Electrical problems can be incredibly frustrating. They can strike at the least opportune time and can seem to occur for no visible reason at all. Your first reflex might be to call an electrician to handle the issue. While your instincts are right, there are things you can and should check before you call in the professionals. You might be able to resolve the issue on your own. Here are the top five things to check before you make that call.
1. Is It Plugged In?
As cliché as it sounds, the first thing to do is to make sure your device or appliance is actually plugged in. If necessary, unplug it and plug it back in to make certain that the connection is secure. If the cord is detachable from the device, make sure the connection there is secure, too.
If your plug has a fuse, try changing it (making sure it’s one of the same ampage) and if that doesn’t work, move on to the next steps.
2. Check for a Faulty Socket
It’s possible that the problem has nothing to do with the house’s main wiring and everything to do with the socket that you’re trying to use. Unplug the device or appliance and plug it into the other socket on the outlet. If that does not work, move on to the next step.
3. Try the Appliance on Another Outlet
If you cannot get any power from the outlet in question, it is time to move on to another one. Choose an outlet that is on the same circuit as the one you previously tried, though. For instance, if you’re trying to plug in a vacuum cleaner in your living room, try another outlet in the same room. It should be on the same circuit. Moving to another room means changing circuits.
4. Is the Circuit Overloaded?
If you still get no power even after changing outlets, it’s time to check if the circuit is overloaded. How many other items are plugged into the same outlet? In some cases, there is a safety switch designed to trip and break the flow of current if a power strip detects too much voltage in order to prevent safety hazards.
5. Circuit Breaker
The final thing to check is the circuit breaker itself. You’ll need to go to your fuse box to do this. Open the door and look at the wiring schematic. Find the breaker listed as controlling the room/wiring where you were located and see if it is flipped off. If it is, flip it back. If it immediately turns back off, call a local electrician. If it does not, try that appliance or device you were attempting to use before. If the breaker trips again, chances are good that the circuit is overloaded in some way and you will need an electrician.
There you have them – five steps to take before you call an electrician to help you solve the problem on your own. If you’re not comfortable taking any of these steps, though, calling a pro is always a good idea.
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