Get quotes to troubleshoot and diagnose an electrical fault

When it comes to working with electricity, it is best never to shortcut a job. Risking a fire in your home is not worth a quick fix D.I.Y. job, it is best to avoid electrical fires and rather call in a skilled electrician to troubleshoot and diagnose an electric problem in your home and have them repair the fault.

What is an electrical fault?

An electrical fault is when there is a disruption to the normal flow of the electrical circuit. It can involve any part of the house (or the entire home) from the main entry point of electricity into the house, to the wiring flowing through the circuits in the house, to the power sockets and electrical equipment.

Electrical faults can have harmful outcomes;

  • The overload on the circuit could result in a fire or explosion.
  • The short circuit could burn out an electrical appliance.
  • The overload on a wiring circuit could melt a plug socket.
  • The instability of the electrical circuit could leave your home with no power.

Types of electrical faults in a UK home

Power surges, which are often caused by external factors such as stormy weather or lightning damaging power lines, cause the power to trip and then when the person at home starts flicking the power on and off, causes an electrical power surge.

Light fittings, possibly a bad or corroded connection at the light fitting or light switch. If multiple light fittings are not working, then a fault in the electrical wiring circuit.

Light bulbs that keep needing to be replaced, if the wattage of the bulb in the fitting is correct, this could indicate poor contact between the bulb and lamp holder.

An appliance or plug socket giving off electric shocks, is due to faulty wiring or incorrect earth connection.

Circuit breaker that constantly trips, indicating there is too much current being drawn off the tripping circuit, possibly due to too many appliances connected to the circuit. Worst offenders are multi plug extension lead adaptors connecting many appliances to one socket.

An outdated DB board might not protect the home with a circuit breaker and leave a socket to burn out.

Badly ventilated or damp rooms can allow moisture to build up in plug points which can cause the wiring circuit to trip.

Old wiring, might not be able to handle the large consumption of output from all your home appliances (e.g. dishwasher, various TVs, washing machines…). Best is to have an electrician upgrade your entire wiring system including adding more plug sockets.

How to diagnose and troubleshoot an electric fault in a circuit?

An electrical fault can make itself known by tripping a section of electricity or worse, burning out an appliance or socket. When you have noticed that an appliance is no longer behaving as it should (perhaps a light is flickering) or if there is no electricity flowing to a section of the house, call an electrician immediately, describing the issue and have the electrician come through to investigate and find the cause of the issue, ready to repair the electrical fault.

If you are unsure what keeps tripping your mains switch, go to your distribution board (DB board) and switch off / flick down all the switches. Then slowly one at a time, push each one up, pausing before doing the next to give it a chance to trip, to work out whether the fault is limited to a circuit going to smoke alarms, sockets, showers, electric hob… or whether it is the entire circuit that needs a repair.

If your RCD is tripping, this indicates an electrical circuit fault and is usually due to a damaged electrical appliance that might need to be replaced or repaired.

How much labour costs to fix faulty electric faults

Per

Average cost

Replacing a burnt out plug socket

Per hour

£60

Replacing a faulty fuse on an appliance

Per hour

£40 

Fixing a light switch causing a short circuit

Per hour

£50

Repairing a leak / moisture getting into electrics causing a short circuit

Per hour

£150

Why do I have no power?

If you find yourself sitting in the dark, the first step is to look out the window and check to see if this issue is limited to only your house or if the street is without power. If it is the street, then there will be nothing for you to do but sit and wait for the power to be restored.

If the electricity fault is limited to your house only, it will be necessary to do some troubleshooting to investigate the cause of the electrical issue. Most often, the problem is either from an overloaded circuit, a short circuit or loose wiring.

An overloaded circuit will be made obvious if someone else in the house was drawing on electricity at the same time you were, perhaps using a hairdryer, while the washing machine was running, or using multi plug socket for the toaster and kettle at the same time as the dishwasher.

A short circuit occurs when a hot wire touches a neutral or ground wire. The extra current flowing through the circuit causes the breaker to trip or a fuse to blow. A damaged or frayed cord running to an appliance could cause this. You might see evidence of a short circuit with black burnt-out markings around a plug socket.

To find the cause of your power outage, try these easy three steps;

  1. Unplug every appliance on the dead circuit and switch off every light switch. Once everything that normally draws power is switched off, flip up the tripped breaker switch.
  2. If your power cuts immediately, the problem could be a short circuit. An electrician will need to investigate the wiring for bare wires or problem wiring.
  3. If your power did not immediately trip, then switch on each appliance and light switch, one at a time, slowly. The minute the circuit trips again, you will have identified the faulty fuse or section of wiring for an electrician to repair.

Estimates for common electrician jobs;

Job Estimate
Cost to troubleshoot and diagnose an electrical fault £95
Cost to rewire a single room or circuit £1000
Cost to rewire a house or flat £6250
Cost to replace a consumer unit £400
Cost to do a PAT test £60
Cost to install solar panels £7500
Cost to installing an electric shower £450
Cost to install downlights in a room £440
Cost to install CCTV cameras £740
Cost to install a bathroom extractor fan £220
Cost to install or fix a light switches £50
Cost to repair or install an electric hob (or an induction hob) £85
Cost to install or fix a light fitting fixture £90
Cost to fit an electric towel rail £75
Cost to fit an new plug socket £180
Cost to install an electric vehicle charger £400
Cost of an EICR test £150
Cost to install of a cooker hood £260
Repair of a cooker hood £150

Rates for other trades

Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault cost in the UK
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault cost in the UK (excluding VAT or callout charges)
Location in UKTroubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault cost
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Aberdeen£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Amber Valley£58
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Angus£50
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Arun£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Ashfield£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Aylesbury Vale£76
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Barnsley£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Basildon£80
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Basingstoke & Deane£82
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Bassetlaw£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Bath & North East Somerset£70
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Bedford£80
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Belfast£44
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Birmingham£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Blackburn£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Blackpool£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Bolton£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Bournemouth£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Bracknell Forest£86
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Bradford£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Braintree£76
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Breckland£72
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Bridgend£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Brighton£82
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Bristol£68
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Broadland£70
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Broxtowe£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Bury£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Caerphilly£58
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Calderdale£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Cambridge£76
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Canterbury£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Cardiff£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Carmarthenshire£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Charnwood£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Chelmsford£80
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Cheltenham£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Cherwell£70
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Chester£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Colchester£70
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Conway£120
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Coventry£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Crewe & Nantwich£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Dacorum£86
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Derby£58
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Doncaster£58
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Dover£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Dudley£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Dumfries & Galloway£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Dundee£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near East Ayrshire£56
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near East Devon£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near East Dunbartonshire£68
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near East Hampshire£68
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near East Hertfordshire£78
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near East Lindsey£42
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near East Riding£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Eastleigh£76
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Edinburgh£70
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Elmbridge£98
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Epping Forest£92
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Erewash£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Exeter£58
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Falkirk£70
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Fife£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Flintshire£56
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Gateshead£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Gedling£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Glasgow£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Gloucester£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Guildford£82
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Gwynedd£76
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Halton£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Harrogate£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Havant & Waterloo£68
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Horsham£84
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Huntingdonshire£72
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Ipswich£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Isle of Wight£78
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Kings Lynn & West Norfolk£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Kingston-upon-Hull£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Kirklees£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Knowsley£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Lancaster£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Leeds£68
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Leicester£76
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Lisburn£44
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Liverpool£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near London£96
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Luton£84
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Macclesfield£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Maidstone£84
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Manchester£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Mid Bedfordshire£78
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Mid Sussex£80
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Middlesbrough£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Milton Keynes£74
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Neath Port Talbot£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near New Forest£72
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Newbury£80
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Newcastle-under-Lyme£54
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Newcastle-upon-Tyne£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Newport£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near North Ayrshire£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near North East Lincolnshire£54
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near North Hertfordshire£80
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near North Lanarkshire£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near North Lincolnshire£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near North Somerset£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near North Tyneside£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near North Wiltshire£80
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Northampton£76
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Norwich£74
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Nottingham£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Nuneaton & Bedworth£74
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Oldham£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Oxford£74
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Pembrokeshire£50
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Perth & Kinross£68
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Peterborough£58
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Plymouth£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Poole£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Portsmouth£76
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Powys£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Preston£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Reading£82
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Redcar & Cleveland£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Reigate & Banstead£96
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Renfrewshire£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Rhondda, Cynon, Taff£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Rochdale£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Rotherham£54
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Salford£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Salisbury£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Sandwell£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Scarborough£56
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Sefton£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Sevenoaks£86
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Sheffield£54
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Slough£88
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Solihull£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near South Ayrshire£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near South Bedfordshire£80
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near South Cambridgeshire£74
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near South Gloucestershire£70
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near South Kesteven£74
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near South Lanarkshire£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near South Oxfordshire£80
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near South Somerset£68
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near South Tyneside£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Southampton£76
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Southend-on-Sea£78
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near St Albans£88
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near St Helens£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Stafford£58
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Stockport£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Stockton-on-Tees£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Stoke-on-Trent£56
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Stratford-on-Avon£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Stroud£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Suffolk Coastal£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Sunderland£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Swale£74
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Swansea£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Tameside£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Teignbridge£56
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Tendring£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Test Valley£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Thamesdown£76
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Thanet£58
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near The Wrekin£56
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Thurrock£84
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Torbay£56
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Trafford£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Vale of Glamorgan£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Vale of White Horse£72
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Vale Royal£58
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Wakefield£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Walsall£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Warrington£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Warwick£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Waveney£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Waverley£82
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Wealden£100
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near West Lancashire£62
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near West Lothian£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near West Wiltshire£80
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Wigan£60
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Windsor & Maidenhead£88
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Wirral£66
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Wokingham£84
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Wolverhampton£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Wrexham Maelor£54
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Wychavon£64
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near Wycombe£84
Troubleshoot & diagnose an electrical fault near York£56