Fault Finding


Some electrical faults can be frustrating and not easy to pinpoint. 

Westcork have the knowledge, experience and hi tech equipment to find your fault in a timely manner, here we have some common faults and how to detect them.

Switchboard - Tripping Circuit Breakers

A very common electrical fault is a tripping circuit breaker.

These are usually caused by either overloading your circuit or a direct short circuit on the cable.


  1. If you turn on the circuit breaker and it makes a "bang" noise - It's a short circuit. Contact Westcork Electrical immediately 
  2. If you turn on the circuit breaker and it trips after a period of time, go to the area that's tripping, unplug the items that are on the circuit to reduce the power consumption, this will usually occur in an area with a heavy electrical usage like a kitchen, where, you have items such as a toaster, kettle, microwave... even a pie cooker plugged in. You need a new circuit to cope with the load usage.

Switchboard - Tripping Safety Switches (RCD/RCBO)

Another common switchboard fault, is a tripping safety switch. Here is a tip on how to pin-point a fault:

HOW TO TEST: Power Points

If you have an old set up of just one or two RCDs (safety switches) which protects a number of circuit breakers, try this:

  1. Switch all the breakers down.
  2. Switch up your safety switch that was tripping.
  3. Now, individually, flick each circuit breaker up, one by one.
  4. Once you flick the circuit breaker up that trips it, flick it back down. (power points circuit).
  5. Now leave that off, flick up the rest, this should get at least some of your power back on.
  6. Try unplug all the items in that room.
  7. If this doesn't solve it  - Contact Westcork Electrical.

Tripping safety switches are usually caused by an earth leakage fault, dampness or moisture can usually cause this if its not the cable or item.


If you have an old set up of just one or two RCDs (safety switches) which protects a number of circuit breakers, try this:

  1. Switch all the breakers down.
  2. Switch up your safety switch that was tripping.
  3. Now, individually, flick each circuit breaker up, one by one.
  4. Once you flick the circuit breaker up that trips it, flick it back down. (Lights circuit).
  5. Flick all light switches to the off position.
  6. Try turn on the circuit breaker for the lights, if it works, switch on each switch until you find the switch/light that is causing the fault.
  7. If this doesn't solve it  - Contact Westcork Electrical.

Power Points not working?

Sometimes you'll find electrical faults in your power points. These can be frustrating and dangerous. This tip tells you how to find your fault.


  1. A power point not working usually means if your circuit breaker/RCD in the on position, the power point is either damaged internally, or the cable to it may be damaged or the active/neutral cable is damaged.
  2. It may just be the item that is plugged in, try another item in that power point.

General Lights not working?

Finding an electrical fault in a light can be simple. Here's how you do that.


  1. Tried several light globes and still having issues?... This can be either the light fitting or the light switch has failed. If you have old halogen lights they get quite warm (200 deg +), cables get melted causing a short circuit or else just a clean crack of the cables giving no voltage to the lights.

Smoke alarm chirping?

How annoying is a chirping smoke alarm? Find out if its a fault or a simple battery replacement needed with this tip.


  1. Press the button on the side of the smoke alarm to drop it down.
  2. It is most likely the battery has expired, but, smoke alarms only have a life span of 10 years. The date of install will be printed on the back of the smoke alarm close to the battery. A smoke alarm is your last line of defense when your sleeping. Don't take it for granted it will trigger in the actual case of a fire.
  3. If your smoke alarm is out of date contact Westcork Electrical to replace it immediately.

The hidden dangers of a pest infestation

In some cases there are less obvious issues causing your electrical faults. Our friends at Paragon Pest Control come into some issues of their own!

Here is what they have to say about termites and wiring:

When people think of white ants (Termites), they think of an old rotting house, or perhaps even the large termite mounds you find in the outback!

But not many people see them as dangerous. For this reason, when it comes to thorough termite treatment, we have found that the more relaxed people become, the more at risk they are.

What are the dangers of a known termite infestation? The most imminent threat would come from an electrical fire. Due to how quickly a fire can get out of control, a simple shorted wire can quickly become a fire that could engulf your home. Yes. It has happened before!

Termites love to chew. They are unstoppable when they are searching for new food sources and if electrical wires stand in the way, they will simply chew through them. Commonly, both electricians and pest technicians find evidence of chewed electrical wires when surveying a ceiling or under a building.

Therefore, it is very important that adequate termite protection is used. Without adequate barriers and treated timber, your internal walls are at risk of termite damage as well as short-circuiting electrical wires.

Seek out professional pest protection and ensure your electrical switchboard is fitted with the current circuit breakers and safety devices.

Getting to the root of your electrical faults

We don't just stick a band aid on your electrical fault, we apply permanent solutions to your problems so they are professionally fixed.

We only use the best electrical testing equipment, such as, Fluke testers and infrared thermal imaging cameras. Using the thermal camera, we are able to measure the temperature of any object and detect likely hazard areas without putting anyone at risk.

It will show us if your switchboard is too hot or using a lot of power on a certain circuit, or a loose connection. We can test and determine the root of the problem.

Westcork Electrical are locals to the inner west, we’ve been fault finding in the inner west suburbs for many years, we are the electricians Sydney can count on in times of electrical emergency. Our years of professional experience in the field have made us knowledgeable on a wide range of electrical faults. We are experts in all kinds of fault detection and diagnosis and assure you a fast and professional service.

  • Fast response
  • Correct testing tools for the job
  • Guaranteed work

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Johann Huang
Johann Huang
02:31 13 May 22
Alan was incredibly professional and knowledgeable, taking the time to answer my questions and make sure that I understood the work he was going to do. Most of all, I appreciated being able to send through photos of the exhaust fan that was having issues, to make sure that Alan was able to assist with it. Alan was punctual, friendly and really happy to assist. I'm really happy with the new bathroom exhaust fans and would highly recommend Westcork Electrical
Sydney Walker
Sydney Walker
21:20 11 May 22
Alan was great. Fixed all our electrical work and was very helpful with advice on future needs. I will recommend Alan (Westcork) to all our neighbours and friends.
Phil Petersen
Phil Petersen
03:14 09 May 22
From our very first enquiry through to completion of work, Alan has been a pleasure to deal with. Our requirements were easily understood and great suggestions made along the way to meet our needs. Alan communicates well at every step in the process, and keeps to schedule -he is a pleasure to have working in the house. Needless to say I cannot commend WestCork enough to anyone requiring a skilled, professional and pleasant domestic electrician.Phil, Abbotsford

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