What do we do if the electricity goes off?


RCD box under the stairs in Marcia Road houses

The electricity suddenly goes off in all or part of the house. You may hear a ‘bang’ when it does.

Likely cause

A sudden change in the electricity in the circuit, has caused the house’s residual current device (RCD) safety devices to ‘trip out’.

What you can do

  1. Locate the box that contains the RCDs. It is in the small cupboard under the stairs.
  2. One or more or the switches will be pointing down. (Up is ‘on, down is ‘off’.)
  3. (If no switches are pointing down, there may be a general powercut (‘outage’) in the neighbourhood.)
  4. Push the switch up, but do not hold it up – be prepared for it to flip back down again.
  5. If the switch stays up, all’s well, it was just a temporary problem.

Extra tip

As this may happen at night, keep a working torch (‘flashlight’) near the RCD box.

If this doesn’t work

If the switch flips back down, or it only stays on for a while, there is a problem in the circuit that needs investigating by a professional electrician.