Short-circuiting is a common problem. When you have a short circuit, you can no longer use electricity. Generally speaking, only the fuse that blew the circuit breaker for the affected group of fuses, and not the entire house. Being without electrical equipment is not only very annoying, but for some appliances it can have consequences for, for instance, the freezer, the refrigerator or the central heating boiler. This is a job you want done as soon as possible.
Short circuits are a common problem. When you have a short circuit, you can no longer use electricity. Generally, only the blown fuse fails for the affected fuse box group, and not the entire house. Being without electrical appliances is not only very annoying, but for some appliances it affects, for example, the freezer, fridge or central heating boiler. This is a job you want fixed as soon as possible.
What is a short circuit?
Your home's electricity is divided over several groups in your meter cupboard. The power supply of these always runs in the same direction. In most cases, if you have a short circuit, something goes wrong somewhere with the direction of the power supply. At specific appliances in the house, the power wires then come into contact with each other. The bottom line is that the current can no longer find its way to the relevant appliance. Current is then released in places where it does not actually belong. As a result, you get an increased supply, causing your RCD to trip. When the fuse has blown in the meter cupboard, there may also be too many appliances switched on at the same time. In other words, overloading. The cause of a blown fuse can also be a lightning strike.
Have the fuses blown?
Have the fuses blown? Don't panic. Short circuits do not necessarily pose an immediate danger, but they are something to keep an eye on. A serious short circuit, for example, can cause a fire hazard. If you cannot figure out the cause yourself, it is wise to quickly call in one of our good licensed electricians. Our professionals are trained to quickly identify the problem and can ensure that everything is working properly and safely again.
Solve a short circuit
Want to fix the short circuit yourself? When you suddenly find yourself without electricity, there are a few things you can do to figure out the cause yourself. A tip: keep a torch ready near the meter box. Then you can look for it even in the dark. If you cannot find the cause yourself, enlist the help of a good electrician. However, even for a certified professional it is always useful to have a good idea of the problem in advance. If the power is out, always check first whether this applies to the whole house. Or is, for example, only one appliance causing the problem? Usually there is then a blown fuse. Often the cause then is overloading. That means too many appliances are switched on and connected to the same group.
Detecting a short circuit
Have you discovered which appliance is causing the problem? Then switch off the appliance and unplug it.
Walk to the meter box and look for the fuse that blew. You can replace it, but usually it is enough just to switch it back on. Has the main switch also blown? If so, turn it on as well.
If the problem persists, ask an electrician for advice. When he comes by, the cause is often found in no time.
Can't find out which device caused the fuses to blow? Then the problem is more difficult to identify. Following a few steps will take you a long way.
First switch off the whole group from which the fuse has blown.
Then unplug all appliances.
Then switch the group back on and connect the appliances one by one until the fuse blows again. This is how you find out what caused the power failure.
Did the power go out in the whole house? Then there is often more to it. First check whether the neighbours still have electricity. That way, you can rule out a major power failure in the whole neighbourhood or street. In case of a major failure, the grid operator will have to solve the problem as soon as possible. If you are the only one without power, overloading could be the cause. The main fuse may then have melted. Is that the case? Then that too is a job for the grid operator. An electrician is not allowed to just replace it. No matter how much expertise he has.
Preventing short circuits: tips!
Do not put too many appliances in one group. Short circuits are often mentioned in a sentence with overloading the group. The fuse blows if too many consumers are on in that group. This looks like a short circuit, but it is not.
Throw away the old appliance that causes a short circuit. Often, it is an old hoover, dishwasher or microwave oven that causes problems. Their electrical circuitry is old. And this is more likely to cause overloading on the group.