Power Trip

Not sure what is causing your home’s frequent power trips? Let us help.

Power Trip – Causes, Signs and Solutions

In the hustle and bustle of Singapore’s modern living, encountering a power trip can be a frustrating experience.

A power trip, also known as a power failure or a circuit overload, occurs when an electrical circuit draws more power than it can safely provide. This results in the circuit breaker shutting off to prevent overheating and potential damage or fire.

Power Trip – One Of The Switches At “OFF” Position

What can cause a Power Trip?

  • Overloaded Circuits
    • With the increasing number of electrical appliances and smart devices in Singapore households, overloaded circuits are a common cause of power trips.
    • Plugging too many electrical devices/applicances into a single circuit can exceed its capacity, leading to a power trip.
  • Faulty Appliances, Faulty Switches, Faulty Circuit Breakers
    • Due to wear and tear, it is possible for the electronic components within our electrical appliances, switches or circuit breakers to age and their performance degrade over time.
    • This ageing degradation of electrical components reduces the efficiency and impairs the performance of our appliances, switches and circuit breakers, hence causing them to malfunction.
    • These aging or malfunctioning appliances can trigger power trips.
    • Short circuits, damaged cords, or faulty internal components can cause sudden surges in electricity consumption, resulting in a power failure.
    • The Energy Market Authority (EMA) has mandated that all residential premises in Singapore must install an RCCB within the 2-year grace period from the effective date of the requirement, 1 July 2023. This is to enhance the electrical safety in all households.
  • Faulty Wiring
    • Poorly installed or deteriorating wiring in older homes can increase the risk of power trips.
    • Wiring issues such as loose connections, exposed wires, or damaged insulation can lead to electrical faults and subsequent power trips.
  • External Factors
    • Lightning strikes, power surges from the grid, or faulty street transformers can also cause power trips, albeit less frequently.
Need To Upgrade Old Circuit Breaker Panel
Upgrade Outdated Circuit Breaker Panel To Include RCCB – For Better Safety & Reliability

Signs of a Power Trip

Recognizing a power trip is crucial for effective troubleshooting. Common signs include:

  • Sudden Loss of Power: All electrical devices connected to the affected circuit abruptly lose power.
  • Tripped Circuit Breaker: Checking the circuit breaker panel reveals that one or more switches have tripped to the “off” position.
  • Burning Smell or Sparks: In severe cases, a burning smell or visual sparks may accompany the power trip, indicating a potential electrical hazard.
13amp Power Plug Burnt Due To Overheating – Caused A Power Trip

How to Resolve a Power Trip

  1. Locate the Tripped Circuit Breaker
    • Begin by identifying the tripped circuit breaker in the electrical panel.
    • It will be in the “off” position or midway between “on” and “off.”
  2. Disconnect Appliances
    • Unplug or switch off all devices connected to the affected circuit to prevent further overload.
  3. Reset the Circuit Breaker
    • To reset the tripped circuit breaker, firmly push the switch to the “off” position, then back to the “on” position.
    • If it trips immediately again, there may be an underlying issue requiring an electrician’s attention.
  4. Investigate the Cause
    • Once power is restored, systematically reconnect appliances one by one to identify any faulty devices or wiring issues.
    • If a particular appliance consistently triggers the trip, it may need repair or replacement.
    • If the problem does not lie with the electrical appliance, but instead lies with a faulty circuit breaker, faulty switches or worn cables and wires, it would not be so straight forward and it is advisable to seek the help of a qualified electrician.
  5. Seek Professional Help
    • If power trips persist despite troubleshooting or if there are signs of electrical damage or hazards, it’s crucial to consult a trusted electrician.
    • They can conduct a thorough inspection, diagnose the root cause, and implement appropriate solutions to ensure electrical safety and reliability.

How Prevent Power Trips

  • Distribute Electrical Load
    • Avoid overloading circuits by distributing electrical loads evenly across multiple circuits.
    • Use power strips and surge protectors to manage multiple devices safely.
  • Regular Electrical Inspections
    • Arrange periodic inspections by licensed electricians to assess the condition of your home’s electrical system and identify potential issues proactively.
    • Early detection of wiring problems or equipment failures can prevent power trips and ensure electrical safety.
  • Upgrade Wiring and Infrastructure
    • In older homes or buildings, consider upgrading outdated wiring and electrical infrastructure to meet modern safety standards and accommodate increased power demands.
  • Invest in Surge Protection
    • Install surge protection devices to safeguard sensitive electronics and appliances from voltage spikes caused by power surges or lightning strikes.
  • Opt for Energy-Efficient Appliances
    • When purchasing new appliances, prioritize energy-efficient models that consume less power and reduce the risk of overloading circuits.
    • Look for the Energy Labeling Scheme (ELS) ratings to make informed decisions.
  • Invest in Smart Home Technology
    • Consider integrating smart home devices and systems that offer energy monitoring and management capabilities.
    • Smart plugs, thermostats, and lighting controls can help optimize energy usage and prevent overloads that lead to power trips.

While power trips can disrupt daily routines and pose safety risks, understanding their causes and implementing preventive measures can help mitigate their occurrence.

In addition, leveraging modern technology can enhance energy efficiency, thereby maintaining electrical reliability in our homes – contributing to a safer and more sustainable living environment.

Engaging the Electrical Specialist

We should be aware of the dangers of troubleshooting our electrical appliances or power trips ourselves.

The human body is capable of conducting electricity and hence there is a high possibility of being electrocuted or getting electric shocks if we are not careful. An electric shock may cause severe burns, forceful muscular contractions or even heart attacks to the sufferer.

We strongly recommend extreme caution be taken when carrying out any kind of electrical work.

But why take the risk?

Simply engage our experienced electricians who will be glad to do the hard work for you. Contact us now!


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