Xmas Electrical Emergencies : What To Do?
If you experience an Xmas Electrical Emergency then you may be wondering what the best thing to do is?
Well we’ve put together a bit of a checklist so you can be sure of the best course of action should the worst happen (electrically speaking!)
Christmas Electrical Emergency Checklist
Follow our tips below to ensure that your festive season goes without an electrical hitch!
- First of all, don’t panic! There are a number of things you can check yourself first before you go calling an emergency electrician over the Christmas period
- Find your fuse board or consumer unit. These are normally located near the electric meter, and can often be found in cellars, cupboards under stairs and the back of kitchen cupboards. If you are doing this under the cover of darkness then a torch is a good idea. (It might pay dividends to ensure you have a torch that is in an easy to find location in case of household emergency at night)
- Once you have located your fuse board, you will need to check and see if anything appears to have tripped. Older fuse boards with rewireable fuses will need to main switch turning OFF (never pull a fuse whilst under load), then the fuse removing to visually check if the fuse wire has blown. This can be seen on the rear of the fuse and when blown will look like the picture below. If your fuse wire is blown, you will need some in order to complete a repair. If you don’t have any proper fuse wire, NEVER use ANYTHING else! We have seen fuses with tinfoil, nails, alsorts. If you do not have the correct fuse wire unfortunately you will either have to wait until a DIY shop is open to puchase some, or else call a registered emergency electrician if you cannot wait.
- If you have a more modern fuse board (consumer unit) with circuit breakers, these are easier to diagnose if they have tripped. Most circuit breakers will trip with the carriage downwards. An easy check is to basically compare the circuit breakers. If any one is in an alternate position to the rest, there is a high likelihood that this would be the tripped circuit. I have included a couple of pictures below to demonstrate what a tripped circuit breaker may look like. The remedy for this is to reset the circuit breaker. Be aware that it may trip again straight away if the fault still exists, however the first port of call should be to attempt to reset the circuit breaker.
- If all the circuit breakers appear OK, some fuse boards (consumer units) also have an additional switch known as an RCD. These are usually at the end of a row of circuit breakers and are often mistaken as not being a type of circuit breaker due to their different appearance. An RCD will always have a “TEST” button on the front and is quite often larger than any of the others. Again, I’ve included some pictures below of common types which may assist you in checking whether your particular board has one. RCDs are particularly sensitive and can often trip if any faulty appliances are used. If the RCD does appear to have tripped, try resetting it. Again, be prepared that it may trip straight back off however resetting is always the first port of call.
Electrical Emergencies at Christmas – What if it won’t reset/trips again?
If the power trips off again, either immediately or within a short space of time, then the fault still exists.
This is where you will need to try and think back if anything happened when the electric tripped? If you have just plugged something in and the power trips straight off, it is quite possible that whatever was plugged in could have been faulty. If this is the case, try unplugging it and resetting the circuit breaker/RCD/fuse wire to see if the problem is solved.
It can often be helpful to try unplugging everything (or as much stuff as you can get access to) and then attempting to reset. We have been to many many callouts where the fault turned out to be some small appliance plugged in which just needed replacement. Whilst this can be frustrating if an appliance fails, especially at an emergency over xmas, however it can often wait until normal working hours to avoid emergency callout charges. If you can isolate the fault in this way then you may be able to get your power back on to see you through.
Did the power trip off when you put the oven on to warm up? If so then it is likely that the fault lies with your oven. Try turning it off and resetting as above. I appreciate your oven failing at Christmas is a pretty major electrical emergency to most, but at least if you can get the rest of your power back then your Xmas could be saved to some extent.
Time to call an Emergency Electrician at Christmas?
If you have removed everything from the sockets, thought of any recent things you’ve turned on and discounted them, but still can’t get the power back on, then you are probably going to need an emergency electrician at this point.
Fault finding any further than this requires specialist skills and knowledge. An emergency electrician who is available over Christmas will have access to specialist electrical testing equipment which can diagnose faults on your electrical installation.
If you are in Wakefield or surrounding areas and need a local reliable expert then give us a call anytime over the Christmas period with your electrical emergency on (01924) 654034
James – ElectricBlu Contractors
Your local electrician in Wakefield