Electrical Issues & Faults

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Power Loss


Unexpected electrical power failure can be a major annoyance if you're not prepared. The
following tips can help you to keep things running smoothly during a sudden power shortage.
Be aware that fixing electrical faults can be dangerous, so it's highly advisable to contact us,
your letting agent, who can get in touch with a professional electrician to assess and repair the damage.


Follow these tips and you'll be prepared to cope if your home ever suffers a power shortage:

  • Keep a torch with fresh batteries in an easy-to-find place.
  • Turn off electrical appliances and lights, but leave one light switched on so you know when the power is back on.
  • Be careful if you use other forms of heating and lighting (like candles etc).
  • Remember that your doorbell probably won't work (unless it runs on batteries), nor will an alarm system (unless it has a battery back-up).
  • If your electrical supplier forewarns you of the power cut, boil some water and keep it in a thermos flask. You can use it to make hot drinks or fill a hot water bottle if it's cold.
  • Remember to reset electric timers, alarm clocks and so on when the power comes back on.
  • Food in the freezer should keep for about eight hours without power. Don't open the freezer doors unless you have to. Check that food hasn't thawed when the power comes back on. If it has, throw it away – don't refreeze it.
  • Check to see if your neighbours are experiencing the same problem or the rest of the street for that matter. This could help determine what type of issue you’re.

 

Electric Shock


Most of us take electricity for granted as an easy way to power our homes but we should also be aware of the dangers. Electric shocks can cause anything from a slight discomfort, to severe
burns to heart failure and the below information explains how they can be best avoided.

Electric shock can be caused by any of the following:

  • Faulty appliances
  • Damaged cords or extension leads
  • An electrical appliance
  • Faulty household wiring

 

Checking your Trip Switch


Modern electric circuits are fitted with a circuit breaker fuse system. If a fault develops, a switch is tripped. If you have a trip switch, it will be on or near your fuse box, your fuse box will always be near to your electricity meter. You should always locate your trip switch and fuse box when you first move into a property – before an emergency occurs. Your trip switch should have a ‘push to test’ or a ‘reset’ button.


Switches can trip for a number of reasons:

  • An over loaded circuit – too many electrical appliances used at once
  • A faulty appliance
  • Over filled kettle
  • Faulty connections on appliance leads.
  • Faulty immersion heater

If a switch has tripped because of one of these reasons, you should flick it back on and then re
plug items one by one. If the switch trips again, you will know that that particular item is faulty.

 

Troubleshooting


Switch ON - If a switch is on, then turn it off and back on – the mechanism can trip inside the box but not move the actual switch. If this does not restore the supply then push the ‘push to test’ button. If the switch now trips it means you have a problem with your wiring or perhaps a faulty appliance as this button can only trip the switch if you have a good electricity supply. The switch will now be in the off position. This is a problem within your home, so do not call your supplier. A qualified electrician will need to come out and fix the problem.

If the switch is on and the ‘push to test’ button doesn’t trip the switch, this means that there is no incoming electricity supply so you will need to call your suppliers emergency line.

Switch OFF - If when you go to the box, a trip switch is off, then you should flick it back on. If it stays on but you still have no electricity, then make sure you have not switched off the main fuse box switch. If the switch trips straight away then it means you have a problem with your wiring – a qualified electrician will need to look into this.

If the fuse box and trip switch are separate then turn off the fuse box and turn the trip switch
back on – it should stay on. If it flicks to off again then there is a fault with the fuse box or trip
switch itself.