Quick electrical repairs
There are some minor electrical faults that can be repaired yourself - without calling out an electrician. Save yourself some money and time spent waiting by doing a bit of research...
When dealing with ANY home repairs use a logical and systematic approach to locating the fault. Take the time to understand your home electrical supply is step one.
Wall or ceiling light not working
The most probable cause for a wall or ceiling light not working is that the bulb has blown. To determine if this actually the fault, replace the light bulb and switch on to test. Be aware that it is possible to buy faulty light bulbs and that you should always have a few on hand just in case.
Additionally, when replacing a blown light bulb, check to make sure that the main switch or circuit breaker on the distribution board has not tripped and reset if this is the case. A sensitive switch can easily trip when a bulb blows.
A less common fault is on an older fitting where the plastic casing becomes brittle with age and starts to crumble, allowing contact between wires. The first indication of this is when the fitting starts to appear brownish in colour. In this case the entire fitting needs to be removed and replaced. Switch off the power before attempting any repairs.
If resetting the switch or circuit breaker does not reset - time to call out an electrician.
Wall socket not working
To determine if a wall socket is faulty - or if it is the appliance being used - test by plugging in a difference appliance. If the socket works, then it's the appliance that is faulty.
What could also happen when plugging in a faulty appliance, is that the switch or circuit breaker on your main distribution board will trip. You will need to reset this.
If you are not sure which appliance has caused the problem, unplug all appliances, reset the circuit breaker and/or switch by switching back on. Plug each appliance back in, one by one, until the faulty item (which trips the circuit) is found.
If you cannot reset the circuit breaker and/or RCD even with all the appliances disconnected, call an electrician.
Circuit breaker or switch keeps tripping
There are several causes for a circuit break or switch that keeps tripping, one that is not caused by either a blown light bulb or faulty appliance. Two of the most common causes are:
A. Overloaded socket. Try unplugging appliances before you reset to test.
B. Water or moisture, which can cause a circuit breaker or switch to trip. Check all plugs and extension leads to ensure that they are not in areas of high moisture and reset to test.