How to Troubleshoot a Power Outage

Here is a short step-by-step guide on how you can solve a power supply problem at home.


There is no doubt that a power outage is a huge inconvenience. The possible reasons for a power supply interruption may be varied; there are those that you can fix at home, while there are some that may take days or weeks to solve. Here is a short guide on how you can resolve a power supply problem at your home.

But, first…

 

Make sure you never touch the breaker panel or fuse box with wet hands or while standing on water as this can cause electrocution. Also, do not use any tools to flip breakers or replace busted fuses; these can be simply done by hand. Make sure you use a flashlight while doing the troubleshooting. It is also helpful to keep the local contact number of your electric company handy.

Is it just in your home?

When you sense that your house has lost electricity, investigate whether the outage is only limited to a certain part of your home. If you find out that electricity is not functional in your entire home, look outside and check if your neighbors have also lost power.

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Call the utility provider

When you have made sure that the power outage affects other houses or streets as well, it is time to call the local utility company to report the problem. Turn off light switches and unplug electrical devices to protect them from power surge damage when the electricity supply is restored.

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If the power problem is limited to your home 

If, however, you find out that electricity is interrupted only in your home, or in certain parts of it, you may need to take a look at GFCI receptacle, circuit breaker, main breaker or fuse box to troubleshoot the outage. On a GFCI outlet, try pushing the reset button, or see whether a breaker has tripped or a fuse has blown.

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The main breaker trips or branch breakers can’t be reset

At this stage, try to turn off or unplug as many electrical appliances or electronic devices throughout your home. At the circuit breaker, flip all the breakers off. Then, turn the main breaker switch on and off several times. After this, try to reset each of the breakers one at a time. If doing this causes the main breaker to trip, or if you are unsuccessful in resetting one of branch breakers, there may be a problem with that circuit, which will need electrical repair.

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If branch breakers reset and main breaker does not trip

If you find no trouble resetting the branch breakers and the main breaker does not trip, the problem may be attributed to a faulty appliance. Try to connect them one by one to find out which of your appliance is damaged.

Troubleshoot a Power Outage (Source: simpsonsworld)

If the main breaker trips repeatedly

If this happens, the problem may be that you are running a large number of appliance at the same time, drawing current beyond the main breaker’s capacity. Try to reduce the electrical load of your home or have a professional electrician upgrade your home’s electrical panel.

 

Troubleshoot a Power Outage (Source: Giphy)

For bigger power outages….

Of course, some power outages are caused by bigger problems, like natural disasters or power plant shut downs, and will require steps more technical and specialized than flipping switches on and off to fix. While waiting for widespread power interruptions to be fixed, there are temporary power plants that are capable of immediately providing electricity at the time when the conventional electricity sources fail. They can be delivered anywhere in the world, installed in a matter of days and powered on to supply the exact amount of electricity that a city, a province, a region or a country needs. They are cost-effective, and constitutes a sound preventive measure to counter the devastating effects of power cuts due to load shedding, peak lopping, blackouts and calamities.

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Troubleshoot a Power Outage (Source: Altaaqa Global)

Power outages, no matter the duration, extent or reason, can cause interruptions to vital residential, commercial or industrial processes. While small-scale outages can be easily handled at home, or by your local utility company, large-scale ones may entail the use of much newer technologies and the application of more sophisticated techniques and processes. While work is being done to restore power, rental power plants can supply the much needed electricity anytime and anywhere it is required.

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How to Troubleshoot a Power Outage

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