If your electricity stops working, you need to initially try to diagnose the problem before calling out an electrician.
Sometimes the reason your electricity stops working can be very simple and you can fix it yourself. However, at other times the reasons may be more complex and you will have to call in electrical experts for some help.
If your electricity stops working, the first thing you need to do is to determine if the electricity has gone out in one part of your home or throughout your home. If your whole home has no electricity, you need to make sure whether the problem is coming from within your home or your electricity supplier.
Find out from your neighbours if they have electricity. If they don’t, then the problem is from the utility company and you should call them to report it. However, if your neighbours do have electricity and you don’t, then the problem is coming from your home.
Check your whole home to establish whether the whole home is affected, or if the problem is just in one area.
There are usually three reasons why your electricity has stopped working partially or in your whole home. These are an overloaded circuit, a short circuit, or loose wiring.
If the problem was caused by an overloaded circuit, you would know that the electricity would have stopped while you were using an appliance that draws a lot of electrical current. These appliances include an electric oven, electric heater, blow dryer, or any other appliance that heats up.
If you have had a temporary overload in the electric circuit of your home, you are likely to have a tripped circuit breaker on your home’s electric panel. Usually, the tripped circuit breaker will be in the off position. This shut down ensures the circuit doesn’t receive any electrical flow that can cause a fire or further damage. However, a circuit breaker can also trip if there is a loose wire in the electric panel.
Sometimes, a tripped circuit breaker may not be in the off position and may just feel a bit slack. It could also be halfway between off and on.
Before turning the circuit breaker on, first, make sure that everything connected to it is turned off or is unplugged. You can now reset the breaker by turning it off and then on.
Some homes have fuse boxes instead of circuit breakers. A blown fuse usually has a broken element beneath the fuse’s glass. If you do know how to replace this, you can do it with a fuse puller, but be careful not to touch any metal parts with your fingers.
If you have reset the breaker or changed a fuse and the circuit blows immediately again, you will need to call an electrician. They will assess if the problem is coming from the wiring or a defective device.
If the electricity stays on, then you can start turning on the lights and plugging in appliances. Do this one at a time, to check if any of these caused the overload to the circuit.
There are other reasons why an electrical outlet may stop working. If you notice unusual electrical loads, loose wiring, or electric outlets that are always warm or have an unusual, blackening about them, it’s best to call an electrician.
If you notice that your lights dim when certain appliances are used, you are drawing too much power from one circuit. This is usually remedied by plugging the device into another receptacle or circuit. If not, the electric service panel of your home needs upgrading.
If you have noticed any loose connections in your breakers, it’s best not to do any work unless you have turned off the main breaker and know what you are doing. Loose connections are best handled by qualified professionals.
At IPF Electrical we specialise in all fields of electric work to ensure the safety of your home. If you are unsure what to do when your electricity stops working, one of our experienced electrical professionals will help diagnose the cause and restore your power.
Our guide on what to do if your electricity stops working should help you in times of need. Having no electricity can inconvenience you, but in some cases it is easily fixable.