What causes electrical failure?

An electrical failure can cover several different scenarios. It could mean that the power has failed to your home, that the installation in your home has failed or is below standard, or could even mean that a specific appliance has failed.

The most inconvenient is generally the complete electrical failure, fortunately, this is rare and is usually a result of an external factor. You’ll probably find that you are not the only house without power and you’ll need to wait for the supplier to resolve the issue.

But, if the failure is inside your home then you’re going to need to contact a level 2 electrician. Although you may feel capable of locating the fault and dealing with it yourself, it is important to remember that electricity is dangerous, it can kill.

Of course, even if you need to call out an electrician, it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of what may have gone wrong with your electrical system.


Every electrical wire is covered with a sheath, this is what you see as wiring. This is also the part that is most likely to deteriorate. Wiring can be eaten by pests or just start to disintegrate as it becomes old.

Unfortunately, once the sheath starts to go it is possible for the electrical wires to come into contact with each other. This will cause a short which will shut off the power to the circuit, or even trip the main breaker.

Ignoring this issue is likely to result in an electrical fire. 

It is also worth noting that once one circuit has started to fail, you can safely assume all the wiring will need to be replaced. 


The second most common reason for power failure is when you’ve overloaded a circuit. All circuits are designed to carry a specific load. The breaker on your box should correspond to the loading capabilities of the circuit; IF the load goes over the breaker value it will trip, this is to protect the wiring from overheating.

You’ll need to plug some items into a different circuit or have your electrician increase the load on the circuit.

Too Many Wires

Another reason for electrical failure is when there are too many wires packed together. Electrical wires generate heat when the electricity passes through them. If there are too many wires together the heat can cause damage to the wiring and short circuits. Again the breakers will trip and there will be an increased risk of fire.

Loose Connections

A loose connection can cause a circuit or individual socket/light to stop working. These are easier to identify as it will be a specific socket or circuit that has an electrical failure. If you want to check the connections on a socket you must ensure you turn the power off to the circuit first. 

Loose wires can come out as you remove the socket, leaving you at risk of an electric shock. 

If you have an electrical issue it is best to get the help of a qualified electrician, they’ll find and resolve the issue much faster than you will!

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