Blog written by TDR Electric in Vancouver
Have you ever had the power go out in your home, and you’re not sure why?
Here’s a quick and safe guide for you to troubleshoot your power outage before calling an electrician in Vancouver.
If you lose power isolated to a bedroom, living room, kitchen, etc., chances are you have a tripped breaker from a potential dead short or overload on the circuit.
Check to see if there was an appliance plugged in on that circuit that has tripped the breaker. If not, have a look at the plugs to look for burn marks. That could be from a dead short in the plug if that’s the case. Call an electrician right away.
If you do not see any signs of arcing or burn marks around lights for plugs, check the breakers. Breakers are located in your electrical panel. They are designed to trip if there is a short circuit or overload from some sort of appliance or too many appliances on the same circuit. Once you are at the panel look for any breakers which are in the “tripped” position. If you see one that is halfway in-between “on” and “off” that means it is tripped.
Once you have located the tripped breaker (Some have a red indicator, some do not, it depends on the brand), you simply turn the breaker to the “off” position, then back on. If the breaker stays on, the circuit will be live again. Try to think of what might have caused this. It could be an appliance, or too many on the same circuit and avoid that situation in the future. If the breaker immediately trips again when you try to reset it, stop immediately and call an electrician, there is a dead short, and it needs to be addressed by a professional Vancouver electrician.
In some instances, with older breakers, they will not look like they are tripped, they appear to be on, but they are actually tripped. This is caused by old sticky plastic. Gently run your fingers down the breakers applying a very small amount of pressure to the off position like in the photo below. If there is a tripped breaker, it usually will pop over to the off position. In this case, simply try turning it back on. If the breaker trips again, call your electrician immediately, there is a dead short somewhere in the circuit, and it needs to be addressed.
When after trying, none of these things work and you have lost power to a large portion of your home or the entire home, there is a good chance that it is an issue with the main breaker, a neutral, or your utility company is having an issue upstream from your dwelling. If this is the case, call your electrician and have them come to troubleshoot the problem.