Fuse Box Keeps on Tripping?!! It may be inconvenient but it’s doing it for a reason, usually safety, a faulty electrical device or damage to a cable, blown fuse or for that matter it needs to be resolved. Any kind of major electrical fault around the home WILL need to be repaired by a professional electrician. This is a guide to try before calling on our electrical services. However, that said, there are a few everyday electrical tasks that aren’t complicated or dangerous which you can attempt yourself. The most important thing to remember is to switch off and unplug whatever it is you need to work on so there’s no concern of electric supply to the device or item. If in doubt DO NOT Touch or tamper with the suspected faulty electrical item.
Why does my electricity keep tripping?
Well, RCDs, or Residual Current Devices, look out for abnormal electricity currents and shut off the power supply the moment that they detect any abnormalities. This might seem annoying, but they are a vital safety device and ensure that faulty wiring does not lead to electric shocks. So don’t get too irritated by a tripping RCD – this is likely a sign of a more serious problem and the RCD is doing you a favour by keeping you safe.
Although the following advice could help you resolve the problem and get your electricity supply working again without the help of an electrician, Able Electrical in Weston-Super-Mare remind you that electricity can kill, and that you should not perform any electrical work if you are not 100% confident in your abilities, any doubt then call a professional. We take no responsibility for any injuries people sustain when following the guidance on our page.
The first thing to do is find your mains fuse box (these days they are called a consumer unit), which will be in the same place as your electricity meter (usually). They are often in the main hallways of most homes, in a purpose built electrical cupboard. This is where the electricity in your house is controlled from, and it’s important that you know where to go and what to do if you need to turn off the mains electricity. (It’s also helpful to remember where you left the torch) as these problems always seem to occur when it’s dark or at night when you’re sat down quietly.
Repairing a tripping fuse box
When did the problem start? Think about when the fuse box started tripping. Did you turn on a light bulb, cooker, dishwasher, overload a socket, or plug in a new electrical appliance? Switch off and unplug the appliance or fitting and then try again.
If you don’t know what might be causing the fuse box to trip, take a look at the switches and work out which fuse is tripping alongside the RCD. This will allow you to identify the room or circuit the fault is located in. Unplug every appliance and fitting in the room, switch the electricity supply back on, and then methodically go around the room plugging things in until the RCD trips. Bear in mind that one of your electric appliances or fittings is faulty and could be dangerous, although your RCD should protect you, this is not guaranteed.
If you can’t narrow down the area of the problem, then unfortunately you will have to unplug everything in your house, and then plug everything back in again one at a time.
In the case of loss of electric light or power
Your fuse box, or consumer unit, will either have fuses or trip switches. Modern electric circuits are fitted with a circuit breaker fuse system: if a fault develops, a switch is tripped and the circuit is broken. Older ones have fuse holders and when a fuse is blown it must be replaced or rewired. If you experience problems with an old-fashioned fuse box, it might be sensible to install a replacement which conforms to current regulations – for ease, safety and peace of mind. If you need assistance with any kind of electrical installation we would recommend calling out a qualified Electrician such as Able Electrical.
Setting a trip switch
Open the cover on the consumer unit to see which switches have tripped to the OFF position. Put them back to the ON position.
If tripping occurs again, it is probably being caused by a faulty appliance. You need to identify which circuit is affected and which appliance on that circuit is causing the problem.
Which appliance is faulty?
Go around the house noting which set of lights or sockets are not working. Unplug all appliances on that problem circuit and switch off any immersion heaters (if you have one). Switch the tripped switch to the ON position and plug in the appliances one by one until the trip goes again. Leave that appliance unplugged, and have it repaired by a qualified electrician.
- What causes it to trip or blow a fuse?
- An overloaded circuit
- Too many appliances being used at the same time
- A faulty or misused appliance
- Overfilled kettles
- Unclean toasters
- Cooker rings worn out or cracked
- Faulty immersion heaters
- Faulty connections on leads to appliances e.g. televisions or stereos etc.
- Light bulbs blowing
Most plugs will have a fuse inside them. If the appliance suddenly stops working, it is worth replacing the fuse inside the plug before calling the electrician.
To find out the correct type of fuse to fit in the plug, check the rating plate on the appliance. DO NOT swap a fuse for a lesser rated one, replace like for like. Do not overload plug sockets by using multiple plug adaptors.
Replacing the plug on an appliance is fairly straightforward, and is well worth doing before you declare your electrical appliance is broken.
Electrical appliances purchased seem to be making the news lately for faulty electric appliances.