Having something trip the power in your home can be an extremely frustrating occurrence – especially if you’re in the middle of a task, and particularly if you don’t know what has caused it. Often, the problem may be simpler than you think. There are a few reasons why your power might have tripped. Even better, there are simple steps to follow to fix the problem quickly and easily, allowing you to get on with your day.
Causes of a Power Trip
Essentially, a power trip occurs when the electrical system in your home is compromised in some way. The trip is a safety mechanism, meaning your circuit breakers will ‘trip the switch’ and automatically shut down power to one or several systems, making sure the problem cannot become anything more serious. This can happen for a number of reasons.
The most simple cause of a power trip is an overloaded circuit. If you have too many devices or appliances running simultaneously, the circuit can end up drawing more electrical load than it is equipped to handle. It heats up, the circuit breaker senses this, and the power trips before the circuit can heat to a dangerous level.
A short circuit can be caused by a wiring problem in a device or an appliance when it is connected to your main system. It can also happen if two opposing wires accidentally touch, causing an unexpected surge of electricity that will cause the circuit breaker to trip the system.
Earth Leakage Fault
An earth leakage fault is a type of short circuit, and it will happen when the current flowing through the electrical system finds an alternative path other than the active or neutral conductors. These are slightly more dangerous, particularly if they occur in places such as the bathroom or kitchen where moisture could carry the electricity and cause shocks. Once again, the increase in electricity will cause the circuit to heat up, and the circuit breaker will therefore initiate a power trip to prevent further damage.
What to Do About a Power Trip
In the case of a short circuit or a ground fault, it is advisable to promptly seek professional advice in order to resolve the problem safely. If you live in the south-east, you may want to call your electrician in Brighton and get a specialist to take a look at the problem. However, in the case of an overloaded circuit, you can often fix the problem yourself in a few simple steps.
Before any fault occurs, it’s useful to ensure you know where your electrical board is located, and you have a handheld torch to help you navigate in case of a blackout.
Turn Appliances Off
Make sure to turn any appliances off that are connected to the affected system.
At the power board, your first move should be to turn off the master switch. This will ensure you cannot get hurt whilst fixing the problem.
Make sure you have an RCD safety switch installed, and use it to check the safety of your appliances.
Once you have flipped the relevant switch back to the ‘on’ position, test that the circuit is working again. If it is not, or if it immediately trips again, it may be that the problem is more severe than an overloaded circuit, and it’s time to call in the professionals.