In the Dark: How to Troubleshoot Electrical Problems in Your Home

Losing power to your property can be a major inconvenience. When a power cut happens, the reasons are not always immediately clear. There are a number of factors that can cause a loss of power to your home. Below is a brief guide to help you figure out the most likely cause of the power cut.

Check the Area Affected

The first thing you should do in the event of a power cut, is to establish just which areas of the electricity network are affected. Try the light switches in different rooms of your house to see if the loss of power is affecting one room or floor of your home or the entire property. If you live in an apartment, have a look in the corridor outside your front door to see if the rest of the building still has power. At night, you should look out of the window to see if the street lamps are lit. During a daytime power cut, visit neighbours to check if they have been affected. When the power cut affects your entire neighbourhood, you should contact your local power company to report the problem. 

Check Your Fuse Box

If the problem is limited to your property, you should check the fuse box to see if any fuses have blown. First, turn off and unplug electronic devices and appliances in your home. Turn all circuit breakers to the off position. Then move the main breaker between the "on" and "off" positions several times, ensuring the switch ends up in the "on" position. Next, reset each of the breakers into the "on" position one at a time. If the main circuit breaker trips to the off position or if you are unable to move a circuit breaker to reset it, you will know that this particular circuit breaker is causing the problem.

Other Electrical Devices

If you are able to reset all of the circuit breakers, you should reconnect electrical devices one by one and turn them on. If when you plug in and turn on an electrical device the circuit breaker trips, this indicates that it is this device which is causing a power surge. You should unplug this device and not use it until it has been repaired.

If you experience power problems which only affect your property, you should contact a qualified electrician who will be able to carry out a full inspect of the electrical systems in your home and carry out any repairs.