February 11th, 2015
I have recently taken on my first ever apprentice and I feel I could share a few insights I’ve had on how it affects my customers.
Just to introduce my apprentice he is brand new to the industry and is a first year apprentice. He is 18 and has a license. His name is Carl. As a first year apprentice he knows very little about the trade but I’m glad to say he’s eager to learn.
Currently he is charged out at $35+gst per hour. Which is around 45% of a fully qualified sparkys rate. Understandably people are taken a back by this but I assure you its the industry standard and well worth every $$ especially for you and here’s why.
- A job will run much smoother with all those fiddly jobs needing a second set of hands being completed with much less time wastage.
- They can clean up the job site and put tools away. Both jobs usually a fully qualified sparky would usually have to do.
- They can go to the wholesaler and pick up parts. Once again a job usually the fully qualified has to do
- Complete electrical installations that I feel he is capable of doing at a good pace and quality. (obviously supervised)
You might be thinking “Keith, I see how this benefits you, but I cant see how it helps me?”. You would be right except you need to look at the end result. All those jobs he does are jobs Id usually be doing myself but at a higher rate. So really he is saving you money.
Sure, sometimes he needs to just stand and observe what I am doing but that’s why his charge out rate is so low.
I feel like we can be more productive and efficient at this point ultimately giving better results to my customers
January 8th, 2014
Have you got a SMART METER? chances are that you will now have multiple tariffs. Which in most cases will consist of PEAK, OFF PEAK & SHOULDER and a winter or summer setting.
PEAK: When demand of the domestic grid is the highest usually between 3pm and 9pm. Resulting in a hight tarriff rate.
OFF PEAK: When domestic demand is least, usually between 10pm and 7am
SHOULDER: All other times
So a quick hint is to utilise timers or buy appliances with built in off/on timers. A few good examples of why to use timers are:
– if you must use a dryer then set it to come on after 10pm thus it will run in OFF PEAK
– Same with washing machines, dish washers, bread makers, slow cookers etc….
– items that don’t need you constant attention.
Obviously don’t let items that can cause fire go unattended and in the case of the dryer ensure the lint collector is always empty. I guess check all smoke alarms are operble too.
Hopefully this has been helpful
August 26th, 2013
Obviously we have all heard about the roll out of Smart Meters? I think it would be a heavy rock your under if you hadn’t. So whats your thoughts on them? scared of rising bills or radio frequencies being marinated on your brain? Or are you accepting the change. In my opinion I would not be concerned and i’ll tell you why.
Smart meters do give off small radio frequencies to transmit the data to the receiver (energy retailer). Much like a mobile phone does. According to my research a average smart meter transmits for 1.4 seconds a day and it would amount over an average persons life to be the equivalent of one 30 minute mobile phone call. Though I do agree that we should always try reduce our exposure to the microwaves. Though we should possibly choose our fights a little wiser. However I do know of several products that can be applied to your walls that will block nearly 100% of all “wave forms” entering your house. Give me a call if you would like to know more.
Smart meters may/most likely raise your bill and to lay it out simply it is because they are SMART. They catch every piece of energy you use. The old meters relies upon magnetism to calculate your kw usage. The more enegy you used to more magnetic field was placed on the rotor (spinning disc in the old meter) so the quicker it turned. Every turn had an applied value (possibly 1 kw) so each rotation was worth 1kw. But these old meters found it very hard to see or charge you for the “in rush” power. Whats “in rush power” you ask???
IN RUSH POWER: I’ll try put it simply. If you need to push a car from standing still. The first few steps will consume a lot of your energy quickly but then as the vehicle gains momentum you can nearly push it with one finger easily. Its the same with electricity i.e when your washing machine starts it has to move a full barrel of clothes and water from start over and over again.
Smart meters can pick up “in rush” power and i’m telling you it adds up!!! Not to mention smart meters don’t rely on moving parts so there is no parts that will slow down and cause the meter to run slower.
My next blog will be about how to make the smart meter your friend.
May 5th, 2013
We all want the best price & its only human to seek it. However we all need to remember that age old rule that we all know “you get what you pay for”. I suggest you look for value for money, so not necessarily the cheapest price but the one in which you feel you are getting the most bang for your buck.
The reason I am mentioning this obvious rule is because the electrical industry is becoming flooded with in my opinion, second rate components. Yes you can now find a power point for under $3 but I stress to you that if you pick up a Clipsal brand and a cheap brand in each hand you will feel the difference in quality straight away.
A new hardware store recently opened up near me, a hardware that is a direct competitor to the big one. I went there one week after its grand opening. I went straight to their electrical section and was amazed at the prices, so low!!! However I started to play with all the display models and I kid you not, nearly every single switch mechanism had become defective, either loose or completely missing. For this to happen after a week was simply alarming. If these were installed in your house I could say that in my opinion they’d be very dangerous.
Another example is that a new importer started to bring single pole safety switches into the country. They went on sale by the thousands. Only problem is, they nowhere near met Australian standards. Some even had the potential of catching fire if installed in multiples. In these instances the customer wouldn’t even know as the electrician probably supplied them. (these safety switches were directed for sale towards electricians, not the general public). So a lot of electrician were not even aware of the dangers.
Brands that have a reputation for quality will usually not want to harm their brand by using inferior quality components. Their products are properly researched and designed.
Please always ensure your electrician is using quality products it will SAVE YOU MONEY in the long run.
Thanks for reading
April 14th, 2013
Have you had an electrician tell you that you HAVE to install a safety switch. I know that nearly every day I have to explain to customers that i have to install a safety switch in their switchboard to comply with AS3000/2007 standards. So I’m going to let you know where you can find the regulation at hand so you to can see that it is true.
The reg can be found as mentioned in AS3000/2007 at reg 2.6.3 titled: Where additional protection is required. I don’t intend on writing the whole reg as it would be lengthy but the key points state
- Additional protection by RCDs (safety switches) with a maximum rated residual current of 30ma shall be provided for final sub circuits supplying:
a) one or more socket outlets
b) lighting points
c) directly connected hand held electrical equipment
It goes on to say that this applies to pretty much all styles of installation be it domestic, commercial or industrial.
Of course there are a few exceptions but they are very limited and will very rarely apply in a domestic installati0n.
I personally think it is a great move forward to bring this regulation into action as I can honestly say it WILL SAVE LIVES!!!
Thanks for reading and any electrical question please ask away!!!
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