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How to Plan Your Electrical

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Planning the electrical work inside your home is of utmost importance. Take a bit of time to consider what you expect from your home both now and in the future. If you intend to automate your home then this planning should be done with a professional from the supplying company, or a trained person at your building company. Home automation whilst under construction is the best option. Trying to retro fit it later is a disaster. 

Home Automation can be used to control

  • Lighting
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Home Entertainment
  • Multi Room Audio
  • Reticulation and water features
  • Security
  • Computer/ Internet/ Phone

See section on Home Automation


  • If you are in a new development in WA the power will be underground not overhead. (supply comes from the green power dome near the front boundary which you will share with the neighbour) If you are building in an existing community check with the local council if underground power is available
  • Your builder will take care of the temporary power for your site whilst construction is underway. The builder will also normally supply you with the paperwork to set up your new power account with Western Power or you can do it online with an Online Power Connection Application Form

The Facts

Consider what your expect from your electrical system both now and in the future

  • Do you need three phase power?

If you plan to run a workshop, pool or bore pump or any other heavy load electrical items you will probably need three phase power

  • Do you want an off peak meter

If you like to save money you can install an off peak meter which supplys electricity to your home at a lower cost during off peak hours. If you can run the dishwasher, reticulation, washing machine, dryer, pool/spa pump during the off peak hours it will give you substancial savings.

  • Are you planning on a solar/wind power generator with capability to sell back to the grid?

If so you will need non standard import export meter installed in your meterbox. Go to Western Power for more information and application forms or inform your contractor / builder

Power in your home

Probably the most important electrical decisions you need to make are about lighting. Great lighting can really make a house feel like a home. If you take your house or renovation plans to a lighting specialist they will assist you with planning the lighting. You want nice bright, effective lighting in kitchens and bathrooms while living areas may require lighting that can be adjusted depending on how you're using the room.

For more information see our section on LIGHTING SPECIALISTS

Once the power is supplied to the home you will need to plan where the points are needed

Remember you will need GPO’s (general power outlets) for

  • Lounge/ theatre: TV, DVD, set top box, Foxtel (and an antenna point), lamp
  • Kitchen: Microwave, fridge/freezer, oven (isolated), rangehood, dishwasher, coffee machine, toaster, kettle, and spare points for blenders and powered benchtop appliances, computer/internet?
  • Phone: You will need a GPO for each handset for the house with a phoneline and GPO for the base/receiver, you may also need a GPO and phone point for your computer and internet modem
  • Laundry: Washer, dryer and iron or ironing centre, battery chargers
  • Bedroom: Bedside lights, clock radio or ipod dock, TV and all associated accessories if required. Double switching to turn the light off from the bed.
  • Bathrooms: Hairdryers, electric razors, toothbrush
  • Garage: Beer fridge, work bench, blow vac, chargers, Christmas lights
  • Outdoor Points: Christmas lights to front of house (point in meter box?), sensor lights, garden appliances (blow vac, line trimmer), mozzie zapper, outdoor lights, pond pumps, pool pumps, alfresco fans/ lighting, in deck lights, up lights under trees, bollard lighting up driveway.

Helpful Hints

  • Make most of the power points doubles. It is less expensive than two separate single points
  • Outdoor points must have waterproof covers.
  • GPO must be 50cm from basin edges and 10cm above the benchtop.
  • Dimmer switches are fantastic in rooms that you like to chill out in ie loungerooms, theatres and bedrooms. Dimmer lights create an intimate atmosphere.
  • Light switches are normally placed on the wall near the door handle. If you have double doors place the switch on the outside of the room or have 2 way switches (one in the room and one outside the room)
  • 2 Way Switching is essential for the top and bottom of a staircase, long passage ways and rooms with multiple entry points
  • Three and four way switching is also available if required

Related Topics

Home Automation