Almost all electrical work in Australia needs to be carried out by a qualified electrician, and doing it yourself is likely to be illegal as well as very dangerous. If you are confused about when electrical work needs to be done, here are some of the more common reasons for calling an electrician.

Flickering lights

If your lights keep dimming, going out or flickering, you may just need to change the bulb — one of the few jobs you can do yourself! If this doesn't work, the problem may be faulty wiring or may be that using an appliance is adding too much to the load. This should be clear if you have problems with the lights when you use a hairdryer or the air conditioning powers up. Whatever the reason, this is a sign that you need an electrician to inspect your wiring and possibly add a new line.

Problems with outlets

If you feel something wrong at an electrical outlet, there is likely to be a problem that needs an electrician. The outlet may feel warm or hot to the touch, or you may feel a tingle from it. There could also be more serious problems. If you see sparks when you plug something in or if you feel an electric shock (no matter how mild), then you should call an electrician to inspect your wiring and fix any issues.

Circuit breaker tripping

Your circuit breaker will trip every now again as fuses blow, but if it is happening much more than often, this could be a sign that there is something wrong. You may be able to track it down to a problem with a particular appliance, but if not, this could be evidence that there is a problem with your circuits that could be hazardous.

Cables out of hand

If you have a tangle of wires from numerous appliances at your outlets, you may have a problem. It is easy to overload an outlet, especially in an old house where the electrical system was designed for far fewer appliances. However, running an outlet beyond capacity is dangerous. You should contact an electrician to have new outlets safely installed.

The simple, and safest, rule is that if you have any worries about your electricity, you should not try to fix it yourself but should contact a licensed and professional electrician to put things right. For more information, speak to an electrician near you.