Zap! An Electrical Blog

Try These Things If You Suspect A Faulty Electrical System

A dead outlet, damaged electrical wiring, or electrical cable are all problems requiring an electrician's touch. However, you should not automatically assume a fault with your electrical system if an appliance is not working. The problem might be elsewhere. Try the following solutions before calling an electrician for help. 

Confirm It Is Not a Power Outage

A blackout might make you think your electrical system has malfunctioned. For example, a downed power line might make you think your electrical panel is dead. Confirm if the rest of the house has power. Switch on lights in different rooms, plug appliances in different outlets, or check if your neighbors have power. You can also call your service provider for confirmation.

Confirm the Appliance Is On

Check if you have plugged in and switched on the appliance. For example, just before the dishwasher is not working does not mean that its electrical outlet is dead or the circuit it's on has a problem. Someone might have unplugged the appliance and forgotten to plug it back in. Check the dishwasher's electrical cable and confirm it's switched on before calling for help.

Check If the Appliance or Device Is Faulty

A dead or malfunctioning appliance can also make you suspect an electrical fault. For example, a kitchen appliance that has reached the end of its lifespan might not work even if your electrical system is intact. Try plugging the appliance in a different outlet you know to be working. This check will tell you whether you need an electrician or appliance repair technician.

Check and Reset the Breakers

Electricians use circuit breakers to cut off electricity and prevent damage and injury in case of electrical faults. A temporary anomaly in the system, such as an instantaneous voltage hike, can trip the breakers and make you suspect a fault in the system.

Check for tripped breakers in the main or subpanel and reset them. Contact an electrician if the breakers keep tripping every time you reset them. Breakers that keep tripping mean you have an undiagnosed fault in the system that needs fixing.

Unplug Some Things

Lastly, confirm that you have not overwhelmed an electrical circuit by plugging too many things into it. Each electrical circuit has a limit on how many appliances it can support, depending on their electrical demands. For example, having power tools, dishwashers, and other appliances on the same circuit can overwhelm it. Unplug some of the appliances to rule out the issue.

Contact local electrical services to learn more.