The 50plus

The cost to locate an electrical problem

0845 22 50 495 or one of our local numbers or book online here.

What are we talking about?

How long does it typically take find an electrical fault?

Typical time

From 1hr

Translate time to cost for your postcode by clicking on: Practical services and charges

For loss of all power use our 'emergency advise' section in the drop down 'get help' menu or call for 50plus telephone assistance


None - but check your neighbours have power if everything is off!

Questions to ask

Refer to scenarios below


Electrical faults range from the simple to the complex. In all cases safety comes first, if you are unsure about anything stop and call a competent person.

Loss of all/part lighting or power

If all your power is off the first thing to do is look out of the window. Is your neighbours' power on? The street lights? If not then the likely problem is a supply failure. Check with your power company!

If you are the only household without power then locate your consumer unit (or fuse board). Many properties now have safety devices which 'trip' in the event of a fault. Trips can be caused by light bulbs blowing (particularly halogen fittings). Look at your consumer unit. Are all the trips in same position? Is there a trip with a 'test' button? Has this switched off?

Start with the trips with the test button (most consumer units have one although modern installations have two). These are called RCDs. Some reset by first pushing down and then up, some by just pushing up. If one has tripped then turn off all the associated circuit breakers (that's the smaller trips). Try resetting the RCD. If it resets turn on the circuit breakers one by one. If it trips out when a circuit breaker is turned on then that will indicate where the fault is and should enable restoration of power to the majority of the property. If it won't reset then if possible unplug all devices and switch off all lights. Try the RCD again. If it will reset plug appliances back in until it trips again. If all is fine check for blown light bulbs and change faulty ones (with the power off). If the RCD still won't reset call 50plus.

If the RCD(s) is fine or you only have the smaller trips, of which there will be several the same size (but of different ratings), simply pushed back the switched off trip into the on position. If the trip won't stay in the on position stop! If possible unplug all devices on that circuit and/or switch off all lights. Try the trip again. If it will reset carefully plug appliances in one by one until it trips again. The faulty appliance will then be found. If the trip still won't reset call 50plus.

For more complex faults call 50plus. One of the most common issues is self installed ceiling lighting. Ceiling lights frequently have several wires connected to them as the ceiling 'rose' is used as a junction box. It's very easy to change this and get the wiring wrong. If you can't read the circuit diagrams referenced below stop and call in the experts.

Information on what to do in an emergency, electrical installations and lighting.

For information on changing fuseboards / consumer units click here.

Questions? Please contact us.