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Don’t be a wally, only buy approved electrical products

Everyone loves a bargain, myself included, and it’s so much easier these days to do your shopping from the comfort of your own home. But what should you be looking out for when buying electrical supplies online? Unfortunately, there are some common pitfalls to buying electrical products online.

For starters, in Australia we run on a 230/415V 50Hz electrical supply, which is different to some other countries. The USA for example, operates a 120V 60Hz system. While some products will operate at different voltage levels, the frequency at which they run at can be a problem and bring about a premature end to a product’s life.

Products installed in Australia must adhere to strict Australian standards. Approved electrical products sold in Australia must be labeled with the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) on the packaging so that it is easily identifiable. If buying online, it’s not always possible to identify if a product is marked with the RCM. In this instance, it’s worth asking the seller whether the product has this compliance label on it.

Most Australian based suppliers will only sell approved products, but from my personal experience there are many smaller suppliers and retailers who don’t.  If there is any doubt, ask the seller for evidence that the product complies and don’t just take their word for it.

If a registered electrical contractor is uncertain whether a product complies with Australian standards they have an obligation to refuse installation of that product.

Lighting is one area that I find people often get caught out with purchasing unapproved products. Retailers like Beacon Lighting are a good start as they only sell approved products. As mentioned in my last blog, Luke Davis Electrical Services is a Beacon Lighting preferred electrician and our customers are eligible to receive discounts on purchases from Beacon Lighting.

Electrical wholesalers are also a good option for lighting as they will never sell products that do not comply with Australian standards. Most have a reasonably good range of light fittings to choose from too. There are also some excellent Australian based online retailers also.

Below is a handy video put together by Energy Safe Victoria outlining possible hazards and what to look for when buying electrical products.

If you have any questions regarding purchasing of electrical products, no matter how big or small, please contact us.


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