Common Electrical Call Outs

  • 29th June 2023
  • posted in: Advice
Common Electrical Call Outs
Recognise These Common Electrical Callouts?

Various electrical issues can disrupt your daily routine and raise concerns about the safety of your electrics. They’re never convenient. And let’s be honest, you’ll probably only consider these things when there’s a problem.

Whether it's a sudden power outage, flickering lights that leave you in the dark or a mysterious burning smell coming from an outlet, electrical issues can be a cause for concern. And there are some issues that crop up more often.

Being able to identify these issues and understanding how to handle them is crucial for maintaining a functional and safe electrical system. And knowing who to call when a problem arises will set your mind at rest.

It’s important to remember that working with electricity can be dangerous and, in general, issues with electricity should always be addressed by a qualified electrician. Prioritising safety is paramount and if you're unsure or dealing with a complex issue, always seek professional assistance.

Here we look at some common reasons for electrical callouts.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers are designed to protect electrical circuits from overload or short circuits. When too much current flows through a circuit, the breaker trips, interrupting the electrical flow and preventing damage or fire hazards. Short-term you can start by locating the tripped breaker in the electrical panel and resetting it by moving the lever from the "off" position and then back to the "on" position.

However, if the breaker continues to trip repeatedly, it indicates an underlying issue like a faulty appliance, faulty wiring, or an overloaded circuit.

In such cases, it's important to consult a qualified electrician to investigate and resolve the problem.

Faulty Outlets

Non-functional or intermittent outlets, such as a plug socket, are a common electrical call-out. This issue can be caused by loose wiring connections, damaged outlets, or faulty wiring. To troubleshoot, first, check if the circuit breaker related to the outlet is tripped and reset it if necessary.

If that doesn't solve the problem, it's best to call a professional electrician who can safely inspect and repair the outlet. They may need to replace the outlet or address any wiring issues to restore its proper functionality.

Flickering Lights

Flickering lights can occur for several reasons. It could be due to a problematic bulb, a faulty light switch or problems with the electrical circuit or wiring. If it’s a one-off, the issue could be with the national grid.

If a single light fixture flickers, try tightening or replacing the bulb to see if that solves the issue (make sure the electricity supply is turned off before attempting anything). If the problem persists, it's advisable to consult an electrician who can inspect the wiring connections and fixtures. Flickering lights across multiple fixtures could indicate a more extensive electrical problem that requires professional attention to ensure safety.

Burning Smell or Sparks

A burning smell or sparks coming from an electrical outlet or appliance is a serious issue that should never be ignored. It could indicate a wiring problem, a loose connection, or an overloaded circuit, all of which pose fire hazards.

In such situations, the first step is to immediately shut off the power supply to the affected area by turning off the switch, if it is safe to do so. Do not attempt to handle or inspect the problem yourself, as it can be dangerous.

Electrical Shocks

Experiencing an electrical shock when touching an appliance, switch, or outlet is a significant safety concern. It can occur due to faulty wiring, improper grounding or faulty appliances. If you encounter an electrical shock, disconnect the power source immediately by unplugging the appliance (if it’s safe to do so) or turning off the circuit breaker. Even a minor shock should be taken seriously and investigated by a professional electrician to identify and rectify the underlying cause.

Remember, electrical shocks can be fatal, so it's crucial to stay safe and seek professional help.

Power Outage

Complete power outages are normally the result of external forces. They can be caused by severe weather conditions like storms, lightning strikes, or high winds that damage power lines or utility equipment. Perhaps a workforce has accidentally cut through a power cable. Scheduled maintenance can also lead to planned outages.

First check to see if neighbouring houses still have their supply. But if you see a neighbour’s lights on while yours are out, don’t worry. Houses are not necessarily connected to the same power supply because they’re next door to each other.

If your power goes out:

  • Contact the utility company to report the issue and get updates on what’s happening.
  • Keep the fridge and freezer door shut – you want your food kept as cold as possible and you don’t know when the power is coming back on.
  • Add extra layers if you need to keep warm and rely on electricity to do so.
  • Keep a light switched on so you know when power is restored.

Keep a torch handy in the event of a power outage – candles will also work, but candles can cause a fire, especially if you’re using them in the dark. If you use candles during a power cut, always keep them in a proper holder or inside a lantern so the naked flame is not exposed. Lanterns have handles so you can carry candles more safely from room to room.

Electrical Maintenance

Getting your system tested regularly can reduce the chances of problems. Testing gives an electrician the chance to spot potential issues before they become full blown problems.

Read more electrical safety tips here

Safety First

In any electrical call-out situation, it is important to prioritise safety. Electricity can be fatal and the golden rule is that if you’re not sure, call a professional. Do not attempt to perform electrical repairs if you are not qualified.

Always turn off the power supply to the affected area before attempting any inspection or repairs and never touch electrical components or appliances with wet hands or while standing in water.

Don’t use damaged or frayed electrical cords or plugs where wires are exposed.

Final Thoughts

Electrical callouts can be disruptive and concerning, but by familiarising yourself with common issues, means you can address them more effectively.

However, when it comes to electricity, it’s essential to put safety first. If in doubt, getting a qualified electrician is always the best course of action.

Remember, a well-maintained electrical setup contributes to a more secure and reliable environment for your home.

Keep Your Electrical Systems in Good Working Order With Able Group

Our trusted engineers are trained to tackle any type of electrical problem, from electrical inspections to electrical repairs. We specialise in a range of different trades, including glazing, pest control, locks, gas and heating and plumbing and drainage.

Available 24/7 Able Group is there for you in an emergency.  If you ever think there could be something wrong with your electrics, or if you have any other issues, the safest way to deal with the issue is by getting a professional to take a look.

Simply give us a call on 0330 108 4111 and we can help.

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