DIY Electrical Troubleshooting: Tips for Solving Common Problems

Most people face troubles with their electric circuit or their electrical appliances on a regular basis. However, consulting an electrician to solve every single electrical problem that you face can be a tedious affair. So the next time you have minor electrical issues, try fixing the problem yourself.

This article gives you some common do-it-yourself tips that can be useful when it comes to regular electrical malfunctions. However, if the problem is more complicated and you cannot figure out what the exact problem is, then you can always consult an electrician London for expert advice.

What To Do What One Of Your Electrical Appliance Malfunctions?


Try To Understand The Core Problem

When an electrical appliance malfunctions, you see the outward manifestation of the problem. For instance, when anything goes wrong with a refrigerator, the fridge does not cool the food adequately. Likewise, when a light bulb goes off or when a light flickers, anything can go wrong with the circuit that supplies electricity to the bulb.

So it is vital to understand the core problem area before you start fixing the problem. If you wish to solve the problem yourself, you can handle only minor issues like changing the switch, the fuse, etc., by yourself. For anything that is more serious, you need to hire a professional electrician.

There are several easy ways to figure out what exactly is wrong with a particular appliance, and some ways of figuring out what is wrong with a circuit are listed below

  • Gather Information About The Appliance

Many people start repairing appliances by opening the circuits; however, the first step to repairing anything is to know the specifications of the appliance. An LED bulb lasts longer than a regular bulb. So if an Led bulb stops working after a few months, the problem probably lies in the circuit and not with the bulb per se.

Thus, if you have complete information about the appliance, like its power ratings, its usual lifetime, etc., it will be much easier to figure out where the fault lies.

  • Start With Simple Things

When an electrical appliance malfunctions, the problem may not be something severe. So when you start repairing a gadget yourself, begin with the most simple things first.

So if a bulb does not light up, then try fixing the bulb in a different socket and see if it starts working. If the bulb lights up when placed in a different socket, then the bulb is fine, and there might be a problem with the wires that make up the connections to a particular socket.

At times an appliance may not work if there is a loose connection. So before opening up the circuit board, try tightening the connections before making more changes. The defect in an appliance may be minor, and unnecessarily opening up the circuit makes things more problematic, so it is always advisable to start with the simplest fixes at first.

Some Quick Fixes To Regular Electrical Problems


Once you have figured out where the problem lies, you must repair it. So here are a few simple ways to repair common electrical problems.

  • The problem of electrical overload. If all the appliances in your house have stopped working suddenly, then there may be a problem of overload. All circuits have a fuse that automatically shuts down when there is an overload. Most often, overloads happen when using appliances like hair dryers for a very long period of time.

If you figure out that the main problem is caused by overload, try locating the switch for the main fuse. Most fuses automatically shut out the power when there is an overload, so if you find that the fuse button has shut out the power, then simply put the fuse button in one position.

However, before you change the position of the fuse, assess the load in the electrical line. If any device seems to be drawing a lot of current, it is a good idea to get that device serviced or replaced before allowing electric flow into the wires again.

  • The problem of short circuits. A short circuit happens when a hot wire comes in contact with the neutral or the ground wire, and this causes the connections to break.

Detecting where exactly the hot wire has come in contact with the ground wire in the entire circuitry is not an easy task. So if you have to figure out where exactly the problem lies you have to take one switch or wire at a time.

Whenever you spot a blackening on the outer cover of the switch or when you spot a wire that has melted due to overheating, then you know where the problem lies.

  • The problem of a switch that becomes loose due to overuse. The switch is used to control the functioning of an electrical appliance, and if a device is used too frequently, then the switch may stop functioning effectively after a point of time.

If the toggle or the lever of the switch does not work correctly, then you might need to replace the switch in order to replace the switch, switch off the main power. Then remove the switch from the electrical box by loosening the screws and replacing it with a new switch.

If the switch is such that it is fitted by a push-fit mechanism, then you may need to insert a screwdriver into the release slots to disconnect the switch completely.



There might be many reasons why you may have to check the electrical circuit in your house. If you are consistently getting high electrical bills or if some of your gadgets stop working suddenly then you may need to troubleshoot the problems in the electrical circuit.

You may not need to hire an electrician every time you spot a problem in the electrical appliances of your house. However, if you think that the problem is severe, then it is always a good idea to consult an expert.

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