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Why can’t you do your own minor electrical repairs?

Electrical issues are annoying and frustrating, however a lot of people don’t realise that minor electrical issues can become major problems if left unchecked. But before you start thinking that you could perform those repairs yourself... back away from that toolbox, mister.

kitchen with lights on

Hit The Switch is one of Melbourne’s leading electricians for small electrical jobs, electrical repairs and installations. However, a lot of customers think that some electrical tasks are too small to call Hit The Switch. They’re not! No job is too large or too small to give us a ring. To clarify this, we are writing a series of blog articles explaining what’s involved in a small electrical job, and what your options are. The second article in this series covers minor electrical jobs (You can check out the first article in this series here: Why you should install LED lighting)


We all tend to take electricity for granted until something goes wrong. Lights start flickering. Appliances keep tripping. Your hot water system becomes a warm water system. Power point switches get stuck. That type of thing. It’s annoying and frustrating, however what a lot of people don’t realise is that minor electrical issues can become major problems if left unchecked. And before you start thinking that you could perform those minor electrical repairs yourself... back away from that toolbox, mister.In Victoria it is illegal for anyone other than a fully qualified electrician to do any job involving electrical wiring, no matter how minor. You can replace a light bulb, plug in an appliance, and that’s pretty much it. Even if you could do the work safely and competently, it will not pass certification – even if later inspected by a qualified electrician – which is bad news especially if you need to sell the property. Furthermore, heaven forbid if something did go wrong down the track, your insurance company would be well within its rights to make your policy null and void.


We could save a lot of time here and just say “everything” because no job is too small for the licenced electricians at Hit The Switch. (Or too large for that matter, but we’ll save that for another time.)


The most common small electrical repair we invariably get called out for is dodgy lighting. Although ‘strobing’ lights are by no means a hazard in the early stages, they have the potential to become dangerous. For example, dimming and flickering lights may be annoying, but what if the flickering is caused by a short in your home’s wiring? Worst case scenario, in the event of a blackout or severe storm, that short could pose a fire risk. Or it could be that there’s a really bad connection, with a loose wire. The rogue wire could become so hot it could fry the insulation...and once again present a very real fire hazard. Bottom line: if a light flickers or dims, call an electrician quick smart and find out exactly why.


Faulty appliances are also high on the annoyance scale...especially when you have to go to the switchboard and reset your safety switch and/or circuit breaker. Most electrical appliance faults can be detected with a quick visual inspection. In the majority of cases, they are caused by too many appliances connected to the same circuit at the same time which isn’t cause for alarm. Electric heaters, toasters and jugs are notorious for drawing a lot of power and overloading power boards. But if it happens too often – and you’ve gone through the 9 simple Steps in the Hit The Switch Free D.I.Y Fault Finding Guide – there’s a good chance that there could be a serious fault on a circuit. If so, switch off the faulty appliance, unplug it, and call us on 1300 205 205.


Broken power points are another niggling problem requiring minor electrical repairs. There are many ways power points could be physically damaged – the housing may have cracked when you were moving furniture around, or the switch pushed in when you were vacuuming. If the power point is not damaged, but has stopped working, the question you must ask yourself is why. (Check to make sure that the plug has been pushed fully in to the socket, in case it isn’t making a connection.) It may have been damaged internally by a rodent, a wire may have come loose, or it might just be a case of wear and tear. A safety switch will prevent injury or death, but that really is the last line of defence; it’s far better not to put yourself in the situation where a safety switch is called for. While we’re on the subject of safety, please note: If you think that wearing rubber-soled shoes will protect you from an electric shock in an unsafe electrical situation, think again. It definitely will NOT. Also remember that only safety switches save lives – circuit breakers and surge protectors are only designed to protect electrical equipment and appliances. If a power point is broken, it should be replaced immediately. For peace of mind, Hit The Switch can fit new power points, and while we’re there, turn singles into doubles and install additional power points wherever you might need them.


Repositioning of power points

  • Connecting new ovens
  • Replacing cooktops
  • Repairing outdoor lighting
  • Replacing a batten holder with a new light fitting
  • Replacing light fittings with ceiling fans
  • Putting a new plug on the end of a lead
  • And many other small tasks

For more information and advice about minor electrical click here. Alternately call us on 1300 205 205, or simply contact us. DISCOVER THE EASY WAY TO FIND AN ELECTRICAL FAULT...WITHOUT CALLING AN ELECTRICIAN! IT’S FREE.

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