I've lost some of my electric power ( my sockets / lights / heaters aren't working )
Please note you should never attempt to undertake any electrical repairs yourself; this includes any alterations to electrical fixtures and fittings e.g., replacing a socket, switch, light fitting or altering any wiring.
Our self-help information is intended to help you get your power back on where there is an easy fix, diagnose an electrical issue, or isolate a potentially dangerous area.
Before you do anything, you should check your fuse board to see if anything has tripped (the switch is pointing down). Your fuse board is usually found in a cupboard under the stairs, your kitchen or your hallway. If your home has storage heaters, these usually have their own separate fuse board.
There may be two fuse boxes in properties that are ‘all-electric’ (no gas in the property). If this is the case in your home, you will need to check both.
It may be that a single circuit has tripped. All the circuits will be labelled – for example “kitchen”, “upstairs”, “appliance sockets”, “shower”, etc.
Watch our video here on how to fix a partial loss of power.
If a single circuit has tripped
Try to turn the circuit back on by flipping it back to its original position. If the switch stays up and causes no further problems, no further action needs to be taken.
If the circuit labelled RCD has tripped, turn all the switches to the down position. You will then need to flip the switches back on in the following order:
- Main switch.
- Any RCDs (there may be several). Sometimes these need to be pushed right to the bottom first and then back to the top.
- The individually labelled circuits, one-by-one.
During this process you should find that one of the individually labelled circuits trips the RCD. Leave this circuit off while you move to the next step.
Socket circuit affected
If the circuit labelled “sockets” is causing the problem, you should unplug all appliances that don’t have switched fused spurs (as pictured below). Your fridge/freezer and washing machine may have these switches so won’t need to be unplugged, but you will need to turn them off at the spur.
Once you’ve done this you should reset your circuits using the process you used before (main switch, then RCD, then individual switches). Then plug your appliances back in one by one to identify which appliance is causing the issue. Once you’ve identified the item that is causing the problem, leave it unplugged and either replace it or have it repaired by someone qualified to do so.
If the circuits will not reset, please contact the customer services team and they will arrange for an electrician to attend. In the meantime, you can identify a working socket that you can plug an extension cable into as a temporary measure. Be careful not to overload your extension cable and ensure it is fully unwound. Never plug one extension cable into another (known as ‘daisy chaining’).
Lighting circuit affected
If your “lighting” circuit is causing the problem, you should turn all your lights off. Then, reset your fuse box using the process you used before (main switch, then RCD, then individual switches). If the board resets, turn your light switches on one by one until you find the light that trips the fuse. When you identify the light in question, turn it off again and change the light bulb, and then reset your fuse box one more time. The issue should now be resolved.
If the light continues to trip the fuse, do not use it. Contact the customer services team so they can book in an electrician to visit your home.
If the lights are all switched off and the circuits will not reset, please contact the customer services team and we will raise a repair for an electrician to visit your home.
If your smoke alarms are affected by this loss of power, please inform the customer services team and they will raise a priority repair to make sure they are functioning safely.
Any other circuit affected
If the circuit affected is not labelled “lighting” or “socket” please contact the customer services team who will request that an electrician visits your home. If the affected sockets are in the kitchen and affecting your appliances run an extension cable into the kitchen from a different room. Be careful not to overload your extension cable and always ensure its fully unwound. Never plug one extension cable into another (known as ‘daisy chaining’).
If your smoke alarms are affected by this loss of power please inform the customer services team and they will raise a priority repair to make sure they are functioning safely.
Electric heating/storage heaters (1 or 2 not working, but the rest are fine)
If one or a couple of your electric/storage heaters are not working, you should check your fuse board. If there are fuses in the down or off position this is likely to be the cause of the issue. Turn off all the fuses for the individual heaters, and then turn off the fuse labelled “RCD”. This sometimes will have a yellow button which turns off the switch.
Once all the switches are off, turn the RCD back on. Sometimes you may have to press this down to the bottom first before going back up to the top.
Then, flip each individual heater switch up one by one until one trips the RCD. Once you have identified the heater that does this, please turn it off and then reset the RCD again. This should mean that your other heaters work, and you can request a repair for the specific heater that is causing the problem. Remember that there is only power to the heaters between the times of midnight to 7am, so you will have to check in the morning to see if heater/s are working.
If the fuses continue to trip despite turning this heater off and you have no heat, please contact the customer services team and they will raise this as a repair.
None of my heaters are working and the fuse box looks fine – why are my heaters not working?
All storage heaters are powered overnight, between midnight and 7am. After this time the power cuts off automatically, and the heat gained overnight is released throughout the day and controlled using the knobs on the heater. It is rare for storage heaters to fail unless there is a problem with the circuit.
If the heaters are coming on at the wrong time, or they aren’t working at all, there may be an issue with the timer on your meter. We are legally prevented from touching the meter equipment, so you will need to contact your energy provider to discuss this. This could also affect your immersion heater and hot water supply.
We would recommend using a separate electric fire as a secondary form of heat.
How do I report a repair?
You can report a repair to us at anytime, anywhere using My Account or contact us via Live Chat. Let us know when reporting that you’ve followed the advice and what you’ve tried to get it working, this helps us to assess what to do next to get the right person for the job.
If you think there is a problem with your electricity meter itself, you need to contact your electricity supplier directly.
If nothing has tripped
If nothing has tripped and the fuses are all in the ‘on’ position (pointing upwards), you will need to test the fuse board. First, turn off all the switches so they are pointing down. Then, turn them back on in the following order:
- Main switch
- Anything labelled ‘RCD’
- The other switches, one-by-one
You may find that something trips during this test. If that is the case, you can refer to our guidance on what to do if a single switch has tripped.
If nothing has tripped but there is still a partial loss of power we will raise a repair to investigate. If your smoke alarm is affected by the power loss please contact the customer services team so we can raise a priority (same day) repair.