electrical appliance

Faulty Electrical Appliances - What You Need to Know

Tripped Circuit Breaker

The commonest cause of electrical problems is faulty electrical appliances. And the commonest electrical problem is tripped circuit breakers. When a circuit breaker detects a surge of electricity from a malfunctioning electrical appliance it instantly shuts the circuit down.  Just turning on an electrical appliance sometimes trips the breaker.  In that case, it’s easy to guess what caused the problem. But that’s not always the case.

Faulty Appliance

If your circuit breaker trips, resist the temptation to go to the switchboard and simply turn it back on. The faulty appliance that caused the problem will simply cause it again and the switch will immediately flip off again. So go around the circuit and unplug everything. Make sure that you unplug all electrical appliances including the rangehood, dishwasher, microwave and fridge. The fridge can be awkward to turn off and unplug, so it can be left on. When you switch the breaker back on, the fridge can be the first electrical appliance on to test which is the faulty appliance. If the switch won’t go back on, the fridge is most likely the problem. Now you do have to unplug it to confirm that it is the problem. If you still have problems with the circuit breaker with everything off, you have something wrong with your electrical wiring or with the switch itself. That’s the time to call in an electrician.

unplugged appliance
Unplug all appliances

The Faulty Electrical Appliance Revealed

When you turn on each electrical appliance, you need to know exactly when the circuit breaker trips. It helps to put a clock radio or some noise making electrical appliance on the circuit so that the noise stops when you turn the faulty appliance on. That should show you which one is the faulty electrical appliance. It is rarely worth your while to have the faulty appliance repaired. It should be discarded.

Power Surges

Unfortunately sometimes circuit breakers are themselves faulty. That means that a malfunctioning appliance can create power surges on the circuit. This can cause problems ranging from irreparable damage to microprocessor electronics to a major electrical fire. A faulty electrical appliance on the circuit that is not curtailed by a circuit breaker can over time do as much damage as one large power surge. A surge protector is a good back up that can prevent this.

Valuable Electrical Appliances

The damage from a rogue appliance isn’t always the startling scorch marks and melted plastic that you sometimes see on light switches and powerpoints. You can get cumulative damage to sensitive electrical components from continual smaller power surges as well. The best answer to this problem is a localised surge protector for valuable electrical appliances such as computers and home entertainment systems.

Faulty Electrical Appliances - What You Need to Know
A surge protector can prevent damage to valuable electronics

Overloading the Electrical System

It’s worth pointing out that it is not only a faulty electrical device that can cause a circuit to switch off. You can overload a circuit with too many devices trying to draw too much power all at once. There are a couple of solutions to this particular dilemma. The most obvious one is not to overload the circuit. But if, for instance, the circuit just isn’t up to the demands of a modern kitchen the best thing to do is to get an electrician in to make it more fit for purpose.

Safety Switches

Circuit breakers can help protect electrical equipment and prevent fire, but they won’t necessarily save you from electrocution. Protection from electric shocks is provided by an RCD safety switch. Like a circuit breaker, an RCD safety switch cuts off the power when there is overloading or faulty appliances.  The critical difference is that safety switches will shut the circuit down when power leaks out of the circuit. That means someone trying to fish a piece of toast out of the toaster with a knife who becomes part of the circuit with current running through them will trip the safety switch in less than half a second. That means an unpleasant jolt rather then electrocution. So, it’s best to have safety switches backed up by surge protectors if you want good protection for both your property and your person.

Published: 5 Mar, 2021

doorbell camera installation
doorbell camera installation


Wifi Remote Security Doorbell
  • Smart Doorbells
  • Doorbell Cameras
  • Video Doorbells
  • Security Doorbells

Electricians You Can Trust

Our Promise to You

Our electricians pride themselves with honest reliable services


We believe in transparency. We will guide you through our process, answer your questions and provide you with upfront, no obligation fixed prices.

Committed to provide excellent and efficient electrical services


No matter how big or small the job is, whether you're a new or returning customer, we treat every job as important and strive for success.

Professional Expert Electrical Technicians


We know our job site is your home and we completely respect that. We arrive neat and clean, and tidy up after we've completed the job.

Electrician Zip Pay Payment Options Image
Electrician Zip Pay Payment Options Image

Now Available!

Interest free Electrical with trusted pay later options

What Our Happy Customers Have to Say

Better service starts here

5 stars rating img

Simon was very professional and did excellent work. Provided clear explanations and very informative options for the job. An excellent result was achieved. Thanks again Simon for your help!

Paul - SA
5 stars rating img

Ferris was on time and very professional. He understood straight away what was going on. He fixed the issue with my lights and even did a full electrical inspection. Very happy.

Andrew - VIC
5 stars rating img

Angelo changed some circuits on my board that were damaged and causing the power to go off. He fixed it quickly and explained the damage. Absolute champion.

Kaye - SA
  • Wilson

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors has experts at installing, repairing and servicing all Wilson electric hot water systems.

  • Vulcan

    When you need an expert in Vulcan's electric hot water systems, contact your local specialists.

  • Thermann

    When you need an expert in Thermann electric hot water products, contact your local specialists.

  • Stiebel

    We work with Stiebel Eltron electric hot water systems. When you need service you can trust, call Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • rinnai

    When you need an expert in Rinnai's electric hot water systems, contact your local specialists.

  • schneider

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is your local Schneider Electric specialist.

  • rheem

    Did you know Metropolitan Electrical Contractors can install, service and repair all Rheem electric hot water systems?

  • philips

    For fast and efficient Philips electrical services, Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is your number one local expert.

  • pierlite

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is proud to use high quality brands such as Pierlite.

  • omega

    If you're after quality OMEGA electrical products for your home or business, call the experts at Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • osram

    OSRAM electrical products are highly recommended by the expert team at Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • nhp

    Need an electrical expert who works with the NHP brand? Look no further than your local Metropolitan Electrical Contractors electricians.

  • hager

    When you need an expert in Hager electrical products you need Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • legrand

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is proud to work with high quality brands such as Legrand.

  • crompton

    We are proud to work with high quality products such as Crompton Lighting. Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is a name you can trust.

  • dux image logo

    When you need a Dux electric hot water installation, service or repair, call the team at Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • clipsal

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is proud to work with high quality brands such as Clipsal.

  • bosch

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors are experts at installing, repairing and servicing Bosch electric hot water systems.

  • chromagen

    Did you know that Metropolitan Electrical Contractors supply, install and repair Chromagen electric hot water systems?

  • aqua max

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors choose Australian owned and operated AquaMAX for a range of electric hot water services.

Metropolitan Electrical Contractors Service Reviews Metropolitan Electrical Contractors Service Reviews