Help! My Electrics Have Tripped!

Experiencing a tripped circuit can be frustrating, but often you can resolve the issue yourself safely.
In most cases you can restore power in 5-10 minutes.
Follow these steps to attempt restoring power.

Five Steps to Attempt Power Restore

Step One
Stay Calm and Safe
  • You may need to think clearly - if you are unable then call an electrician and wait.
  • First, do not panic. Most tripped electrical circuits can be reset without professional help.
  • Do not repeatedly try to reset the tripped circuit breaker. This can damage the breaker and potentially escalate the problem.
Step Two
Reduce the System's Load
  • 9 times out of 10 an appliance is the cause - the goal is to decrease electrical demand & identify if an appliance is causing the trip. So unplug all appliances - ensure they are completely disconnected from the power source, not just turned off.
  • Switch off all fused spurs (for appliances like cookers and showers) and any other switches that directly control appliances. This action is similar to unplugging an appliance.
  • Inspect for water exposure. Disconnect or switch off any outdoor electrical installations (e.g. pond pumps, outdoor lighting, sockets) and indoor areas prone to moisture (extractor fans, immersion heaters, boilers). If you know you have damp wall or a plumbing leak, this could be getting in to the electrics - inform the electrician of any such damp areas when he arrives.


Step Three
Attempt to Reset the Circuit Breaker
  • If it won't reset don't force it or try repeatedly. With the load reduced, try resetting the circuit breaker:

  • Locate your fuse box and find the switch that's in the "off" position or midway between on and off.

  • Switch it to the 'off' position firmly, then flip it back to 'on.' (some need to be fully turned off first then all the way back on).

  • Usually but not in every case OFF is down, ON is up. A green flag indicator means safe = off, a red flag indicator means danger = on.

  • RCD or circuit breakers with a yellow, blue, orange (but could be any colour) test button marked "T" are the sensitive ones that most likely trip. Unfortunately, there is no universal colour coding or system between  circuit breakers manufacturers - each have their own indications.

Step Four
Identify the Faulty Appliance
  • This is a process of elimination - if the breaker stays on, begin to reconnect your appliances one at a time, waiting a few minutes between each to see if the circuit trips again.
  • This process can help identify a faulty appliance. If you plug in an appliance then the breaker trips, unplug this appliance and reset breaker, continue plugging in other appliances instead.
  • If this has not resolved the issue then it is time to call an Electrician.
Step Five
When to Call an Electrician
  • If the circuit breaker trips immediately after resetting (with all appliances unplugged), or if you cannot identify the faulty appliance, it's time to call a qualified electrician.

  • Keep the electrician informed about the steps you have taken and any observations. This information can help them diagnose the issue more efficiently.

  • While you wait for an electrician, if you have some sockets working (worth checking the cooker point for a socket) run an extension lead to keep essential appliances running i.e. fridge, freezer. Keep these closed throughout to preserve contents. 

Bonus Info
Further Safety Advice
  • Never attempt to repair electrical systems yourself if you are not qualified. Electricity is dangerous and can cause injury or death.

  • Keep a list of emergency contacts, including a reliable electrician, in an easily accessible place.

  • Most trips are caused by overloads or faulty appliances and can be resolved with the steps above. However, persistent issues or trips without clear causes should be professionally diagnosed to ensure your home's safety.

  • It is best to prevent tripping electrics by having them tested and inspected on regular intervals. The last test date and next should be written on or near a sticker at the fuse box.

Our Reviews

P D Electrical
Based on 64 reviews
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Sophie TurnerSophie Turner
09:17 26 Dec 23
I needed a tiny job doing fast - ceiling light. P D Electrical booked a great appointment time with me, turned up on time and carried the work out perfectly. Very happy with all the work they've done for me so far. 2 jobs and counting! See you all soon!
Joanne LawrenceJoanne Lawrence
14:48 15 Dec 23
My previous experiences of getting the service I needed had been difficult and took a long time to get responses. Paul responded immediately and got the work done in record time. It was a refreshing change to deal with such a friendly and efficient company. I was really happy with the end result and have no hesitation in recommending PD Electrical to anyone needing a professional service that is fast and efficient.
Valerie FamaValerie Fama
20:06 26 Oct 23
Having been let down by other electricians who either didn't respond or were apparently too busy, I was very impressed with Paul's responses to requests for quotes. He isn't cheap but you definitely get what you pay for. He's installed a cooker hood, a replacement bathroom extractor fan and redirected its exit to a more efficient location, separated a light and extractor fan in an en suite, and installed a replacement electric doorbell. He leaves everything clean and tidy. I'm really pleased with Paul's standard of work.
Jamie CJamie C
20:40 23 Oct 23
Great tradesmen. Turned up when agreed and completed work as agreed. Good experience.
Sheila BloggSheila Blogg
15:07 20 Oct 23
Excellent service. Thoughtful solutions to my problem. One lowered modern fuse board with emergency lighting.
Kevin BrowningKevin Browning
14:58 12 Oct 23
I chose PD Electrical purely on the strength of their Google Reviews. I have had various electricians over the years, but this time wanted someone with stellar reputation. Paul called round for a chat and to assess the requirement. It was only a few switches and lights, but he took time to document what was needed and also ask a few other questions to help him understand the setup in my home. I then received a quote for the work, which was reasonable and accompanied by a very thorough, helpful guides to how PD work and key things I should know. Paul had also left a book of client testimonials which was a very nice touch, something I had never seen before.Charlie from PD arrived on time to carry out the work, he was polite, cheerful and a pleasure to have in the house (this has not always been the case with previous contractors!) Everything was completed to agreed spec and care was taken throughout not to leave any mess or cause disruption. I chatted with Paul about our fusebox and some other requirements and he gave me considered, helpful responses which encouraged me to return in future for additional works.My day job involves encouraging my clients to "go the extra mile" for their customers and it was great to see this in action with Paul. Highly recommended, well done!
Vicky BishopVicky Bishop
06:41 18 Sep 23
Paul came out promptly to quote and returned within the next few days to fit several challenging light fittings, nothing was too much trouble. He was on time, helpful and polite, and got the job done efficiently. Would highly recommend.

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