FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Triforce Electrical and Air provides a comprehensive range of electrical services to homeowners and commercial operators in Brisbane, Bayside and the Gold Coast’s northern suburbs.

Here are a few of our most commonly asked questions – if you don’t see your question below, send us an email and we will answer it for you in this section.

Yes! We definitely are. If you live in Brisbane, Bayside or the northern suburbs of the Gold Coast, we can come to your home or business.

We have Public Liability, Professional Indemnity and Workers Compensation Insurance.

Our main areas of expertise are residential and air-conditioning services. For a specific list of services we provide please see our services page.

A quote is an estimated price of our service. We are able to provide standard prices for common jobs, however the price may change when we inspect the site and the type of work that needs to be performed.

As an example, fault finding is a particular job that’s not easily quoted. It may take 5 minutes to diagnose and fix a problem or it may take a day. Therefore, it’s difficult to give you an exact price, although we have become so efficient at fault finding that we will generally find and repair most electrical faults within an hour.

One of our very qualified and trusted electricians will perform the work. We make sure our team is well trained and up to date with any industry changes. It’s compulsory for them to partake in mandatory training, professional development tasks, further studies and conferences. All Triforce Electrical and Air employees undergo rigorous police and licence checks, as well as in-house training prior to working on a solo basis within the company.

We are also dedicated to supporting the new generation of electricians and may have apprentices or school-based work experience trainees on site with us.

We provide a lifetime guarantee on our workmanship. We only use quality proven products and parts that adhere to strict Australian and Triforce Standards (we are picky). The warranties on individual products, such as air-conditioners, are typically 5 years, but vary between companies.

We get asked this question a lot. Everything comes with a cost, but we believe that our prices are very reasonable and affordable. At Triforce we only use high quality products and fittings that are going to last. We believe that you do it once and you do it right! We don’t believe in cutting corners or using cheap imported products to save on costs.

Your money also helps us support further training for our employees that ultimately benefits our customers and support high school adolescents in furthering their careers via school based apprenticeships. We promise that we will deliver such a high standard of work – that you will be happy to pay the bill!

No. It’s illegal for anyone but a qualified electrician to complete any electrical work. Even if you believe you can work to Australian Standard Codes it will not pass certification, which is bad news if you try to sell your home in the future. It’s not worth putting yourself or your family at risk of injury. Any mistakes can lead to disasters or life threatening incidents at a later date. Always call a licenced electrician for any electrical work.

Tariff 11 is the standard for general domestic/residential/ retail electricity supplies. Electricity customers pay the same price for each unit of electricity used, whatever the time of day, plus a daily supply charge.

Tariff 31 is a super economy tariff that’s best suited to hot water systems. You receive an approximate discount of 59% compared to tariff 11. This tariff guarantees energy supply for 5 to 8 hours per day in low energy-demand periods as determined by Energex or Ergon. Typically, these times are between 10pm – 7am.

Tariff 33 is an economy tariff that’s best suited to hot water systems and pool pumps. You receive an approximate discount of 40% compared to tariff 11. This tariff guarantees energy for 10 to 18 hours per a day at times completely up to Energex. Typically you will not have power in the peak times between 6 to 9 am and 4 to 8 pm.

IMPORTANT: You must have tariff 11 before being allowed to access Tariffs 31 or 33. Any appliance, hot water system or pool pump on either Tariff 31 or 33 requires to be hardwired on a dedicated circuit. A separate meter is installed and listed separately on your power bill, so you are able to break down costs.

An RCD stands for a residual-current device, also commonly known as a safety switch.

On a normal circuit, the current to an appliance runs through the neutral line. If there’s a fault in the wire the electricity can leak to earth, through the person who is in contact with the appliance, which may cause serious injury or death. The safety switch should cut the supply of power within 30mA of earth leakage. They are mandatory in all homes since 1992 and are fitted to all electrical circuits within the property.

Safety switches usually have a “T” or “test” button on the front face. If the switch doesn’t have a test function they are circuit breakers, not safety switches. Safety switches are manufactured to last 4000 tests, which should be a lifetime. It’s important your safety switch is self tested every 3 months (by using the test button on the safety switch to ensure it’s functioning correctly).

A circuit breaker protects an electrical circuit from high currents due to overload or faults in the wires. A safety switch cuts power supply when it detects a leakage to earth. So basically, a circuit breaker protects the cabling within a property and a safety switch protects you and your family from electrical shocks.

Essentially, both perform the same task. When a fault is sensed in a circuit, they will break the flow of electricity. The difference is a fuse “blows out” and the fuse wire needs to be replaced. The danger with fuses is that an unsuspecting homeowner may have replaced the fuse wire with a much larger wire than needed, therefore negating any protection for the circuit. On the other hand, a circuit breaker is a simple switch that can be flipped back on once the fault is resolved.

The cabling within the property or appliance is damaged and an active conductor comes into contact with a neutral or earth conductor drawing a high current. This trips the circuit protection (a fuse or circuit breaker).

An outdated panel is very common in older properties, in particular our favourite old QLD style homes. The wiring and panels in these homes were designed for very basic living and don’t cope well with our love of appliances, technology and electronics. An unsafe load can be serious and cause significant damage, including electrical fires. If you are unsure if your switchboard meets standard requirements, please call us today 0412 922 265 so we can make sure that your home and family are safe.

We always recommend an electrical safety check and inspection of all homes, however some risk factors include the following:

  • A home over 50 years of age, especially old QLD style homes. The insulation on wires can degrade or become damaged overtime and needs to be inspected.
  • Repeated tripping of breakers is an indication of an overloaded system and old wiring that’s unable to withstand the electrical demands of a modern home.
  • Sparking of wires, loose or damaged wires, discolouration or charring of power-points.
  • A burning smell that can’t be identified is a good indicator of wires overheating and in need of urgent repair.
  • Any history of flooding to the home (recent or historical).
  • You don’t have a power box. We have been to numerous jobs where the “power boxes” are open to all the elements and the size of a couple of bricks – this is ridiculously dangerous. Usually placed underneath homes where rodents can also do a lot of damage.

The cost of a re-wire is dependent on the type and size of your home, number of levels, ease of access to wires, number of power points, switches, appliances and the compliance and age of your switchboard. It’s best that we come out and inspect your home first. Call us on 0412 922 265.

If you go to turn off your light and find the switch is hot to touch, do not turn this light back on and give us a call immediately. This is not normal and an indication that there is a serious issue hiding behind your walls. If you don’t get help you may end up facing a serious electrical fire.

Firstly, you need to reset the breaker. To do this make sure the switch that has tripped is completely in the “off” position. If you are then able to turn it “on” without it tripping again your breaker has been reset successfully.

If it will not reset, you may have an overload on the circuit or a short circuit. Are there lots of power boards or appliances plugged in on that circuit? If so, unplug them and see if that works. If that doesn’t work then it’s time to give us a call on 0412 922 265.

HANDY TIP: you need to distribute high energy devices across several circuits. Running too many appliances at the same time will cause shorts and surges.

When turning your appliances back on make sure to inspect any cables for damage while you do so. If it’s a small appliance it’s probably time to get a new one. For something bigger like a stove top, light fixtures or damaged cables, give us a call 0412 922 265. If you are unable to find the fault then we can fault find for you – give us a call!

If the fault persists, please call us ASAP to have the fault repaired and power restored.

  • Water has entered an electrical appliance or fixture
  • Damage from pests, animals and pets
  • A safety switch has been overloaded and is experiencing nuisance tripping due to excessive combined earth leakage
  • A circuit has been overloaded with appliances and the circuit breaker is tripping due to excessive current. Power boards are your enemy, think about getting some more point installed.

In most cases it’s’ probably just a faulty bulb. Other reasons could be a bad connection, frayed wires or a serious fault along the line that’s potentially dangerous and you should give us a call to help you out.

A shocking real-life story about flickering lights

A customer of ours had flickering lights and they gave us a call. When we went to inspect the lights, a nail had been put through the line and was short circuiting the entire roof. This could have started an electrical fire any second. Also it made the entire roof “live”, so if the family had attempted to change their downlights on their own, they would have received an electrical shock that could have potentially been lethal. Electrical safety is no joke. It’s important to call in the experts when you are unsure – there is no price on human life.

Press the little test button on your smoke alarms once a month. Test the smoke alarm by pushing the “test” button or as stated in the manufacturer’s instructions.

On hardwired 240v systems you need to replace the backup battery annually or when you hear the unit emit a short “BEEP’ sound. For battery smoke alarms the 10-year battery is not removable, instead the entire smoke alarm must be replaced every 10 years.

Dust, debris and animal mess can interfere with the function of your smoke alarm. It’s important to keep them clean by vacuuming over and around them regularly. We clean our smoke alarms each time we vacuum the home.

Specialty alarms are available, including alarms for deaf and hearing-impaired clients or alarms with emergency lights and heat sensors. It’s important that you let us know about any special needs you may have, so we can supply you with the correct product.

Triforce Electrical and Air can provide and install any brand of air-conditioner you choose. We have listed the brands we recommend below, based on our 15 years of experience. We believe they are the best in value, efficiency, longevity and warranty. To help you select an air-conditioner that suits your budget, we have listed these units by price category (premium, medium and budget). You should also consider running costs and the efficiency of each unit, before making your final decision. We can help you to decide which type of unit is best for your situation, but if you want the best bang for your buck, we recommend the premium units.

  • Premium quality: Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Daikin
  • Medium quality: Fujitsu, Panasonic
  • Budget quality: All remaining brands

We guarantee that we can beat any price of any air-conditioner that you find in-store, even if it’s on sale – if you find it cheaper let us know!

Triforce Electrical and Air don’t provide ducted air-conditioning services at this stage. We believe multiple split systems are higher value for money, save you a tonne in running costs and a whole lot more efficiency. However, if ducted air conditioning suits your needs more than split systems, we have partner businesses who specialise in this service and can carry out the work for you.

Please check our sizing and installation guide, but as a rule of thumb, a 2.5kw split system will do most bedrooms, a 6kw will do most smaller living areas and an 8kw is suitable for large open plan areas.

Residential units should be serviced yearly at the minimum.  Make sure you check the fine print on your warranty certificates, because a lot of companies will not uphold your warranty if you have not serviced your aircon appropriately.

First of all, we test your air-conditioning unit using specific testing equipment, as this tells us how hard your unit is working. We follow this up with a basic service, providing you with a report on any issues we identify and need addressing.

  • Isolator testing – making sure there are no faults at the hub
  • Flush the drains and wet vacuum, so there is no mess
  • Visual check of the outdoor unit (compressor)
  • Condenser and evaporator coil cleaning
  • A thorough visual inspection of the unit
  • Chemical pressure wash and rinse
  • Anti-mould sterilisation
  • Clean all covers
  • Clean all filters

Service costs start at $99, depending on the amount of units installed in your property.

It’s easy to forget that your air-conditioning units need to be serviced on a regular basis. We recommend a 12-monthly service, but if you experience any of the following nine problems, call us ASAP!

  1. Bad or funny smells coming from the unit: If it’s a burning smell please turn the unit off immediately and give us a call. There may be a malfunction and you need new parts, but it’s not safe to leave it powered on.
  2. Visible mould: If you can see mould on the blades or filters of the unit or even behind the filters, it’s time to have a service. Otherwise you will be breathing in toxins, every time you turn it on.
  3. Leaking water: If water is leaking from inside the unit, then there is a blockage somewhere and it needs to be serviced immediately. You may also need new parts depending on the level of damage that the leak may have caused.
  4. Cigarette smoke: Believe it or not, smoking in the house actually leads to the accumulation of tar inside the units. You may need to have your system serviced more regularly if someone smokes inside your home.
  5. Dust or debris build-up: Even if you don’t use your air-conditioning unit often, dust and debris can build-up inside the unit. When you turn the unit on this dust and debris will be sucked inside the unit, resulting in damage. For the long term health of your unit, you need to turn it on for a little while, every now and again, just to prevent a build-up of dust and debris.
  6. Poor efficiency: If the unit is working harder than it should or not cooling the room down effectively you need a service.
  7. Low air flow: If the air flow is diminished or non-existent, this may be a sign it’s time to upgrade your unit rather than having it serviced or repaired.
  8. Weird noises: Unusual noises coming from the unit may indicate that mechanical components have failed and it either needs to be repaired or replaced.
  9. Animals: Geckos, ants, roaches, spiders and insects all love to make homes in air-conditioning units. However, when you turn the unit on, all their mess will be blown around your room and you will breathe it in! This is a very good reason to have your air-conditioning unit properly cleaned and serviced.

Your air-conditioner is probably the hardest working piece of machinery in your home, yet the most neglected. Here are three reasons why you need to service your air-conditioning regularly.

  1. Save money: You spend a fortune on these machines, both in the initial outlay and paying your energy bills. They are a big financial investment, just so you can stay comfortable inside your home. Neglecting their maintenance will ensure a steady decline in the unit’s performance, reduce its lifespan and guarantee a steady increase in power usage.
  2. Improve airflow: Clogged and dirty filters can obstruct airflow, radically reduce efficiency and impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your energy consumption by 5% to 15%!
  3. Protect your health: Breathing in dust, dirt and animal waste isn’t good for your health! A well-maintained unit pushes clean air into your home, while a poorly maintained unit pushes out toxins. It’s best to have your air-conditioning unit cleaned regularly.
  • Have a think about where it’s going to be installed and the size of the room.
  • Ask yourself whether you need an extension pole (typically homes with high pitched ceilings need extension poles for ceiling fans).
  • Do you need more than one fan for adequate ventilation?
  • Think about the type and number of blades you need.
  • Consider blade performance, as the higher the pitch of the blades, the more air the fan moves around the room.
  • Do you need a ceiling fan with an inbuilt light?
  • Think about the aesthetics of the room. Do you want your fan to stand out and be a feature or blend into your decor?
  • Can the fan be connected to a wall switch or does it need to be powered by a remote control? Do you want a remote for the convenience factor?
  • Will the fan have consistent exposure to moisture and or dust?
  • Consider the layout of your kitchen: The positioning of appliances can really narrow down the playing field. Consider the flow of your kitchen and how you use it, high traffic areas and any architectural or structural constraints that may dictate positioning. Your builder or kitchen designer can also help with these decisions.
  • What about your budget? You can quickly spend a fortune on top of the range appliances that come with exaggerated prices. Think about what you really want from your appliances and how you use them. Are these appliances for a rental property or your own home? Are you a basic cook or gourmet chef? Do you really need all the added features? However, as the owner of a pyloric (self-cleaning) oven I think it’s well worth the investment!
  • What about the space? Consider the size of your space and the legal space that’s required to be around the appliances when installed. For example, cooktops are required to be placed 25mm from any walls.
  • Type of appliances: Do you want induction, electric, gas, steam ovens, conventional or fan forced? There are so many options, you need to do your research. Some things to consider are that not every home can have gas, and that induction is an incredibly efficient technology, but comes with a price tag and limits cookware options.
  • Finishes: These are the little decorative touches that match your home’s décor, feel and style. So think about handles and knobs, as well as a touchscreen and illumination for your kitchen. They may look impressive, but are they functional and easy to use? Stainless steel, black, white, matte, gloss … the list is endless. Try creating a mood board that integrates all your decorative choices to see which finishes work the best.
  • BUY SMART! Do your research on brands and retailers and shop around for deals. A good retailer will be a wealth of knowledge and can often help with the complexity of installation requirements that are unique to your kitchen and the products you choose.
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