Your home’s electrical system is more than just a bunch of wires – it’s a complex system, carefully designed to deliver all the power you need for modern life in the safest way possible. A good electrician will be able to wire your home effectively but a great electrician will be able to wire your home effectively, efficiently and make recommendations along the way which could save you money in the long term.
We’re building a new home – what should we think about?
We all rely heavily on electricity and so it pays to do some planning so that your home is safe, convenient and effectively organised.
- Plan so that your electrical outlets and the wiring for your communication devices are located in appropriate places.
- Don’t leave the location of your electrical outlets to your builders. Think carefully and share your ideas about what you need. Discuss the options available for your home with your electrician and/or your builder and understand what is possible.
- Your electrical service needs to be of a sufficient size to match the lifestyle of the people that live in your house. Typically, one hundred to two hundred amps is adequate for a standard sized house and household.
- Many homes these days have large systems for audio visual and entertainment purposes and home based offices. If this is your home, it may be necessary for you to have an advanced wiring system for your home.
- Many people building new homes appreciate knowing that a control system can be used to moderate the costs of energy. Such control systems can be remotely controlled from your home and while this capability may seem futuristic, they can ultimately save you money and ensure that your home is safe when you are not there. Control systems allow you to perform functions such as: operating the air conditioning, regulating the swimming pool and controlling the operation of ventilation panels when you are not physically there.
What electrical work can I do myself?
There is a limited amount of electrical work you can do when wiring in your own home. This is listed in Regulation 57 of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 and includes:
- Removing and replacing fuse links
- Connecting and disconnecting permanently wired appliances
- Moving switches, sockets and lighting outlets, but only if they are wired with tough, plastic-sheathed cables
- Replacing switches, socket outlets, light fittings, ceiling roses, water heater switches, thermostats and elements.
Before you do any work yourself, make sure that you are familiar with Electrical Code of Practice 51(external link).
The owner of an electrical appliance may do any prescribed electrical work, or assist in doing any prescribed electrical work, in relation to that appliance under certain circumstances.
Refer to section 80 of the Electricity Act 1992(external link) for the detail of this exemption. This work must be done in accordance with Electrical Code of Practice 50(external link).
If you are unsure of anything, at any time, please contact a licensed electrical worker immediately.
Any work not appearing on the list in Regulation 57 of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 must be carried out by a suitably authorised electrical worker.
What kind of Electrician do I need?
Just because someone is a registered and licensed electrical worker, it does not mean he or she can do any type of electrical work.
In New Zealand, there are 10 classes of registration for electrical workers and each class is limited to a specific type of work:
- Electrician – Work ranges from wiring up domestic houses to maintaining equipment in a large industrial plant.
- Electrical Service Technician – Work includes servicing commercial refrigeration units and maintaining 3-phase electrical equipment.
- Electrical Appliance Serviceperson (endorsed to disconnect and connect) – Work ranges from repairing household appliances to maintaining gaming machines.
- Line Mechanic – Work ranges from installing high voltage transmission lines to repairing overhead or underground power lines including restoring power after storms.
- Electrical Installer – Work ranges from installing security systems to installing air-conditioning units or renewable energy systems.
- Cable Installer – Work involves installing and joining high-voltage power lines.
- Electrical Engineer – Work ranges from designing the electrical wiring of a building to doing the work of an electrician.
- Electrical Inspector – Work ranges from inspecting the work done by electricians to doing the work of an electrician.
- Associated Tradesperson – Gasfitter and Plumber – Work ranges from installing water heaters to servicing waste disposal units.
How do I know the work is safe and compliant? safe
Using a suitably registered and licensed electrical worker will give you assurance that the electrical work in your home is safe.
Certain electrical work must be certified through a Certificate of Compliance (CoC). You should check with your electrical worker to see if you need a CoC for the electrical work being carried out.
Certain electrical work may also require an Electrical Safety Certificate. Check with your electrical worker to see if you need an Electrical Safety Certificate for the electrical work being carried out.
Both the Electrical Certificate of Compliance and the Electrical Safety Certificate should include the appropriate authentication mark as shown below: