Fixing Electrical Problems
You can lose power to your home for several reasons from a planned interruption from your supplier through to a switch tripping or a fault with your wiring or an electrical appliance.
If you lose power but you are not aware of a planned interruption and your neighbours/the rest of the street still seem to have power then you may well have tripped the system. You will usually not lose power throughout the whole house if this happens, it will usually be only one circuit which has gone; check whether perhaps the lights still work if an electrical item has gone out or vice versa.
You will need to locate your trip switch and fuse box, this will usually be close to your electricity meter – you should always make yourself aware of its location when you move into a new property.
On the box, each of the switches will relate to a certain section of the electrics, for example there will be one for the lights, one for the sockets in each area of the house etc. If one of the switches is flicked off (the opposite direction to the others), you will need to flick it back up to restore the power supply to this area. After restoring the power, you should plug electrical items back in one by one so you can find out where the fault appliance is if there is one. If when you plug something back in , the switch trips again, then you will know that particular item is faulty.
If turning the switch back on does not restore your supply see our emergencies sections for more detailed information.
As with handling any electrical equipment, do not attempt to fix something if you are not confident of how it works of exactly what action you need to take.
If an electrical appliance stops working then the first thing you can check is whether the fuse has blown in the plug.
Unplug the item and carefully unscrew the back of the plug using a screwdriver.
You will see three different coloured wires coming into the plug and the fuse. You simply need
to unscrew the screw holding in the fuse and take it out and replace it with a new one. Ensure you replace it with the same type of fuse that was there. Eg, replace a 3A with a 3A.
Srcew the fuse back in, ensuring the wires are all secured in the correct position and screw the back onto the plug.
If it was the fuse that has blown then when you plug the appliance in, it should now work. If there is still a problem, then there may be a more serious problem and the item may need to be returned to the manufacturer or repaired.
- The live wire is Brown
- The Neutral wire is Blue
- The Earth wire is Green and Yellow stripes
In a plug the fuse is there for protection. It contains a piece of wire that melts easily. If the current though a fuse is too large then the wire will melt and break the circuit. Fuses come in standard ratings, 3A, 5A and 13A and the fuse used should be a higher current than needed for the appliance. So a 10A device would have a 13A fuse.