Friday, 25 January 2019

Part 1. The 3 most Common Electrical Problems and How to Solve them.

It is usual that in any house, from time to time, we have to solve some type of electrical fault. Most are solved in a quick and simple way with just a basic knowledge of electricity

Of course, the problems that I will be describing to you below have an easy solution; But if you suffer a major electrical fault or have serious doubts about your ability, my recommendation is that you hire the services of a professional electrician.

1. The house has no electricity and the differential has tripped.

 Whats a differential I hear you ask well they look like this. Colours may vary. The yellow button is a test button and this should be pressed every 3 months to see if the differential trips.

 The differential has several functions within the house. It protects you from being electrocuted should you touch a bare live wire. And it detects any leakage of electricity. In normal operation the current flowing in the two wires (live and neutral) will be the same. When they are not the same due to a fault the diff will trip. The ones found in Spain also have over current protection as well. So if you are trying to use more current than you are allowed it will trip. This was common in older houses, and a cheap and not recommended upgrade was to increase the amperage of your differential. You should always contact your electricity supplier to upgrade your supply. All houses now have either a mechanical ICP (Interruptor Control de Potential) or its built in to your smart meter to prevent illegal upgrades.

So what do you do if you have tripped your differential. I always recommend 

  1. Switch off all the breakers in your fuse box (consumer unit). 
  2. Switch on the differential, some models, require you to push it down first then up.
  3. Then gradually switch back the other breakers.
  4. That should be it. 

What if the differential trips when switching a breaker back on?  then;

  1. Repeat the process above but leave problem breaker off and continue, you may have more than one problem. If the problem is only with one breaker check to see what is plugged into that circuit, and unplug everything and then switch the breaker back on.
  2.  If its OK then the trip could be caused by over current or a problem with what is plugged in. 
I have tried everything and even switched the breakers on in a different order, and it still trips. What do I do now?

Leave everything for a couple of minutes then try again. Next stop is to call an electrician. The more information you can give him the quicker it can often be fixed. 

And please remember any doubts, call an electrician.

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