By : Lim Wei Di
03 July 2018
Who switched off the lights? Wait, why has the air-conditioner stopped working? Oh no, is this a power blackout?
What causes power blackouts?
Blackouts, also known as power failures, can occur when there is overloading of the electricity mains. This happens when you place too many electrical appliances in one circuit. When the electrical load exceeds what the circuit can hold, the circuit breaker will trip to protect your electric circuit from overheating.
A short circuit can also cause a power blackout at home. This happens when you use electrical appliances with bare or broken wires, causing additional electricity to run through your switch, appliance or outlet. During an electrical surge, the circuit breaker will trip, resulting in a loss of electricity in your flat. Shorts can also develop inside appliances, especially if they are old or broken.
What to do during a power blackout?
Restoring electricity in your home after a power blackout is fairly straightforward – so don’t panic!
Reach for a torchlight or turn on your mobile phone’s flashlight function to find your way to the circuit breaker. You know, the box with many switches in your store room or household shelter. Simply flip the switch that is pointing in an opposite direction from the rest of the switches. This will restore electricity to your home. Easy.
How to prevent power blackouts at home?
There are many easy ways to prevent blackouts, starting with not overloading any power outlet.
Space out where you plug your appliances! Putting several devices like the TV, lamps, and speakers in the same outlet can overload a circuit. Large appliances like washing machines and refrigerators need their own circuit.
Avoid using electrical appliances with damaged cords, as the exposed wires are a recipe ripe for disaster, and I do not just mean blackouts. They are a fire hazard too, as they tend to overheat. If you notice a stripped or damaged cord, unplug it immediately.
If you are unsure what is causing the blackouts in your flat, try out this simple troubleshooting technique. Turn off all the light switches and unplug all electrical appliances, and then reset your circuit breaker. Turn on the light switches one at a time, and do the same when you plug in your electrical appliances. The switch or the appliance that causes a power trip again is likely the source of your short circuit.
Remember, regular power outages are not normal, and could be a sign of a bigger electrical problem at home. For your family’s safety, hire a pro and have it sorted out.
Know what to do during a power blackout now? Follow us on our Facebook page for regular updates on home hacks!