captain Cook Electrical on 1300 669 135 to have the faulty circuit repaired

 

Caution notice

This information is provided as a guide only to RCD and circuit breaker fault finding. If you are not confident in conducting this procedure, Call us on 1300 669 135.

Are all down lights energy efficient?

No. However, we can supply and install more energy efficient lamps than the traditional 50 Watt Halogen Dichroic (the normal down light globe). There is a new globe which is fitted with an infra-red film which prevents light and heat from escaping from the back of the lamp. There are also a range of compact fluorescent and LED lamps that we can install for you. This provides more light, while also using less energy.

How does surge protection work?

The main job of a surge protector system is to protect electrical devices (televisions, computers, microwave ovens) from “surges.” So what are power surges?

A power surge is an increase in voltage significantly above the designated level. In normal household and office wiring the standard voltage is 240 volts. If the voltage rises above 240 volts, as may be the case during a lightning strike, there is a problem. A surge protector helps to prevent that problem from destroying your electrical devices.

A point to remember is that the greater the surge protector current rating, the longer the surge protector will last.

Do I need a safety switch?

It is recommended. Regulations now require every power point we install be protected by some form of RCD (residual current device “safety switch”). There are many options when installing safety switches contact Captain Cook Electrical on 1300 88 10 89 to discuss these options.