electrical fault finding switchboard

7 Steps to Electrical Fault Finding

Electrical faults in the home can put your family in serious danger if the problem is not isolated and repaired promptly. On average in Australia, there are 11 worker deaths per year from electrical faults, so you can see the risk electrical faults can put your family in.

Usually when you have an electrical fault in your home, the specific circuit breaker where the fault is present will trip and cut electricity off to it. Sometimes this isn’t the case, however, and the main switch for power to your entire house might trip instead. Fault finding can help you to identify the problem circuit and allow you to return electricity elsewhere.

Metropolitan Electrical Contractors are your local electrical experts in fault finding and have 7 steps to help you with electrical fault finding. These electrical fault finding techniques can prevent your family being harmed or your home being damaged by an electrical fault.

1. Turn all circuit breakers off.

If power has been cut to your entire home and it isn’t a fault from your electricity provider, you’ll find the main switch in your switchboard has been tripped. This can trip if it detects any kind of electrical fault as a safety precaution.

The individual circuit breakers will still be on, so you will first need to switch these off.

2. Turn the main safety switch on.

With all the switches in the off position, now you can turn the main safety switch back on. Electricity is now available in your home, but with the individual circuits turned off, power is not yet supplied to your appliances and fixtures.

3. Turn each circuit breaker back on.

With the main switch back on, you can now turn each circuit breaker switch back on. The key here is to turn each switch back on, one at a time.

4. Identify the faulty circuit.

By turning each switch on individually, you will be able to find the faulty circuit. The faulty circuit is the one that trips back off after you’ve switched it back on! Some component of this circuit is causing your electrical fault.

5. Turn all switches off again.

With the faulty circuit identified you must now turn all the switches back off again.

6. Turn the electricity back on.

Now we can begin the process of turning electricity back on to the circuits that aren’t tripping. Firstly turn the main switch on and then turn each circuit back on except for the faulty one.

You now have power back to your home and don’t need to worry about that faulty circuit tripping again.

7. Call a fault finding electrician.

With the faulty circuit identified and power cut off from it, it’s time to call in a professional fault finding electrician. Until the electrical problem is resolved, this switch won’t turn back on!

What are Closed, Open and Short Circuits?

Your switchboard protects both your family and home from an electrical fault by use of close, open and short circuits. What are these though?

Open and Closed Circuits

A circuit is made up of electrical wiring and components such as fans, switches and lights. In order for electricity to flow, the wiring and components must form a closed path that electricity flows through. This is a closed circuit.

Any interruption of this closed path will form an open circuit. This interruption might be a switch in the off position or even faulty wiring. An open circuit will stop the flow of electricity.

A simple example of this is a light and its switch. When the light switch is on, the circuit is closed and electricity flows through it. This causes the light to turn on. When the light switch is turned off, the circuit is opened and the light turns off as electricity no longer flows.

Your circuit breaker works in this same way. When it detects an electrical fault, it trips and opens the circuit, stopping the flow of electricity in this circuit.

Short Circuits

While open and closed circuits are part of the normal operation of your electrical equipment in your home, a short circuit is bad news. This is where a connection is made where it shouldn’t be and electricity flows through it. This can lead to overheating and potentially lead to other electrical problems.

Your circuit breaker aims to protect your electrical systems from this problem.

Electrical Fault Finding Electrician

Faulty electrical systems in your home put your home and family at great risk of electrical problems. These risks include electric shocks and even electrical related fires!

Unless you’re a licensed electrician, you won’t be able to identify the cause of your electrical problems. That’s why it’s important you have a qualified electrician out for their fault finding electrical services.

Metropolitan Electrical Contractors provide outstanding electrical services to homes across Australia. We understand the risks an electrical fault puts your home and family in and have advanced electrical fault finding techniques to keep your home safe.

Not sure you’re up to finding the electrical faults on your own? That’s not a problem – a Metropolitan electrician can be at your home just 1 hour* after your call with the equipment and knowledge to get your electrical systems under control.

Published: 24 Sep, 2020

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