Home / Blog

Why does my fuse box keep tripping?

A tripped fuse box can occur at the most inconvenient moments. Fuses are a safety measure used in electric circuits. If there’s an electrical fault or excessive current flow, the fuse will break the circuit, causing your power to go out. You’ll find fuses located in the fuse box and inside electrical appliances or their plugs.

Fortunately, it’s usually pretty easy to identify the root of a tripped fuse and reset a trip switch yourself. Don’t be left in the dark! Follow our helpful guide and find all you need to know about how to identify and fix fuse box-related issues.

How does a trip switch fuse box work?

Modern fuse boxes consist of trip switches that turn off a home’s electricity as a failsafe. This occurs when there’s an electrical fault or too much power flows through a circuit.

There are two types of fuse boxes – modern trip switch fuse boxes and traditional fuse boxes, which are more common in older homes. These have fuse wires that need replacing when they break. Today, in most homes, trip switch fuse boxes don’t use traditional fuses. Instead, they use safety switches like circuit breakers or RCDs (residual current devices).

Looking to learn more about fuse boxes? Find out more with our fuse box guide.

Where can I find my fuse box?

You’ll usually find your fuse box in a utility room, porch, garage or cupboard under the stairs. Essentially, it should be in an accessible location so that if your lights go out, you can access it safely.

Why has my fuse box tripped?

Are your sockets not working? Have your lights gone out? You’ve likely tripped a fuse switch. The easiest way to tell is by checking your fuse box to see if any electric breaker switches have flipped downwards. If they have, you’ve either overloaded a circuit with too many electrical appliances, or one of those electrical appliances is faulty. Before you flip the switch and turn your power back on, you must work out what’s causing the problem.

Overloaded Circuit

Electrical circuits can only handle a certain amount of electricity. If you’re boiling your kettle, using your toaster, charging your phone, watching TV and running your dishwasher all on one circuit, you could overload it. This causes the fuse switch to blow, resulting in a tripped fuse.

Extension leads are often the source of the problem. Even though they have multiple sockets, you shouldn’t use them all at once. Doing so puts excessive pressure on a circuit and may be why your electricity keeps tripping.

Faulty Electrical Appliance

A faulty electrical appliance can force a tripped fuse. There might be a problem with the wiring or the appliance may be old and worn out. Can’t work out which appliance is the culprit? Look at your fuse box – the switches might be labelled, helping you identify the location of the faulty circuit. When you know the location, try to remember which device you plugged in last – this is often the source.

If your box isn’t labelled or you can’t narrow down the problem, there’s only one solution. Unplug every device in your home, reset the switch (more on this below) and plug them back in, one at a time. It’s time-consuming, but should help you identify the problem.

Here’s a tip: the cause will likely be the last appliance or light fixture you used. Trip switches are sensitive, so they’ll kick into action as soon as there’s an issue.

How to fix a tripped fuse box

Once you’ve identified the cause, you can reset the fuse box. Do not use any faulty appliances until you’ve checked them. Unless you know what you’re doing, it’s best not to carry out electrical repairs yourself. Instead, get in touch with a qualified electrician. Or, if an appliance is new and under warranty you can return it. With proof of purchase, you should be able to get a refund or a replacement.

Reset your fuse switch

Today, most homes have trip switch fuse boxes installed with electrical fuse breakers. These switches flip down when they need to trip the electrics.

  • They’re straightforward to reset – all you need to do is switch them back into the ‘on’ position.
  • If you have attempted to reset your fuse switch, but it keeps tripping, there’s likely a problem with one of your appliances or sockets.
  • If none of your electric trip switches have moved, one of the RCD switches has probably tripped. Make sure they’re turned on too.

Resetting older fuse boxes

Older properties may still feature a traditional fuse box containing fuse sockets. Each fuse socket contains a piece of wire that will physically snap or burn to break a circuit. Replacing fuse wire is relatively straightforward. Find out how to replace a blown fuse.

What if my fuse box keeps tripping?

If you can’t work out why your fuse switches keep tripping, there could be a problem with the fuse box’s wiring. Faulty electrics can be dangerous, and even with precautionary measures like RCD switches in place, it’s not worth risking your safety. Rather than looking into the problem yourself, we recommend getting in touch with a qualified electrician. They will know what they’re looking for and can fix the problem on your behalf – swiftly and safely.

Rather leave it to the experts? Fuse box tripped and unsure how to fix it? You’ll benefit from taking out comprehensive home cover. Hometree offers home care plans you can trust, with quick and convenient call-outs, a 24/7 UK helpline, and no caps on claims. What’s more, if you don’t claim, your price will always stay the same!

We Beat or Match Any Quote

Call 0330 912 4843 and we’ll beat or match any quote.

Serious About Service

24/7 claims support & rated Excellent on Trustpilot

Cover Match Guarantee

Get a £50 gift card if you find something we don’t cover

All Gas Boilers Covered

All makes and models, regardless of age