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What Do Electricians Do?

Without electricity, our lifestyles would fall back into the dark ages. Literally!

For starters, we would lose the function of lights and appliances in our homes. Not to mention commercial businesses and industrial production would come to a complete halt.

So, what happens when something goes wrong with the electrical grid causing your electricity to stop working? Chances are you'll need to call an electrician.

But what exactly do electricians do? Let's dive into this article as we answer this question and more.

Licensed trademan with blue hard hat standing next to switchboard.

What Is An Electrician?

An electrician is a tradesperson who installs, repairs, and maintains electrical systems.

This can be as basic as a minor repair to a home wiring circuit. Or as complex as working in the national electricity grid. It also covers all in between including work on commercial and industrial electrical networks.

An Electrician's Duties

Some of the common tasks that electricians are responsible for include:

  • Complete the full wiring or rewiring of homes and other properties.
  • Connecting large appliances and equipment to the electrical network.
  • Installing general purpose outlets (GPOs), switches, lights, fans, and electrical panels.
  • Wiring light fittings and fixtures.
  • Troubleshooting and fault faulting electrical problems.
  • Using hand and power tools to complete various tasks.

Electricians are also responsible for following safety standards. For example, they should ensure that their work area is adequately lit with no tripping hazards or other safety concerns.

Electrician testring a fuse box.

Voltages An Electrician Can Work On

There are different certificates, levels and grades of qualifications an electrician may possess. These grades restrict the levels of voltage and the types of systems they can work with. Generally, voltages are classified as follows:

  • Extra Low Voltage (ELV): Any voltage up to 50V AC RMS (Alternative Current) or 120V DV (Direct Current).
  • Low Voltage (LV): Voltages greater than ELV but below 1000V AC RMS or 1500V DC.
  • High Voltage (HV): Voltages greater than LV.

In order to be qualified to work on different networks or specific types of electrical systems, such as HVAC, additional certificates of qualifications are needed.

HVAC Electricians

The skills electricians possess do translate into other fields fairly easily. Hence electricians often branch out to include air conditioning installations and other HVAC services that deal with electricity.

This requires additional training to understand how such HVAC systems differ from general electrical systems, but it still makes use of an electrician's core skill set.

This also often requires additional licenses which can differ between different states and territories.

Experienced technician working on exposed wiring on outdoor aircon unit.

What Tools Do Electricians Use?

Most of an electrician's equipment is designed to help protect against electrocution, shock, and fire hazards. This means some of their equipment may have extra insulation when compared to traditional options.

Some common tools electricians use are:

  • Multimeters (Fluke being the leading industry standard).
  • Pliers and wire cutters.
  • Screw drivers and electric drills.
  • Voltage detectors and testers.
  • Continuity testers and other associated equipment.

Need An Electrician? Choose Wisely

By now you should understand what an electrician does. But when it comes to choosing one, you must realise they are not all the same. As such, there are a few things to consider before choosing an electrician for your business or home.

First, always check to make sure your chosen electrician has all of the required licensing for your project. This ensures they were properly trained to uphold Australia's strict electrical standards for safety and legal reasons.

It also saves you money in the long run as the work shouldn't need to be redone. On that note, check they offer guarantees and warranties. This means you will not have to pay if they need to come back and repair their faulty work.

Next, always put in your due diligence. That means checking online reviews for the electrician you plan to work with before hiring.

Seeing what other people have to say about their previous experiences with the company will give you invaluable insights. You might even dodge a bullet if you find out your preferred option isn't all that great.

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