This morning I experienced an electrical power cut at home for the
fourth day running. The power outage only lasts about 5 minutes and
there are no obvious causes. The only ‘pattern' to the power cuts is
that they seem to take place a few minutes after switching off my
electric shower (note: a few minutes after, not immediately).
No fuses appear to blow, and the power is restored after about five
minutes. I've done no electrical work prior to this happening and
have been using the shower for approx four months without any
I would assume that if the power comes back on again without you having to
do anything and lasts a similar amount of time each time, then the cut is
not happening inside your house. Sounds more likely that there's a fault on
the supply somewhere and an auto-reset is happening (or similar). Have you
tried asking neighbours if they have a similar problem?
I would possibly suggest contacting your supplier (or should that be
distribution company?) and see if they know of any faults, or could take a
When the power is killed, is it just your property or does the whole area go
down ? If its just your property, then what type of supply do you have ?
Are you in a rural or urban area ? Is yours the only from the mains on a
pole outside ?
It sounds like the local electricity supply has had a little too much
diversity applied to it. Assuming your shower is at a similar time every
morning, along with everyone else nearby showering and putting on the
kettle, this morning peak may overload the local transformer, which is
cutting out, but auto-reclosing after it has cooled off. Have any nearby
houses been built/newly occupied recently?
If you don't have to do anything to get the supply back on, then the
problem is almost certainly outside your property - unless you happen to
have some weird and wonderful control equipment! :-)
The symptoms you describe are typical of an auto-reclose on a high
voltage overhead circuit. Are you in a fairly rural area? Are your
neighbours affected? If it's happening at more or less the same time
each day, it could be something as simple as birds flying into overhead
lines at that time of day, or cattle scratching themselves on a stay
wire causing the overhead wires to clash, but not actually break.
Predominantly overhead rural systems have automatic circuit breakers at
the source substation and at one or two points out on the network. These
disconnect the supply in the event of a transient fault, like birds
flying into overhead lines, and then reclose onto the circuit after a
Tell your local electricity company about the problem, they will
(should!) carry out an inspection of the circuit if the problem
From your description, it seems unlikely (although not impossible) it
would be a problem inside your house. Ask if any of your neighbours are
similarly affected. the problem may only affect one single phase of the
supply, so it would be asking several neighbours.
One further thought on this.... Are you saying that ALL of your power
is going off, or is it just the shower? Showers incorporate a thermal
switch which often open and remain open for some minutes after the
shower is turned off, until the unit cools down.
Thanks for all your replies on this - loads more than I expected!
The problem didn't occur this morning - so hopefully whatever caused
the problem has been fixed. (I reported it to the electricity company
so maybe they sorted it.... they wouldnt tell me on the phone, but
said they will write to me within 7 days to advise on any action
Thanks again for all your replies.
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