Water or electricity problems
Information for Queensland public housing tenants.
What to do if you lose your electricity supply
- Check to see if street lights or your neighbours have lost their electricity.
- If your neighbours have lost power, contact Energex on 13 62 62 in South East Queensland, or Ergon on 13 22 96 in the rest of Queensland.
- If your neighbours have not lost electricity, the problem could be with your electrical installation.
Checking your switchboard
- Check your switchboard to see if your safety switch has been tripped. The safety switch will be in the off position if it has tripped.
- Do not reset the switch if there are any safety concerns, for example in wet weather conditions.
- Do not reset the switch if the switchboard is visibly damaged. Request maintenance.
- If there are no safety concerns, and the switch is in the off position, try to move it back to the on position.
- Make sure all the other circuit breakers are in the on position too.
- If this works, your power should come back on.
If this doesn’t work and the safety trip switch moves back to the off position, the fault may be with one of your appliances or electrical wiring of the property.
Note: Most houses have external switchboards in the meter box—some houses will have internal switchboards. All units have internal switchboards.
Checking your electrical (circuit) wiring
- Switch the safety switch and all of the circuit breakers to the off position.
- Unplug all appliances and then try moving the safety switch and all of the circuit breakers to the on position.
- If any of the circuit breakers move back to the off position, there may be a problem with your property wiring circuits.
- Contact your nearest Housing Service Centre's maintenance service.
If after checking your circuit wiring the safety switch and circuit breakers stayed on, check your appliances.
Checking your appliances
- Switch all safety switch and circuit breakers to the on position.
- Plug in and switch on your appliances one at a time.
- If the safety switch or the circuit breakers move to the off position after you have plugged in an appliance, that appliance is probably faulty.
- Disconnect the appliance and reset the safety switch to on.
- Get the appliance checked by an electrician before using it again.
If the cistern is continually running:
- turn off the tap under the cistern
- flush the toilet
- turn the tap on again until the cistern is full
- turn the tap off—you can also flush the toilet by filling the cistern using a bucket of water, or by pouring the bucket of water directly into the toilet bowl
- Request maintenance, if you live in:
Request maintenance to report leaking taps, if you live in:
Burst pipes or major leaks
For houses—turn the water off at the mains by using the stop cock tap which may be located:
- near the front hose tap
- at the mains near the property boundary on the water meter or underground in an identified chamber.
For units—turn the water off at the mains inlet pipe to the unit by using the stop cock tap, which may be located:
- near the front hose tap
- near the roof at the front entrance
- in an underground pit with a removable cover
- elsewhere—indicated by a number somewhere on the building.
Request maintenance, if you live in:
If the burst pipe is outside the boundary (e.g. on the footpath), contact your local council.
Hot water units
If your hot water system is leaking or not working properly, request maintenance, if you live in:
For a major water leak to the mains water supply pipes:
- turn off the tap at the hot water unit (it may not have a standard handle)
- turn off the electricity or gas.
Note: It’s normal for hot water overflow pipes to drip from time to time due to steam or condensation, especially in colder weather. Continual dripping or flow of water should be reported to the department.
If there is a strong smell of gas:
- check that all stove or hot water controls are turned off
- turn off the supply at the meter or cylinder—there is a gas tap under the stove (remove the bottom front panel) and beside the hot water heater.
- open all windows, and do not light any matches, cigarette lighters or flint guns, etc
- report the problem to your nearest Housing Service Centre's maintenance service immediately during office hours, or phone the after hours emergency number 1800 808 107.