If a circuit breaker in your switchboard trips it can mean anything from one appliance going down to a whole section of the house being left in the dark. It pays to know how to reset one that’s fizzled out so you can get your day or night back on track, without having to call out the electrical services company. Here are a few things to remember when your circuit breaker trips:
KEEP AN EMERGENCY TORCH (AND REMEMBER WHERE THIS IS)
If the circuit breaker trips and it’s night then you’re in the dark. Know where a torch is, or at least matches and a candle. Even if you know where your electrical box is and feel confident you could do it with your eyes closed; it’s just not a good idea to go feeling around inside electrical boxes without a proper light source.
TURN APPLIANCES OFF
Always turn off appliances that are connected to the affected circuit. Your circuit breaker tripped for a reason. Having all of your appliances on can do that. If this was the case when the breaker tripped, make sure you go around and switch off and unplug everything that’s connected to the circuit, otherwise it will be immediately loaded with power and may cause the issue to occur again.
TOO MANY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS?
One of the most common problems of a tripping circuit breaker is what we call “overloading the circuit”. This could be due to the fact you have recreated the nativity scene on your roof in Christmas lights! Too much extra power consumption on one circuit could cause the breaker to trip. Make sure you share the load across different circuits or keep an eye on which circuits work best with your Christmas lights.
Once at the power board, turn off the master switch. Make sure you do this before doing anything else! This is going to cut all the power to the circuits, so if there is a fault it cant hurt you while you are in the switchboard.
Make sure you always have a RCD safety switch installed and tested regularly. These are essential for houses to ensure that everyone in the house is protected from getting a zap! These will also be triggered if, while making the Christmas pavlova, the mix master burns out. If that is the case unplugged all of the appliances, see if they’ll work in another area of the house. If one of these appliances doesn’t work at all, it’s likely that this was the cause of the tripped circuit breaker. Don’t plug this appliance back in. See if you can replace it or have it fixed.
READY TO GO AGAIN
Turn on the master switch. After all this fuss you almost expect a sort of powering-up noise to signal that you’ve done it. No such luck. Go back to your appliances and turn them all back on.
BACK TO LIFE AS NORMAL AGAIN
Now go back to whatever it was you were doing before you were so rudely interrupted. Resetting a circuit breaker isn’t rocket science, and certainly doesn’t require an electrician. It’s a matter of preparation and keeping calm. If you’re uncertain of what the problem is after trying the above, or if you want a professional to look at it, just give us a call, we are always here to help. Plus we have on call electricians over the Christmas break, so even if it happens on Christmas morning we can have someone there.