It's Friday night and it's raining, and the power has just gone out. A service call anytime from now till Monday is likely more than you'll enjoy paying. But there are things that you can try to do to fix this problem.
Check your switchboard if it's inside
Check out the street to see if everyones power is out
Western Power has a reported fault service on phone and online
Check inside your meter box to see if your meter has power/is lit up
If your switchboard has anything switched off you can try resetting it
If it is and RCD/Safety Switch and it keeps flicking off the RCD need trouble shooting
If you only have fuses you may need to change a fuse wire(this can be quite dangerous especially in the rain)
If your switchboard is conveniently located inside your house check there first to see if you circuit breaker are all on. Typical on position is with the level up, and if you look close is should have on or off written on it in small writing. If nothing is off then try the next step.
Next check to see if all the power is off in your street, stick your head out and look down the road and see how dark it is. If it's it looks like everyone is out then you should start by calling your local power utility. If you live in WA then that would be Western Power Fault and emergencies 13 13 51 or check their website www.WesternPower.com.au, reported faults are usually listed at both sources. It is sometimes possible for partial power to be out to the street, which can be tricky to work out but either way the next stop is your power box with the meter.
Inside your meter box your meter, if it is a newer one, the meter will have lights on it if you have power available, if the lights are not illuminated and the display is off, it would still be best to call the power utility. If you have a larger meter with 3 large black cartridge fuses, like in the above picture (the fuses are sometimes covered) this means you have 3 phase power or 3 separate circuits coming in, which means potential 1 phase can go out and leave you with partial power. The meter about has 3 lights in the top left if all 3 lights are lit then you have full power, so you need to head back to your switchboard, which is probably right next to the meter but not always.
Next you need to check to see if any circuits breakers are tripped off. Your switchboard should be labeled this can help you work out what is what. If anything is off try turning it on. If it is an RCD/safety switch which are usually double the width of a circuit breaker and it keeps tripping then you need to fault find the RCD. The RCD in the picture to the left are marked RCD 1,2 and 3. RCDs protect a number of circuits, it shouldn't be more than 3 circuits though. The switchboard displayed clearly shows which circuit are powered by which RCDs however it is not always that clear.
RCD Trouble shooting
Start by turning off all the circuit breakers, but not the main switch.
Turn on the RCDs
Turn the circuit breakers on one at a time
If one circuit breaker trips the RCD when turned on, then leave it off
Congratulations you have successfully isolated the fault
If it is indicated to be lights eg. some lights are not working, you can walk around and turn all the lights off, turn on the circuit breaker, then walk around turning the light back on and you may find a single light is causing the problem.
If it is power then walk around and what ever appliance that is plug in is off, unplug the plug from the wall, remember the pool or spa pump, fridge, and dishwasher
Then turn the circuit on and walk around plugging stuff in till you find the problem appliance
If these steps still don't work you can call us and we can help on the phone or attend and repair the fault for you. If you have a switchboard like the one below, then you seriously need to consider getting an upgrade as they pose a safety risk, due to the potential to cause of fires and if you need to replace fuse wire. Semi-enclosed re wirable fuses are no longer allowed to be use in new installation according to the Australian Standards.
A big caution if you do have these fuses, don't hold the meter box at all if it is metal when removing the fuse, prop the door open, and although it's a bit hard to pull out the fuse this way, hold your finger on the left and right, NOT the top and bottom as it is possible to have your finger slip in the top of the fuse and you will get a zap and if you are holding the meter box which is everyones natural inclination, it will be a very bad and pain full zap. The fuses serve the same function as circuit breaker but if you do decide to go ahead and trouble shoot your RCD if you have fuses make sure you put them back in the same positions and never use any wire other than a single piece of the correct sized fuse wire. Lights are 8 AMP and Power 15 AMP.
I hope this has help solve your problem. If you have any electrical related queries please contact me via phone or email andI will be happy to help.