Aghhh! Lights gone out? Sockets not working? Fuse box tripping again?
Fuses are incredibly important safety components used in all electrical circuits. While it can be incredibly frustrating when it trips, it’s there to keep us safe. It’s a sign that somewhere in your property could be a faulty electrical appliance or wiring.
When a current is too high and therefore unsafe, the circuit will break, preventing the flow of electricity. They protect appliances from being damaged and can prevent electrical fires.
Check your fuse box to see if any of the electric breaker switches have flipped downwards. It’s most often caused by either an overloaded circuit or a faulty appliance, and you can usually figure out exactly what’s causing the issue through a simple process of elimination.
How do I know if I’ve overloaded a circuit?
Circuits are designed to handle a certain amount of electricity deemed safe. Too many devices being used at once draw more electricity than they can manage safely, and the fuse will trip.
If you’ve been using lots of appliances in one room, you’ve likely overloaded the circuit. Extension leads are often the source of the problem. Just because they have multiple sockets, doesn’t mean you should use all of them at one time.
Unplug some of them and move the tripped fuse switch back to on position.
How do I know if an appliance is faulty?
If you’ve just plugged a device in and it tripped the switch, the appliance is the cause of the problem. There could be an issue with the wiring or the appliance might be getting old.
Not sure what appliance you plugged in last? If your fuse switches are labelled, you’ll be able to identify the room or circuit where the fault is located.
If not, you’ll need to unplug all of the devices in your own and reset the fuse as you plug them back in one by one, until you find out which one is causing the switch to trip.
Don’t continue to use the faulty appliance
Once you know what’s causing the problem, you shouldn’t use the appliance until it’s been checked over.
If it’s new, you might still be under warranty and be able to get a replacement or refund. Older appliances might not be under warranty and need to be examined by a qualified electrician.
Unless you are a professional, dealing with faulty electrics on your own is not worth your safety. It’s always better to have an expert come and help.
What if my fuse box keeps tripping?
If you’ve followed the steps above, and either haven’t found why your fuse is tripping, or it keeps happening, then the issue could be with the fuse box itself.
Signs can include:
The main breaker is tripping, but the individual breakers are fine
The breaker won’t stay reset
A burning smell in the electrical box
A circuit breaker that keeps tripping frequently
Signs of damage to a breaker, like scorch marks
At this stage, call a qualified electrician. We can’t stress enough that you should not perform any electrical work if you are not 100% confident in your abilities.