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How to deal with complete electrical failure

Electric Box Switches

From defrosting frozen food to forcing you to put your laundry on a second spin, a power cut can be not only inconvenient but costly. With the cost of living dramatically increasing, it’s more important than ever to ensure your home is back up and running following an electrical failure.

To help, we’ve put together this straightforward guide to dealing with electrical failures in a safe and efficient way.

Things to check 

Before you take matters into your own hands, it’s important to establish whether the power cut is isolated to your home or is in fact an issue on a larger scale.

You can determine this via the following steps:

Check the outdoor lights

The easiest way to establish if your power cut is isolated to your home or and greater issue is to grab your torch or phone and head outside. If the streetlights are off, it’s safe to say that it’s an issue on a larger scale. While if they are still on, then it’s more likely your home’s electrics that’s the culprit.

Outdoor Light

Check in with your neighbour

Another way to gauge the size of the issue is to talk to your neighbours. If they haven’t experienced any problems, it’s more than likely that your electrics are at fault. On the other hand, if they are also suffering with electrical troubles, then the issue is on a bigger scale.

Two Women Talking

Check your meter

This might seem obvious but try checking your electric meter before calling a professional. It might be a simple case of your meter needing a top-up, in which case, this is an easy fix that can be resolved by topping up your credit.

Smart Meter

Check the fuse board

The next thing to check is your fuse board. Your board can tell you a lot about the cause of your electric failure. For example, if all your trip switches are on, then it’s likely that your shortage is due to a power cut rather than faulty electrics. If this is the case, you should call your local electric board for an update. You can check for power cuts in your area here, or call 105 from your mobile phone.

However, if you notice that a switch has been shut off, then it’s likely that you have a faulty appliance in your home. To establish which item is at fault, you’ll need to reset your fuse board.

You can find a step-by-step guide to resetting your board below.

Fuse Board

Resetting your fuse board

Fuse Board Switches

1. Make sure your switches are all turned on

Make sure all your switches are turned on. Your fuse board is made up of trip switches and a RCD switch, this is the large switch that is usually located on the right-hand side of your board.

2. Check the board for reference

Your fuse board switches are typically labelled by category, so if you find your lighting switch is down, it’s more likely a faulty lightbulb that’s causing the issue. This labelling can help you find the culprit of your power cut, saving you time and hassle.

3. Turn off all the switches

If you can’t figure out what is tripping your fuse board right away, try turning all your power switches off including the RCD switch, which is the large one usually found on the far right of the board.

4. Turn each switch on one by one

Now that you’ve reset your fuse board it’s time to turn it back on. Start by turning each switch on one by one, this way you can figure out which room is causing the power shortage.

5. Investigate your appliances

Once you’ve discovered which room is causing the issue, it’s time to figure out which appliance is to blame. Start by unplugging all your electricals in the room, turn the fuse switch back on, and begin to plug in your appliances one at a time. You’ll know the faulty item when the fuse is short-circuited, causing a power cut.