Emergency Electricians London
Mobile: 07723 055 377
Call us FREE on 0808 129 2941
Email: info@countyelectricalsolutions.co.uk

Tripped Electrics? Here’s What to Do.

If your electrics trip and all your lights go out, it can be a daunting experience. There are lots of reasons why it might happen, but the good news is that there is usually a simple way to work out what’s causing the problem, and to get those lights back on or appliances working again. Read on as we share our top expert tips on simple electrical fault finding.

Consumer unit tripped switch

Why have my lights suddenly gone out?

That’s exactly what we’re going to help you find out. First though, a word of warning. What we share with you is going to involve handling your consumer unit (fuse box). This is safe, however, if you’re not confident, please do ask a qualified electrician for help.

It’s best we start at the beginning and explain how electrical fuses work.

Fuses are a vital part of an electrical circuit. They are used as a safety measure to keep you and your home safe. Whenever a fault occurs within an electrical circuit, or there is a power surge, the fuse heats up and melts, and breaks the circuit. This keeps everyone protected whenever there’s an electrical problem.

We still come across some older properties with the traditional type fuse box where the fuses are fitted with wire. We’ll always recommend in these situations that the boxes are replaced with a modern consumer unit for safety.

Consumer units contain trip switches or circuit breakers rather than fuses. This means that if there’s a problem and the fuse trips, you won’t have to replace the wire. All you’ll need to do is flick a switch to rest it.

Make sure you know where your consumer unit is located, so that you can easily find it in the dark. Also, be sure to familiarise yourself with the unit so you are ready prepared for any issues.

Your consumer unit will have:

  • A main switch which turns off the entire electricity supply to your home
  • Fuse switches or circuit breakers – switches that trip when there’s a problem to protect the electrical fittings and appliances in your home – there will be a number of these for different fittings
  • Residual Current Devices – (RCDs) – switches that trip and turn off the electricity should a circuit become dangerous. These are designed to prevent electrical fires, and to stop people being electrocuted.

How to deal with a tripped fuse?

If your lights have gone out, or one or more of your appliances have stopped working, the first thing to do is take a look at your consumer unit and see if any of the fuse switches are pointing downwards.

If they are, then you can simply push them back into the upwards pointing position the same as the rest.

If none of your fuse switches have moved, i.e. they are all pointing in the same direction, then it’s more likely that the problem lies with a tripped RCD switch. So, make sure that all those are switched to on. Now you should be back up and running.

What if that didn’t work?

If resetting your switches didn’t work, or they trip again, there is a chance that one of your appliances or sockets is faulty. So your next step is to find out which of them it might be.

Firstly, unplug all your appliances, then try resetting the fuse switch that’s tripped again.

Most consumer units will have labelled switches, so you’ll have a good idea of where the problem lies. For example, you’ll usually have a switch for lighting, one for sockets, another for kitchen appliances, etc.

Generally, whatever you last used, whether it was a light switch, socket or appliance, will usually be the offender.

Once you’ve reset the tripped fuse, plug each appliance back in one at a time, and switch on. If the fuse or RCD switch trips again, you’ll know which appliance is the culprit. Be sure to turn the appliance off and unplug it straight away. Then you can reset your switch to restore the rest of your power and lighting.

Make sure you do not under any circumstances plug the offending appliance back in. There is probably a fault with the wiring, which will need to be investigated by a qualified electrician.

What if everything seems to be working fine, but my electrics are still tripping?

If you’ve tested all your appliances and there is no isolated problem, it might be that your circuits are overloaded. If you are using multiple appliances at the same time and they are all on a single circuit, this is likely the case. A consumer unit will never allow you to overload a circuit, because it is designed to keep you safe.

What if the main consumer unit switch trips?

If your main consumer unit switch has tripped, it may signify something more complicated. There may be an issue with the unit itself, which will need attention from a qualified electrician. Never attempt to repair a consumer unit yourself.

Need help with a tripped switch or consumer unit?

If you’ve tried all the above steps and you still have an issue, or you are worried about attempting to deal with the consumer unit yourself and would rather a qualified expert finds the fault for you, you are welcome to get in touch with our helpful team.

Our emergency electricians are on hand to help you with any domestic electrical problem. We are experts in swift diagnosis and repair, and dedicated to getting you back up and running without delay.

Call us FREE on 0808 129 2941 or mobile 07723 055 377

Tripped fuse, lights keep going out, consumer unit switching off or you need to replace an old fuse box, you can rely on our expertise and 40 years’ experience.