FAQ

Technical QUESTIONS

  • We care. We take the time to work with you to achieve your vision and help guide you along the way.
  • Unfortunately, we come across a lot of work (mostly in ceiling spaces, or under the floors of your houses) that is sub-par and does not meet New Zealand’s strict electrical standards. This can be in the form of wiring not clipped to timber, cables with primary insulation showing. This kind of workmanship is due to pressures like cost (to the customer), time, or just laziness. We see it as just another part of our job, they may not be the nicest of places to work, however it is expected that we do our job correctly, and ensure a safe install in your home or business.

We have 3 main ways of charging customers for our time and services:

  1. Charge-up (time and materials) – this is the most honest form of pricing, as the job is charged purely on how long it takes, and what materials we use. This is the preferred method we like to use; however, it can be unsettling for the customer as they may not realise how much the job will cost them from the beginning.
  2. Quote – One of the most popular ways of pricing jobs for tradespeople is via a quote. This is a pre-agreed price that the job will be done for. A list of inclusions and exclusions are outlined in the description so both the customer and tradesperson know exactly what is being done. If extra, or less, work is required a contract variation will be submitted which accounts for the altered work. Larger variations can be quoted, however the time taken to quote these will be charged to the customer.
  3. Estimate – Similar to a quote, however, the price is not set in stone. An estimate can be used where there’s uncertainty about certain parts of the job like structural elements not being sited, access conditions, or many others. This is a medium-ground way of pricing jobs where the tradesperson may not feel comfortable setting a price for a job, as things may not go to plan, but the customer still wants a rough idea of what the job will cost. It is commonly accepted that the final job price should be within 10-15% of the estimate given.

Price Rates – 

  • Standard Labour rates: $80+gst/hr
  • Out-of-hours Labour rates if jobs must be done out of our normal  work hours:  $120+gst/hr
  • Call-out fee: $225.00 (includes first hour of labour)
  • Site fee: $25.00
  • Service job minimum fee: $105+gst
  • Although we don’t feel locked into a niche electrical field, guided by our experience we do mostly residential new builds, renovations, and service work. We can take care of all electrical, AV, and security aspects of your project!
  • Many people think if they have no hot water, to call a plumber, but unless there’s physically no water coming from the tap, an electrician is your first port of call!
  • Call us straight away! If it’s really bad turn off the power and wait for us to show up.
  • Yes! The electrical world is incredibly fast-moving and varied. We also work with home audio and visual systems, security, intercoms, data/telephone. We are constantly looking to learn and grow so if you have something electrical you’d like installed give us a call!

Short answer would be YES! There are so many advantages to upgrading your lights, so if you can afford to, it’s a healthy investment. Here’s a few reasons why it’s a good idea:

  • No more changing light bulbs! All the new light fittings we supply have built-in LED’s which mean they don’t blow bulbs like older light fittings. This means you’re not constantly paying more money to keep your fittings going, and if you have high ceilings, or awkward spots (like over stairs) you don’t need to risk being unsafe in order to change them.
  • They use less power – in some cases LED light fittings can save you up to 80% of your lighting power usage! LED Fittings are purpose-made so you don’t have ‘wasted’ light or heat. Here’s an example: Fluorescent tubes – these are hugely inefficient. The fittings they are most commonly installed in are ceiling battens or trophers (like in an office suspended ceiling). However, the tubes themselves are circular, meaning light is coming out at all angles, including upwards. The fittings may have reflectors, or be painted white to reflect the light back down, but there’s still a lot of waste. The newer LED equivalents are completely directional only showing light in the direction it is required.
  • Safety! We like to use Switch recessed downlights where possible. Switch have some great technology in them; they shifted the heat-sink to the face of the fitting. This means the heat the lights produce is moved away from the fitting to the room, not into the ceiling space above. This eliminates fire risks from being installed close to timber or under insulation. They are also a completely sealed unit, so they create a barrier between the room they’re installed in, and the ceiling cavity above.
  • Longer lasting: The LED downlights we supply have a life span of over 50,000 hours. That’s over 34 years if they’re on for an average of 4 hours per day! Incredible!

Does your switchboard look like this?

Or like this?

If you have a switchboard like the first one we would highly recommend you upgrade your board. Here’s a few bullet points why:

  • Re-wireable fuses are dangerous! Firstly, when you pull the fuse out, it leaves a live terminal exposed, one slip while removing or putting the fuse back in could lead to an electric shock!
  • When re-wireable fuses blow, it is up to the person living at the home to install new fuse wire (unless they call us!) so the circuit will work again. A couple of issues could arise in doing this:

If they don’t know what the fuse should be rated at they may install the wrong gauge of wire. If they install a gauge too small the fuse will trip when the loading isn’t actually too much for the circuit. Although this isn’t unsafe, it can be annoying! If they install a gauge of fuse wire that is too big, if the circuit becomes over-loaded the fuse won’t trip. This can lead to cable becoming too hot, and melting. We don’t need to tell you that this is incredibly unsafe, and a fire risk!

  • No fuse wire handy? Believe me people can be creative! This is not the time to do so. As mentioned above, it is so important that the correct fuse wire and rating is used for the circuit they are to be installed on. So, no copper wire and no nails!
  • Frustration: We were called to a job in 2018 where a customer’s oven kept tripping the fuse. Instead of calling us first, the customer called their grandfather to come and help. He put 4x as much fuse wire in the fuse that was required! All seemed well and our customer turned her oven back on, when all of a sudden, the whole house fell into darkness! Because they put in so much fuse wire the oven fault actually blew the fuse on the street. This resulted in us finally being called. So, not only did the customer receive a bill from us, they also received one from Orion for an emergency callout to restore power to the house!
  • If you own a rental property, and your tenants have an issue like above, would you feel safe knowing they may be installing the wrong size fuse wire, and putting your house at risk??
  • RCD Protection: RCD protection is required on all modified or new power and lighting circuits in a residential house. RCD stands for Residual Current Device. They are a safety device that detects a difference in current between the neutral and live conductors in a circuit. If a difference is detected, they will disconnect power to the circuits they supply. They are most handy for picking up leakage current to earth, stopping electric shocks within 300ms! These are installed in all new switchboards, and switchboard upgrades.
  • Future work around house: As mentioned above, RCD protection is required for modification of power and lighting circuits in a residential home. If you have a significant amount of DIY planned in the future it’s a good idea to get the switchboard upgraded first. This means all that work can be done without continual switchboard work being carried out at every point along the way.
  • Easily-resetting MCB’s / RCD’s. As mentioned above about re-wireable fuses, they can be quite dangerous! When your board is upgraded to RCD and MCB protection every circuit is clearly labelled, and correctly fused to the size of the wiring supplying it. New MCBs and RCDs are also super simple to reset if one trips. Simply lift the little lever back up (on). If there is a constant fault the breaker will continue to trip, and at this point it’s time to give us a call to come and see what’s wrong!
  • Finally, they look a lot nicer! Look at the two pictures above and let me know which one you’d prefer!