What to do when your power trips
Power trips are one of those annoying things that usually happen at the most inconvenient time. They will often happen in the middle of cooking dinner or when you are hosting a party. For a moment, you may have that dreaded thought that you forgot to pay your power bill.
Nine times out of ten, they will happen outside of business hours. This could mean an expensive call out charge if you have to call an electrician. However, there are some simple steps you can take to try and resolve the problem yourself.
There are a number of reasons why you might suddenly lose power. You first need to identify whether the problem is with your switchboard or a result of a neighbourhood power outage. If you still have internet access, you can check for outages on the Western Power website.
Otherwise, check your switchboard and if all the breakers are in the on position, the problem is most likely on the supply side. Look for a switch in the off position and try resetting it. If it trips again, you will need to find the cause of the problem.
Sometimes your light and power circuit will be on the same RCD. In this situation, you will need to determine if the problem is with your lights or your power. To do this, switch off all the circuit breakers and turn them back on one at a time. Pay attention to which breakers you are switching on. Turn the circuit breakers on one at a time and if the RCD trips, then the problem is with that circuit. If it trips when you turn on a lighting circuit, you will have to leave the circuit breaker off and call an electrician to attend and fix the problem.
If the RCD trips when you turn a power circuit breaker on, then you need to check that the problem is not being caused by an appliance. Walk around your house and switch off all electrical appliances. Make sure you unplug them too. Try to reset the tripped RCD. If it resets, plug in and turn on the appliances one at a time. If plugging in an appliance causes the RCD to trip, then the problem is likely with that item. Leave it unplugged and reset your RCD.
What if that doesn’t work?
Once you have taken these steps, and the RCD is still tripping, contact us to come and investigate the problem.