You open the fridge and see that the light is out. You check whether it’s plugged in — it is, but still it doesn’t work. Most of us have faced this situation at least at some point, with some electrical appliance or another. Because you may not be savvy enough to fix electrical problems on your own, you may rush to call the electrician. But sometimes, the problem is actually very minor, which you realise you could have resolved yourself, after the electrician has handed you his bill.
So next time you face a problem with your electrical appliance, check these six things before calling your electrician.
- Check if the appliance is plugged in
Sometimes cords and plugs are pulled out of their sockets accidentally. These can even be switched off by a family member, to save on the electricity bill. If any appliance stops working, make sure that they are plugged in and turned on, before you call for a level 2 electrician. This will save you money and, of course, embarrassment.
- Check if there’s an overload
If the appliance has been plugged to a multi-board which is overloaded within the fuse box, it may stop working. Many multi-point adaptors have switches which automatically disable them if there is overloading. Unplugging a few things which you are not using at the moment, and switching on the board again might get your appliance working.
- Check the socket
Checking the socket is important, as you might see some burn marks or notice some melting. This indicates that there is some faulty wiring and malfunction. You should definitely not try to fix this yourself and call an electrician to attend to it. Till he arrives, switching off the fuse for that part of your home would be a wise and safe thing to do.
- Check the circuit breaker
If the socket is fine and the appliance is plugged in, your circuit breaker may be at fault. Find the electrical panel and check if a breaker has moved down to ‘off’ position. It could even be stuck in between. Move the circuit breaker from the ‘off’ to the top completely, to its ‘on’ position and check to see if the power has been restored to that particular circuit.
- Check the fuse
Check the fuses inside the electrical panel to see whether the metal portion has melted. There is a glass window on top of the fuse, which might have become discoloured, brown or purple. You have to unscrew the damaged fuse, then replace it. Take the old fuse to a hardware store so that you can buy one exactly the same, including the same amperage. Now, plug in the fuse, and if the problem is still not fixed, you have to get professional help.
- Check the appliance
If you have checked everything else, then check the obvious – plug another appliance into the socket and if that works, it indicates that your appliance is faulty.
While checking electrical points and the panel, ensure that your hands are dry, you’re standing on a dry floor and wearing proper shoes. If you’re not comfortable working on the panel, it’s best to call your electrician for help.
partnered post • cc-licensed image by Greg Lilly