A simple way to see why your electricity has tripped - which works for 9/10 People

By Luke, Jun 7 2017 08:50PM

Follow these steps to find the cause of your electrical problem.

A plug-in appliance doesn't work

1. If a plug-in light doesn't work, try changing the bulb. For any other kind of appliance, first try plugging it into another socket. If it works, the original socket could be faulty and need replacing. If it doesn't, try again on a different power circuit (probably on another floor). If it works there, you might have a dead circuit.

2. If the appliance doesn't work in a socket you know is functioning, check the flex connections in the plug and replace the fuse - making sure it has the correct rating.

3. Still not working? The appliance may have an internal fault which needs some professional attention.

A Circuit is dead

1. Turn off all the lights or unplug all the appliances on the affected circuit. Turn off the main isolating switch at the consumer unit, and repair the circuit fuse or reset the circuit breaker or RCD. Then turn the main switch back on.

2. Switch on each light or plug in each appliance in turn to find out which item on the circuit is causing the fuse to blow or the circuit breaker to trip. When you find it, isolate the circuit again and check the fuse, the connections and the flex (see above).

3. If the fuse blows or the circuit breaker trips again, the fault may lie in the fixed wiring. Call a qualified electrician.

A wall or ceiling light doesn't work

1. First, check if the other lights on the circuit are working. If not, follow the steps for a dead circuit below.

2. If the other lights on the circuit are working, turn off the light at the switch and replace the bulb.

3. If that doesn't help, turn off the power and check the cable/flex connections at the light. If necessary, strip back the cores and remake the connections - making sure the terminal screws are tight. Still with the power off, check the condition of the flex with a continuity tester, and replace it if necessary.

4. If that doesn't work, turn off the power again, remove the switch cover and check the cable connections. If they're loose, remake them. If they're fine, try replacing the switch.

5. Still not working? Call in a qualified electrician.

All circuits are dead

1. If the circuits in your home are protected by an RCD (residual current device), check to see if it has tripped. If so, reset it. If it trips again, carry out the checks for faulty lights, appliances and a dead circuit. If the problem continues, call in a qualified electrician.

2. Check with neighbours or your electricity supplier to find out if the power to the neighbourhood has been cut. If not - and you can't find a problem with your domestic circuits - get in touch with your electricity supplier. They'll be able to check the main supply cable and service fuse.

These quick tips can help you if you remember to do them before picking up the phone. An electrician can help if you are still not seeing any success.

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