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Get answers to the most common questions

Testing & Tagging

  • In some cases yes. This is generally replacement of the lead or plug. After repairs have been carried out a retest of the item is conducted to ensure compliancy.

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  • Table 4 that can be found in Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 recommends various retest timeframes which is dependent on locations and or environments in which the equipment resides in

    Testing of items varies from: three monthly, six monthly, yearly, two yearly or five yearly testing intervals

    If the workplace has a workshop or manufacturing area or is considered a hostile environment testing is generally carried out on a 6 monthly or yearly basis.

    It's important your service provider has the expertise to competently advise the client about the retest time frames.

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  • AS/NZS 3760:2010 - 2.1. (a) Indicates a tolerance of two weeks past the item's retest due date.

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  • Portable appliance testing and tagging is electrical safety inspection and testing of 240v (single phase) or 415v (3 phase) of all plug-in electrical items. Under current WHS legislation and Australian Standards AS/NZS 3760:2010 states that all workplaces across Australia have a duty of care to employees & visitors and must be able to demonstrate safe work systems, including electrical safety.

    This applies to all portable or corded appliances that you may have in your workplace

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  • Under current AS/NZS 3760:2010, to remain compliant you are required to retain the history of tests carried out in your workplace. Just because the item has a test tag attached to the lead, you must still have the relevant records indicating date of test, company or technician that carried out the testing

    This also includes a test tag attached to each item which indicates the date, tester's name and a test status (pass/fail).

    A register should also include all failed items and action taken.

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  • If you are a business or employer, you must make sure that electrical equipment is regularly inspected and tested by a competent person. This can vary with different states requirements, but under the Aust Standards it must be one of the following

    A competent person is either;

    • Someone who has acquired - through training, qualification or experience - the knowledge and skills to carry out inspections and testing of electrical equipment.
    • A licensed electrician
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RCD Testing

  • Yes as the employer or person having control of the workplace it is your duty to ensure that RCD are regularly tested and records are maintained of individual test results

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  • When RCD tests are carried out, it will trip the RCD and disconnect the circuit that it protects, so any electrical equipment will need to be turned off prior to RCD Testing being carried out. Each RCD Test only takes approximately 5 minutes for each RCD. We suggest that RCD Testing is carried out after hours, before the office opens, or you will need to advise your staff that the power will be disrupted for each circuit, and that there computers will need to be turned off.

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  • A RCD looks like a circuit breaker, but also has a test button. The photograph shows two circuit breakers compared with a RCD, Combined RCD/circuit breakers are available also. These devices provide protection from overload, short circuit and electrocution. They also have a test button.

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  • Portable RCDs attached to a power board or extension lead are available. RCDs on power boards and extension leads only protect the circuits of appliances connected to them. They are essential for people using power tools or electrical appliances outside that are not protected by a meter box RCD or power point RCD.

    These are generally used and are considered mandatory on construction and building sites

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  • RCDs may be fitted to a power point, and can be distinguished by the test button on the faceplate. They must be fitted to the first power point after the meter box. They are suitable for protecting electrical appliances in specific areas such as bathrooms and workshops.

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  • RCD’s are designed to isolate (turn off) when an active (live) conductor detects earth (Object or person) in a split millisecond to potentially save you from electrocution.

    These are a life saving device which has been around for a number of years and under current building code are required to be installed on all lighting and power circuits.

    They are generally installed in your switchboard in replacement of circuit breakers and are easily identified by having a small pushbutton on the face for testing.

    (Please note: Circuit breakers are not designed to trip to save your life, but are designed to protect the circuits wiring and switchboard)

    Legislation and Australian Standards require that a time trip is conducted generally yearly by a qualified electrician or technician and that all details of the trip times are recorded.

    This includes not only single phase safety switches (240v) but also 3 phase safety switches (415v)

    All workplaces to AS/NZS 3760:2010

    RCD Operating Time (RCD Tester)

    • Non- Portable -Fixed RCDs – 12 monthly tests for operating time by qualified person
    • Portable RCDs – 3 monthly test by qualified person

    RCD – Push Button Test (by user)

    • Non- Portable -Fixed RCDs – 12 monthly push button test by user
    • Portable RCDs – To be tested daily or before connection of electrical equipment by user
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  • In order to remain compliant to the standard, you will need to comply with the above test intervals in the section above.

    There is a tolerance of 2 weeks allowed from renewal date for you to still achieve compliance.

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    • Testers name who carried out the test
    • Date testing carried out & re-test date
    • Result from testing – Pass/Fail
    • License no. of the electrician or certificate no. of the competent person carrying out the testing
    • Asset Id No of the items tested
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  • Any person can perform the push button test; however before that person performs the test they must be deemed competent.

    The push-button test is to ensure that the RCD will trip when there is an earth leakage, and break the electrical circuit protecting the individual from suffering an electric shock, or electrocution. When you press the test button, and the RCD has detected an imbalance, the on/off switch will jump to the “off” position.

    The test button will only test the RCD if an electricity supply is connected.

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  • A RCD (Residual Current Device) is a safety device that disconnects a circuit when it detects an imbalance of the electric current. The RCD turns the power off almost immediately to prevent electrocution. While you may still receive an electric shock, the duration will be very short, reducing the risk of serious injury.

    Where electricity is supplied through a socket, the risk associated with that supply must be minimized by the use of a safety switch (RCD).

    A RCD cannot detect all types of faults, for example if a person receives a shock between the active and neutral conductors. However these circumstances are rare and the vast majority of incidents occur between the active conductor and earth, which is protected by a Safety Switch (RCD).

    If a person comes in contact with a live electrical conductor, electricity flows through their body, causing an electric shock. Effects can vary from a tingling sensation or muscular pain to breathing difficulties, burns, and heart failure.

    RCDs are extremely sensitive, disconnecting within 10 to 50 milliseconds (The standard allows up to 300 milliseconds but this is very rare that they reach this time and are generally deemed as failed and replaced) of detecting a leakage current. This stops the flow of electricity through someone’s body to earth. Importantly, this response time is much faster than the critical section of the cardiac cycle, and therefore reduces the risk of death or serious injury.

    RCDs also protect against fire caused by faults in appliance, tools and wiring. If these faults go undetected they could cause a fire, or personal injury. RCD’s provide a means of early fault detection.

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  • Can be carried out by a competent person, but they cannot carry out repairs, or remove the cover of the switchboard exposing live terminal, as only a licensed electrician can.

    We suggest that you should only use a licensed electrical worker trained on the test equipment

    ATTS use only qualified electricians to carry out RCD Testing.

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  • Circuit Breakers and fuses are designed to protect electrical cables and fittings, installed in premises from overloading and short circuits. They cut the power when electrical wiring in the premises has too much current flowing through it. They are designed to prevent electrical fires, not electrocution.

    Some Meter Boxes have surge protection fitted to safeguard appliances against a spike in electrical voltage, such as a lighting strike. Some power boards or extension leads also have surge protectors fitted. These devices do not offer any protection against electrocution.

    Only RCDs will prevent electrocution by cutting the power to a circuit in the event of an earth leakage.

    This why you need to ensure that your RCDs are regularly tested.

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  • The following documentation must be kept for all RCDs:

    • Register of all equipment
    • Record of formal inspection & tests
    • Repair register
    • Record of all faulty equipment showing details of services & corrective action
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  • The test for the operating time of a RCD requires specific technical expertise and interpretation of results and, therefore, can only be carried out by an appropriately qualified or trained person. This means a licensed electrician or a person who has successfully completed a competency- assessed training course in the use of a RCD tester.

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  • Some electrical appliances and old wiring may have a normal small amount of earth leakage which can trip a RCD.

    This is more evident with old lighting fixtures that have iron core ballasts and when combined with a number of other light fittings, this gives a combined earth leakage greater than the RCD allows and will cause tripping. This can be solved by replacing the light fixtures with more modern LED type

    Earth leakage increases with each additional electrical appliance that is plugged in, and if RCD keeps tripping out it may be an overloaded circuit. Any faults we recommend that you have your wiring and appliances checked by an electrician to ascertain the fault if a RCD keeps tripping.

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  • The majority of electrical fatalities could have been prevented by the use of a properly installed RCD, and regular testing to ensure they are working correctly.

    By law most work places have a Residual Current Device (RCD) testing requirement for electrical equipment under AS/NZS 3760:2010 & AS/NSZ3012:2010 standards.

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Exit & Emergency Light Testing

  • This is a test that certifies all the Exit & Emergency lights are in good working order and that the batteries sustain their charge for 90 minutes during a power blackout or building fire.

    Six Monthly Tests

    • Visual checks of all Emergency and Exit lights for mains operation.
    • Check for operation of maintained exit lights and replace faulty lamps prior to testing where required.
    • Isolate power to all exit and emergency lights, in most cases either by utilising the test switch or turning off the circuit breaker that supplies power to the fittings
    • To meet the Australian Standards AS2293 / BCA requirements, a discharge test will last for a duration of 90 minutes.
    • After tests have been completed the tester must restore the system to normal operation.
    • Those units which have failed the discharge test must be either repaired and restored to normal condition or replaced.
    • Lamp replacement of any defective lamps shall be replaced. All lamps should be replaced on a yearly or after 10,000 of operation.

    Twelve Monthly Procedures

    • Carry out all checks as per six-monthly procedures.
    • Clean and Inspect fittings and clean reflective surfaces as necessary on all emergency and exit lighting diffusers as required
    • Visual checks to ensure that the emergency lighting system operates in correct relationship to the normal lighting in any designated area.
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  • Australian Standard AS/NZS 2293.2:1995 states that Exit and Emergency lighting must be tested in accordance to the procedures described in clauses 3.2.2 and 3.2.3, and not exceed intervals of no greater than specified, which is 6 monthly & 12 months. So in other words twice (2) a year

    In accordance with Australian Standards 2293.2 emergency lighting systems are required to be tested & certified periodically, by conducting a 90 minute battery power down (discharge) test.

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    • Report any failures and record data in on site manuals.
    • Record data in electronic format for OH&S auditing processes.
    • All maintenance records must be in the form of hard copy eg: log books.
    • Electronic copies may also be used.
    • Any corrective action must also be taken to repair faulty emergency lighting and recorded in the onsite maintenance book
    • The names of the persons responsible for carrying out the maintenance work and the date the work was completed
    • The logbook or alternative record system shall be kept on the premises at all times, or at such other locations as may be approved by the regulatory authority
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  • Australian Standard AS/NZS 2293.2:1995 states that Exit and Emergency lighting must be tested in accordance to the procedures described in clauses 3.2.2 and 3.2.3, and not exceed intervals of no greater than specified, which is 6 & 12 months.

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  • A licensed technician / electrician is required to carry out Emergency Lighting Testing & Inspection

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Thermography

  • No. This is not a compliance or mandatory inspection under any current standards, but is requested now by a lot of insurance companies that want to reduce exposure to the client and themselves in interruption to business activities.

    Some insurance companies will reduce your premiums if a regular / yearly thermo or infrared scan is done on your electrical switchboards.

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  • The cost varies from customer to customer. Contact us for a quote for your business.

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  • Thermography scans (infrared scans) should be done on all electrical sub mains, mechanical switchboards, electrical switchboards, power factor correction units and any other large electrical installation.

    This should be done when the all the equipment is under maximum load or generally we recommend in the hotter part of the year (Oct – March).

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  • Thermographic /infrared scanning should be one part of a preventative maintenance regime that is incorporated in your yearly task the same as testing of your fire equipment. It will detect faults before they become major issues and headaches for your business.

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  • No. Thermographic / Infrared scanning does not require a shutdown of your electrical switchboards and is best performed when max load or usage is occurring.

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Power Factor Correction

  • Yes. A PFC is no different to your car. We generally do regular servicing on our vehicle to ensure that it runs smoothly, minimise breakdowns and is as efficient as possible. The same applies to your power factor correction unit. It saves you money on energy costs, regular cleaning program and testing can prolong the life of your expensive piece of equipment.

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  • Generally you will notice a spike in your energy bill from the previous one. This is a good indicator all does not seem as you think.

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  • From our experience we recommend on a bi annual maintenance inspection should help to keep your unit running efficiently. At a minimum, a yearly inspection should be completed.

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  • No. It will not affect your electricity supply as we can isolate the PFC without affecting your supply.

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  • We give a detailed report on your capacitors and general condition of your PFC. Filters are changed which helps the fans bring in a clean and uninterrupted airflow to keep everything working as cool possible. In this Australian climate, this is extremely important.

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Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS)

  • An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is a device connected between the power source and a computer to ensure that electrical flow is not interrupted. UPS devices use batteries to keep the computer running for a period of time after a power failure. It is not to be confused with standby generators which do not provide protection from a momentary power interruption, or which may result in a momentary power interruption when it is switched into service, whether manually or automatically. UPS devices usually provide protection against power surges, brownouts and line noise as well.

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  • UPS batteries should be serviced semi-annually and replaced every 3-5 years, depending on the testing results and environment. The hotter the room the quicker the batteries will fail and require replacement. Manufacturer specifications states keeping the temperate of the room where batteries are stored at 25 degrees C.

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  • An uninterruptible power supply, also UPS or battery backup, is an electrical power source that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source or mains power fails. In other words when mains supply has an unexpected outage this power source will support the equipment (Generally server or computer) and notify the user the mains power has failed and recommend that they save all important data before a soft shutdown is performed within a specified timeframe. (approx. 3 – 5 minutes from loss of power)

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General Electrical Maintenance

  • Yes. We have public liability and professional indemnity insurance for those unexpected issues.

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  • No. ATTS are predominantly commercial electricians. We prefer to leave your house issues with the domestic electricians.

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  • Yes we can assist you. We can do all the general wiring and fault diagnose that is required.

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  • ATTS service all types of commercial buildings, from retail, hospitals, warehouse and large manufacturing sites. We have all our own access equipment for those hard to reach places etc.

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Light Relamping

  • An installation that is properly re-lamped will have better maintained light levels than one which is not. Higher light levels have been associated with increased safety, higher productivity and an increased sense of security. Since it costs the same amount of energy to run a fully lumen depreciated lamp as a new lamp of the same wattage, doesn’t it make sense to install the higher lumen output lamp in the light fitting?

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  • Group re-lamping greatly reduces spot re-lamping labour costs because all lamps are replaced before they reach the point in life where failures are accelerating. In addition, the cost of energy is by far the largest portion of maintaining a lighting system. If lamps are not group re-lamped, almost half of this energy will be wasted on lamps that are performing below their designed level. As an example, an average 400 watt metal halide lamp consumes $800 of energy over its rated life. About $320 of these dollars are wasted on lamps not providing optimum performance. With group re-lamping, a new lamp and the labour to install it is generally less than 5% of the total energy cost. Group re-lamping also saves downtime because it can be scheduled over a weekend or shutdown period.

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LED Light Fittings

  • With most of the commercial lights we sell and install they have a replacement warranty from 5 – 10years, with an expectation they will last a lot longer. Generally speaking we supply office lighting with a warranty period of 5 - 7 years. Flood lighting and warehouse hibays come with a warranty period of 5 – 10 years.

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  • No as a general rule LED lights should not require any maintenance for at least 5 – 10yrs. This is under normal usage of 5000hrs per year. In most cases when the lights fail, it is generally the driver and not the LED chip that has failed and can be easily replaced.

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  • LEDs use approx. 75% less energy than traditional lighting. The return on investment with LED lighting is generally within the first 2 years after installation. In some cases, particularly in large warehouses where 400w hibay lights are replaced with an equal product of say 158w the payback is even quicker. Can be as short as 8 – 12months. We can give an accurate estimate of ROI at the time of the quotation. Please note the savings are worked out on the reduction of your energy bill.

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Switchboard Maintenance

  • We generally recommend a yearly report to be done. This is to ensure that any issues that have developed over the past year can be addressed and repaired.
    This can include:

    • Excess dust build up
    • Missing legends
    • Rodent infestation
    • Rusting of the surround housing
    • etc
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  • ATTS provide a complete report on your most valuable asset. We give a detailed report on the condition and any repairs and WHS issues that require attention.
    We also provide a quote on the important issues that need attention.
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  • Many companies do a yearly inspection to try and address any issues before they get worse and cause a major and expensive breakdown.
    Also it should be part of your WHS compliancy checks.
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Lighting Designs and Upgrades

  • In short the answer is yes. Everyone must comply to the minimum requirements of the Australian Standards in the workplace and for interior lighting this standard is AS/NZS 1680. The standards are set to ensure that adequate lighting is available for the tasks required.

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  • The testing is done with a meter that is generally referred to as a LUX meter. This gives us a reading on what the levels are and in the office we generally work of desk height and warehouses the reading is generally taken about 900mm of the floor. (This can vary on whether stock is stacked on the floor or up on pallet racking).

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  • Generally in most cases we will come in and assess your location and offer free advice on what can be done. We can also provide a breakdown of what your current lights are costing to run versus say a replacement with an LED fitting of the similar wattage.

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  • In most cases and especially offices with the traditional double tube troffer light mounted in the ceiling tiles, it pays to get a design done, as we can reduce the number of LED light fittings that we are replacing due to the better quality of light. This then means that not only light fittings are reduced, but so is your energy costs.
    The same applies to warehouses when replacing metal halide Hibay lights with LED hibay fittings. Again the light output is greater and we can reduce the quantity of fittings that are required. The obvious benefits are reduced fittings of a lower wattage equates into savings on your monthly power bills.

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LED Lighting Industrial

  • This depends on the quality of the light that you buy. ATTS use a good quality product that is not always the cheapest but will meet the client’s highest expectations. But this is consistent with most things you buy today.

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  • Yes. In most cases the return is within the first few years of installation. This of course is based on operating hours and the types of lights installed.

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  • As in most industries there are always a few bad apples. We have steered away from using these companies’ products. We only deal with lighting supply companies that have a good reputation within the market place and can back up all their products with a good service and warranty period.

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  • In most cases yes, but we must comply to the relevant schemes guidelines. All the LED light fittings we use are registered and approved within the various schemes and we can assist, using a third party provider in getting you the maximum rebate possible from the government.

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  • In most cases the lights that ATTS install have a warranty period of between 5 – 10 years or 50,000 to 100,000 hours.

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LED Lighting Sporting Fields

  • Yes. LED lighting has come along way in the last 10 years. More manufactures across the world are now focusing more on designing lights that are suitable for most sports and comply with the relevant standards.

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  • No. It is a bit more involved than that. You cant just go to Bunnings and buy flood lights as they will certainly be not suitable. A number of factors need to be taken into consideration prior to any lights being sourced and purchased.

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  • This is definitely a yes. Prior to ATTS undertaking any works, we get a lighting design done by a professional. We also look at the use and whether the sporting arena is used for training or competition level sports.

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  • A lot of things must be considered before any lights can be installed. These are:

    • Pole height & placement
    • Glare factor
    • Field usage
    • Etc
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  • Yes. LED lights are the more desired option today versus the more conventional lighting that was used previously. There are not only savings on energy consumption, but also the benefit of not having to change lamps on a regular basis. In the case of a power outage or arriving just before the game starts, there is no warm up period to get full illumination.

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Power Factor Correction Units

  • Your power factor can be improved by installing Power Factor Correction (PFC) equipment called Capacitor Banks. Capacitor Banks work to correct energy supply inefficiencies, while also reducing peak demand on the electricity network. This is a relatively low cost solution to reducing your power bill.

    Other means are by installing, energy efficient lighting with a high power factor. The power factor rating is generally found on the product specification. LED lights general have a power factor above 0.95.

    Also look at your mechanical services (Air Conditioning & Heating). These services have a consumption rate especially in the hotter summer months and will contribute to high energy costs.

    In larger buildings, mechanical services are generally metered on a separate supply and incur their own bills. Installing a well maintained power factor correction unit beside the meter can generally reduce costs by up to 30 – 40% of the bill.

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  • This is generally done off your electricity bill. We look at peak demand, which will indicate the size of the unit that you require and the usage & cost of KVA that the consumer is paying, we will then will be input into a spreadsheet that has specific formulas and this will provide an end result. (Please see example).

    Max Demand (KVA) 267
    PF (now) 0.75
    Correcting to...(PF) 0.98
    Demand (kW) 200
    Current/Ph. (Now) 371
    New Current/Ph. 284
    New Demand (KVA) 204
    Saved KVA 63
    kVAr required 136
    kVAr Suggested 150
    Installed Cost (estimate) $14,150.00
    $/KVA(as shown on monthly Bill). $9.85
    $/kva/yr. $118.20
    Savings/yr $7,407
    Payback(yrs.) 1.96

    This is a true example that was provided to a customer.

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  • You can find this information on most power bills. Power Factor Correction is only cost effective as mentioned above if you are billed in KVA (power supplied) not in Kw (Power used). If you are unsure, please contact your Energy Supplier and they will be able to furnish the information you require. As a rule of thumb, KVA rates are only supplied to medium to large consumers of electricity by the supplier. Power Factor Correction is not suitable for your home. You will only be billed in KW (power used) for your residence.

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  • Many medium to large businesses are now being charged a kVA tariff instead of a kilowatt tariff. What this means is that you are being charged for the power you are supplied (kVA) rather than the power that you use (kW). In essence you are paying for the wasted power supplied. Businesses with low power factor (say 0.7 – 0.9) will be paying additional (kVA) charges for this waste. Depending on the tariff you’re on, power factor correction could be a cost effective initiative for your business to reduce electricity costs

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