frequently asked

questions

serving Christchurch for over 25 years

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Need help or advice???

Please take a look at our frequently asked questions for electrical faults and problem solving. Here is loads of useful information that might get you out of a jam. Should you require any further assistance, then please feel free to contact us on on the below  or call 0800 RED ELEC.

F.A.Q.

Most frequent questions and answers

This is perhaps the most common FAQ. Many people think that you only need an electrician when you are constructing a new home, but this is simply not the case. In fact, if you have anything in your home that has to do with electricity needing repairs, it is far better to call in an electrician than to attempt to repair it yourself. DIY mistakes can be costly and in some cases dangerous. With DIY projects, not only is there a risk of electrocution, but there is also a risk that an improper repair may create fire hazard.

Situations That Require an Electrician Include:

  • Fuses keep blowing or circuit breakers keep tripping
  • RCDs(Residual Current Device) outlets are not installed in an area that should be brought up to code.
  • Extension cords are required because there are too few outlets in a room or they are spaced too far apart on the walls
  • Lights dim when appliances are turned on
  • Electrical switches or outlets feel warm or tingly or do not function properly
  • A need to add more outlets, switches or light fixtures in a room

Choosing the right electrician to do work on your home can be a frightening. Many people live with frustrating and sometimes dangerous problems because they are afraid of choosing a bad contractor.

Even though there are many people who will do poor electrical work by using cheap materials, overcharging, or not showing up on time, you will be happy to know that there are just as many people working in the electrical service industry who take pride in their work while being honest, hard-working and punctual.

 

QUESTIONS TO ASK A POTENTIAL CONTRACTOR

1. Are You Licensed?

Always make sure the person you hire is a licensed electrician in New Zealand. This should be a current practicing licence issued by the EWRB (Electrical Wiring Registration Board)

2. Do You Have References?

Most people who have a pleasant interaction with a contractor will happily testify on behalf of their experience. If the person you are hiring can’t provide a list of references upon request, that’s not a good sign. Always ask other customers if they were satisfied with the work, and make sure the contractor did come back promptly to address any problems.

3. How Long Have You Been in Business?

Ask how long a potential contractor has been in business. If they have been in business for several years, chances are they have been doing quality work for a long time (bad contractors usually go out of business quickly). Also, you want to hire someone that has completed projects similar to yours before. This will only give you confidence that they will be able to solve any problems correctly and in a quick manner.

4. Will You Provide an Estimate?

Evaluate the person during the estimating process by asking LOTS of questions. Before you sign up a contractor for any work, evaluate them on how they performed BEFORE the work is done.

5. Other Questions

  • Did they show up on time for their appointment?
  • Did they answer all of your questions?
  • Did they tell you exactly how much all the work will cost or is just an “estimate” with the final cost to be determined after the work is completed?
  • Did they explain in detail all the work that they are going to do?

It is likely that if you had a great experience during the estimating process, then you will also have a great experience when they do the job.

The EWRB has a helpful page with this database and can be found at here.

Having issues with your RCD?....Lets take a look and see if we can help.

When an RCD (Residual Current Device) has tripped generally more than one circuit would have stopped working as the RCD would operate to give additional protection to more than one breaker/circuit but how can we establish which is the faulty circuit?

Red Electrical would recommend that all the breakers on the RCD side that has tripped are switched off. The next step would be to reset the RCD which should hopefully hold. If so, individually switch on each breaker, if the fault is still an issue then the RCD will trip on the circuit that is switched back on. If that’s the case, repeat the process as above, leaving the faulty circuit/breaker off and call a Red Electrical for a Master Electrician to Fault Find and repair or feel free to contact Red Electrical for further advice on 0800 RED ELEC

If the RCD doesn’t re-set by following the steps above, then it is most likely a neutral to earth fault and a professional fault finding service is required.

Have you lights stopped working?....Lets take a look and see if we can help.

Firstly, check and see if it is just one light or if other lights are also not working. If it’s just the single light fitting or fixture, then check and change the light bulb, tube or lamp. For down-lights, as well as the lamp, a faulty low voltage lighting transformer could also be the issue.

If the fault is with more than one light, then head to the fuse-board (consumer unit) and see if any fuses, miniature circuit breakers (MCB’s) or Residual Circuit Breakers have tripped? If so, then there is a fault, this could be either on another circuit but has caused the RCD to trip. Following My RCD has tripped and won’t reset, what shall I do? Process as above could be useful.

Should the fault be with the lighting circuit and the miniature circuit breaker label “Lights” has tripped, trying re-setting. If the MCB doesn’t hold, try switching all light switches the opposite way to which they currently are and try the miniature circuit breakers again. If no joy and the MCB or RCD do not hold and reset, a professional electrical fault find should be considered.

For more information and advice, then please book online for a service call.

Are you having issues with your dimmer switch?....Lets take a look and see if we can help?

If a dimmer is not working, then it could be for one of two reasons, which as simple as it sounds could be the lamp has blown and needs replacing. If the lamp has been checked and replaced with the dimmer switch still not working then the dimming module within the dimmer switch will need to be replaced. The circuit will need to be tested and isolated. We strongly recommend that a Master Electrician is used to undertake this repair.

For more information and advice, then please book online for a service call.

Is your bathroom extractor fan not working?.....Lets take a look a see if we can help?

A common fault request that Red Electrical regularly undertakes. It's often that the existing bathroom extractor fan motor has burnt out and the complete unit needs replacing. 

A common method of design in ovens is the clock must be set in order for the oven to operate. However, this didn't apply to the ring elements on the stove top.

The clock can often be unknowingly reset to a non-working condition if the oven switch is turned off for a brief period of time.

This has been the undoing of many electricians as well, so don't feel silly if reading this has assisted you.

Unsure if your electrical installation needs testing or is safe?....Lets take a look and see if we can help.

There are many reasons for why an electrical installation Condition Report is requested, a change of occupancy, insurance purposes, for a new property purchases or simply a new inspection for a previous expired report.

New Zealand is still playing catch up to other parts of the world and generally expects individual insurance requirements to manage this without government input.

Our recommendation for clients is a yearly WOF for their home and commercial premises should be considered.

This will provide a brief but concise snap shot of the installation and ensure that any hotspots or failing protection systems are identified ahead of becoming a safety concern.

A tripped breaker is a nuisance. When it trips, an entire electrical circuit will not work, causing any electrical appliances or devices to not work as well. To fix it, follow the steps below:

  1. Locate your circuit breaker in the switchboard (usually found in your garage or hallway)
  2. Locate the tripped breaker/fuse. This is indicated by a breaker that is switched to the “off” position (not aligned with all the other breakers) and usually displays a red or orange color.
  3. Reset the breaker by flipping it to the “off” position. Then, switch the breaker to the “on” position (you should here a clicking or snapping noise when it is properly in place).

If the same breaker trips again and again, contact Red Electrical and we will quickly resolve for you. You may have too many electrical appliances and/or devices plugged into the same circuit, resulting in an electrical overload and causing your breaker to trip. Or, you may have a deeper electrical issue on your hands. A Red Electrical Master Electrician will help diagnose your issue and recommend a plan of action.

If you find your switchboard is hot or emanating a smell of any kind, it is most likely overheating. This is a serious problem that could cause arcing in the protection systems and needs immediate attention.

RCD stands for 'Residual Current Device'.

MCB stands for 'Miniature Circuit Breaker'.

Red Electrical is an Electrical, Security and Integrations solutions provider located in Christchurch, New Zealand.

We provide the following:…

  • Full suite of electrical services including servicing, maintenance, installations and safety reports.
  • Security for your home and commercial properties including cameras, sensors, reporting and automation.
  • Integration of technology to provide real time reporting and 2 way automation from anywhere.

Detailed information and ability to book a job can be found on or website.

Our standard hours of operation are 7:00am to 6:00pm but we are available outside of these times on an individual basis.

Yes, you can provide your own materials such as fixtures, outlets, and switches. However, Red Electrical. will not provide warranty for these items and may refuse them if they do not meet code requirements for use in New Zealand.

All labour is warranted for one year from the date of installation. Parts supplied by Red Electrical, excluding bulbs, are warranted for one year unless otherwise noted.

If you are unsatisfied for any reason, you are encouraged to call the office to discuss your concerns. We want to know how we can serve you better!

Yes, we would be happy to review your plans. Please refer to our contact pages for options how to upload these to us.

Yes. We have created a user friendly way of scheduling an estimate on our website. You simply choose a day and time that suits you best and we will confirm the same day.

Yes we offer a free service for estimates via our online request forms. In order to keep it free, we require some details from you such as descriptions, images to assist us with providing an accurate estimate without having to visit site.

Yes. $100 + GST.

As an SME, we incur wage and overhead costs for site visits that sensibly have to be recovered. However, if the estimate is accepted, this value will be discounted.

Yes.

We believe that getting an electrician to arrive to your premises, on time and informed, to your premises should be as easy as ordering a pizza......and when is the last time you called and spoke to someone to do that?

To achieve this we have created an online booking form to enable customers to choose their preferred day/time, provide information on their requirements and upload relevant images to ensure a seamless service process is achieved.

 

Check it out here.

Yes. All prescribed electrical works are required to be supported by an Electrical Safety Certificate (ESC) or Certificate of Compliance(CoC).

All Red Electrical works are carried out by personal with appropriate licences and qualifications to satisfy these requirements.

The area in question would be thoroughly inspected Red Electrical. If there are no violations, we can secure a certificate of inspection at an additional cost. If violations exist, they would need to be corrected.

Our Managing Director, Scott Aldridge, has been involved in the electrical industry as an registered electrician and Electrical Engineer, since 1994.

Charge out rates for electricians in Christchurch can be anywhere between  $120 to $190 (+ GST) for the first hour, including a site fee, vehicle and issue of certification.

Per hour after the first hour can range from $70 to $100 (+ GST). These rates also depend on an electrician’s experience level and expertise and does not include additional costs like materials. 

Apprentice electricians or trade assistants with a limited licence can charge out rates between $35 to $95 (+ GST) per hour.

We believe in an open and transparent overview of our delivery of service costs and these can be found on our home page or here.

Just like yourselves, we are consumers of a multitude of goods and services, and this means we share your pain points at seeing something you like but not getting a straight answer on how much it costs.

When an electrical problem occurs, the priority is to get it fixed. Pricing, however, comes a close second because you want to get a fair price for the electrical work. The first question to ask is how much will it cost to hire an electrician?

Charge out rates for electricians in Christchurch vary depending on various factors such as accreditation, expertise and service levels.

Red Electrical takes pride in knowing we offer industry benchmark solutions when hiring an electrician. Our team understand that actual installation work forms only a minor part of what our clients love about our service levels. Our Champion Canterbury Business Award-winning combination of leveraged technology, effective communication and friendly faces, ensures a seamless relationship that our client's desire when hiring an electrician.

Charge out rates can vary depending on experience, expertise and the quality of work completed. By law, a registered electrician must be engaged for any electrical works as a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) or Electrical Safety Certificate (ESC) is required as evidence of a compliant installation. Additional to this, an approved Master Electrician must continually meet strict criteria to ensure their level of service is maintained.

Licensed Electricians

Being registered as a Master Electrician is like having a driver’s license. Registered electricians need to know best practices, rules to make sure they are up to date with industry standards. Additionally, they are subjected to rigid periodic evaluations to maintain their Master Electrician accreditations.

All of Red Electrical’s jumps through these extra hoops to make sure we’re working with the best. Being licensed also applies to electrical tools used by our electricians. They are tested for safety and certified for use before we can use them on your property.

Carry a Workmanship Guarantee

Registered Master Electricians always carry a $20,000 guarantee on all their work for your peace of mind.

Work Safely

Master Electricians are required to prove they take workplace health and safety seriously. An adherence to proper safety procedures, including the use of the right materials and carrying out hazard-free installations, forms a daily habit for any Master Electrician

Put simply - because of our added value.

 

Electricity can kill you if done wrong, so why would you risk using an electrician just because he or she is the cheapest?

Surely you would pick one that has been recommended to you or comes with the qualifications and backing of a reputable company that has the resources, knowledge and experience to give you what you pay for. At a fair and reasonable price.

 

If the difference in hourly rates is $10.00 then the cheaper electrician only has to sit under your house for 15 minutes or not be confident in what they are doing, so it takes them longer to carry out the job, and you are paying the same price.

As in everything “you get what you pay for” and "quality only hurts once".

Our electricians are Master Electricians. That means they carry the $20,000.00 guarantee from The Electrical Contractors Association that the work will be done correctly and to the regulations.

All our electricians regularly attend refresher and first aid courses and are highly competent in what they do. They also go to seminars and display shows to keep up with the latest things on the market so they can advise you on what is new and what works.

All our vans carry the correct testing equipment and parts required for most jobs.

I don’t go to the cheapest doctor or the cheapest mechanic for obvious reasons. I hope this helps you when you come to choose your electrical professional.

working with red electrical is so easy!

THE RIGHT SERVICE, AND THE RIGHT PRICE...RIGHT ON TIME

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