How to isolate a Faulty Switch Socket


Sometimes in the middle of the night or maybe out of the blue, you get a total blackout in your house. If yours is the only house affected, then you can be pretty sure that there is a short circuit somewhere in your electrical system. That doesn’t mean you have to spend the whole day or whole night in the dark. You can isolate that particular circuit that is giving you the trouble and at least part of your house could have some light.

The first thing to do is to check your Main Circuit breaker that is located at the Main Switch Panel. 9 out of10 times, the Circuit Breaker has tripped. Try pushing it back On. If it stays there, all the better. Sometimes these breakers are very sensitive. Even a small lightning might cause it to trip. If you keep pushing and it keeps tripping, definitely there is a short circuit somewhere.

Now check the smaller circuit breakers located in rows just beside the Main Breaker. Switch it off one at a time which means, switch one off and try switching on the Main one again. Go at it the same way for all the others. When you come to the one which allow you to switch on the Main Breaker, then this is the circuit which is giving you all the trouble.

With that primary breaker in OFF position, switch on all the other circuit breakers. If all the lights are working, it means that faulty circuit is supplying current to a switch socket. If a few lights are not working then it’s the circuit for those lights.

Supposing all the lights are working, you should now check all the electrical apparatus that are plugged in to some switch sockets and of course your Air Conds. See which are the apparatus that are not working. Those that are not working means they belong to the particular circuit which you have isolated just now. Unplug or switch off all the non working appliances. Go back to your Main Panel and switch back on the small breaker which you have isolated. You should be able to switch it on without tripping anything now.

Go back to the appliances that you have unplugged. Switch them on back one by one. When you switch on the one that is faulty, it will trip the whole system again. Switch OFF that particular socket. Switch back ON the Mains. Now you have a  good idea which is the trouble maker.

You can either go back to sleep while leaving that particular Socket permanently switched off until the next day or you can take it a step further to confirm whether it’s that appliance that’s causing the short circuit or if the short is within the socket. Just use any other appliances that you have in your house and plug it into the fault giving socket. If it works, then you can confirm that whatever that was plugged there before is the guilty one. So now at least you know you don’t have a short circuit but rather a faulty kettle or whatever.