A common report received by our office is loss of power to part or all of the property. The first step we suggest is to determine the cause. It is generally a case of a blown fuse, power outage in the area or a faulty appliance causing a short.
Who is responsible?
While it is the owners responsibility to maintain essential services, this only applies where there is a fault with the wiring. The tenant is responsible to check the mains power box for a tripped switch or blown fuse and if this is the case they are responsible to turn the switch back on, test for any faulty appliances and also change fuse wire. If you do not have the confidence or basic knowledge to determine the cause or replace a fuse or fuse wire, you could ask a friend or relative, or even engage your own contractor to attend. Keeping in mind it will be at your own expense.
Should an electrician attend to find the cause to be a faulty appliance, tripped switch or fuse replacement, the invoice will be directed to the tenant. If they determine that the wiring is faulty or in need of an upgrade, it will be an owner expense.
Many tenants have not experienced changing fuse wire so to assist you we have provided some basic instructions. It is very IMPORTANT that the first step is to turn off the mains power.
Fuse wire – Porcelain fuses have different amperages. (Lighting is usually 8 or 10 amps, while power points are 16 or 20 amps) These ratings are clearly shown on each fuse holder. It is extremely important that the fuse wire you use does NOT exceed the rating shown on the fuse holder. For instance, do not put 16 amp wire on an 8 amp fuse.
Step 1: Turn off power at the mains switch/switches. NOTE: there may be 2 or more main switches, ensure all main switches are off before commencing.
Step 2: Pull out one fuse at a time, checking that the fuse wire is still intact by applying slight tension on the wire to ensure that it is not broken.
Step 3: If the wire is broken, replace it with fuse wire of the same amp rating.
Step 4: Reinstall the fuse and turn the main switch back on.
Step 5: If a fuse continues to blow after it has been re-wired, check for faulty appliances by unplugged all appliances and plugging them in one by one after replacing the fuse. If a fuse blows when plugging in an appliance it is likely the appliance that is faulty.
Important: If this fails, contact your property manager or if after hours a licensed electrical contractor immediately as there may be a problem with your wiring.