Simple Electrical Troubleshooting in Your Los Angeles Home
Here is the scenario. You are in your kitchen in Los Angeles preparing for a dinner party and you plug your food mixer into an outlet on the worktop, and – nothing. You flick the switch a couple of times, but still nothing happens. The lights are still on, so you know there is not a power outage. You are hoping that the fault is with the outlet and not the mixer because you have guests coming and a lot to do. What you have to do is start the process of electrical troubleshooting to determine where the problem lies. Troubleshooting involves going through a series of steps in a logical manner, but some of it may have to wait until after the dinner party.
The first step is to establish if the fault is with the mixer. Plug it into a different outlet that you know is working properly and try it there. If it works, carry on with the cooking and make a note to check out that outlet the next day. If it doesn’t, you will need to change your dinner plans and take steps to see if the mixer can be repaired.
An outlet in a kitchen is likely to be fitted with a ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI). This can detect even minuscule changes in current and trips the circuit to safeguard against shocks or sparks, which can be especially dangerous in wet areas. Try pushing the reset button on the outlet and see if this allows the current to flow. If the GFCI repeatedly breaks the circuit, that is a sign of a more significant problem.
Check your main electrical panel to see if any of the breakers have tripped. This is usually indicated by a red mark showing. There are several reasons why a breaker trips. If it was a temporary surge, the breaker should work properly when reset. If resetting the breaker does not fix the problem, replace it with a new one. If that one continues to trip, then you know the problem is not with the breaker.
If these simple steps have enabled you to get the cooking back on track, well done. If you have not managed to fix it, you can still congratulate yourself on having eliminated some of the possible causes and this will ultimately save you time and money. When you call an electrical contractor to ask for help, you will be in a good position to recount what you have discovered. It gives the electrician a clearer idea of what is required and he will not need to waste time checking again. It also means that he will be able to give you a more accurate estimate of the work involved and how much it will cost.
Now back to the mixer. If you didn’t manage to get it working in another outlet, you may have to start troubleshooting the fault there. Check the plug to see if any of the connections have worked loose or if the fuse has blown. You can tighten the contacts and try a new fuse. If that fails to cure the problem, then it becomes a matter of either looking out the guarantee, a trip to the repair shop, or browsing the catalogs for a new one. But you can always entertain your guests at your next Los Angeles dinner party with the story of your electrical troubleshooting.