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What to do and where to call in case of an electrical breakdown?

Have you ever wondered what to do in case of an electrical breakdown? Here we will tell you what to do to solve the problem quickly and prevent your appliances from suffering any damage.

An electrical breakdown can be due to many causes, but what is clear is that it needs to be solved as soon as possible and you should "be prepared." By being "prepared" we mean that it is always a good idea to have a spotlight or torch at home and to know what steps to take.


What to do in case of an electrical breakdown step by step

  • 1. Check the electricity switchboard: : check that all the switches are up, including the general one or if there are any down (do it carefully if it's night as you'll be in the dark).

    1.1 If any of the switches are down you can normally restore the electricity by switching it up. Remember to unplug any domestic appliances before you do this in case the cause of the electrical breakdown is because you are using more power than you have contracted. 

    1.2 If none of the switches are down or if switching them up does not reset the electricity you should continue with the next step of the checks.

  • 2. Check to see if there is electricity in the common areas of the building and if the street lights are on: this step is important for two reasons. 

    2.1 Conocer la magnitud de la avería: sal a la escalera o a la calle para valorar si la avería de la luz afecta solo a tu edificio o también está sin luz parte o todo el barrio.

    2.2 Poder identificar puntos clave a revisar: si la avería eléctrica ha ocurrido en el edificio hay que ver si hay personas en los ascensores. En el caso de que se haya ido la luz en el barrio no funcionarán los semáforos y es conveniente avisar a policía para prevenir accidentes.

  • 3. Call the phone number for breakdowns in your region: In the case of a general breakdown, the distribution company will be responsible for re-establishing the service. After this call, a protocol will be activated to repair the breakdown as soon as possible by the nearest Maintenance Brigade, which will be notified by the Control Centre.
  • 4. Call an electrician: If the electrical breakdown is only in your home or business, but the electrical panel is fine, you may need to contact an electrician. In this case, the problem with the electricity is usually not the responsibility of either the supplier or the distributor and there is probably a problem in the installation. 

    4.1 Some home insurance policies cover this type of breakdown, even though perhaps only partially. You can contact them and see what solutions they offer you. 

    4.2 Endesa provides as unlimited assistance service with One Luz and a 360 protection service with Única. The best way to be fully protected against any electrical breakdown in your home or your business.    

First you have to locate the problem

Is the problem just in your home, in your building, or in your neighbourhood? An electrical breakdown might only be in your installation, and not a power cut throughout the network.

If it's daytime, look at the lights outside a nearby pharmacy or the traffic lights. If you live in a flat, open the door and check if the communal lights in the hallway or the lift is working.

If it's night, it is easier to see if there's electricity on your street. Inside the house, and even though in series and films you will see people start lighting candles in the middle of a blackout, that is better left for fiction. It is advisable to use flameless electric torches as these are much safer. For example, if you don't have a torch at hand you can use the flashlight on your mobile phone.

If everything is correct, the problem is most likely in your home.


What should you do if there is an electrical breakdown at home?

When you have an electrical breakdown at home the first thing to do is to check that the switches on the circuit breaker panel are all raised, including the general switch and the differential.

If everything is correct, the next step is to lower the centre switch and wait five to ten seconds before raising it again. If the electricity comes back, problem solved.

Breakdowns due to exceeding the contracted electricity power

If the electricity dies not come back on, another possible option is that the contracted power has been exceeded. Unplug any electrical appliances that may be running and that may have caused the problem (sometimes you want to do everything at once and put washing machine and dryer on while you make dinner).

After turning off domestic appliances, switch the differentials back up again. If the electricity comes back, the most likely cause of the breakdown is that you were using more power than you have contracted.

If you are an Endesa client and want to change your contracted power then contact us, consult our article on how to change the electricity power or use the electricity power calculator to choose the right power.

One last detail to take into account in this type of breakdowns: If you notice a recurring problem when using the same electrical device it may be that it is causing a short circuit in the system. For safety reasons short circuits always blow a fuse.


Breakdowns in the electrical installation in your home or business

If you make the above checks and there is still no electricity in your house or flat and you have made sure that the breakdown is only in your home, then do not panic. You will need to notify an installer to check your electrical installation.

In this case, it is best to call a qualified electrician to solve the problem as quickly as possible. You can also protect yourself against this type of incident with alternative electricity tariffs provided by Endesa that offer the possibility of including inspections and repairs in the installation.


Breakdowns due to a general power cut

If the electrical breakdown affects other buildings in the area or the whole neighbourhood, it will surely be due to a breakdown in the network. In this case a power cut may be due to a number of causes:

  • A scheduled power cut: these are usually part of the schedule for improving and maintaining the network and electricity cables. This is delicate work and the electricity supply needs to be temporarily cut off to ensure the safety of workers. In this case, the distributor has to give at least 48 hours' notice.
  • An uncontrolled incident. If you have not been given notice and verified that maintenance is not being performed in your area, it will be an external breakdown for which no one is directly responsible. It may be caused by a fire, which forces the networks to be disconnected for safety reasons; an accident; a tree or a pole falling; damage caused by animals; an incident caused by weather; a breakdown in a network element, or a failure in the supply chain, transmission network or generation plant.


How to protect domestic appliances

You have been told more than once, but it never hurts to actually do it. If there is a strong electrical thunderstorm it is advisable to unplug any appliances that you are not using, since there may be cases of overload in the network and they could suffer unwanted damage.

In fact, the distributors themselves may cut off the power supply in extreme cases until it is safe to turn it back on.

Please remember also that, if a domestic appliance has been damaged by a general electrical breakdown, you can claim it later from the insurance company or through the service you have contracted.

Who do I have to call if there has been an electrical breakdown?

If the breakdown is only in your house or flat

If Endesa clients suffer an electricity breakdown we have the OKLuz Assist protection service that provides unlimited repairs to the electrical installation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide 360 protection insurance with Endesa Única, that is much more than a flat rate electricity tariff.

If you have not contracted a maintenance service, you should call a specialised technician to repair the breakdown and who will charge the cost of travel, labour and the necessary parts.


If the breakdown is in your neighbourhood or in your area

If the electrical breakdown is in your neighbourhood or a wider area you should call the distributor for your area who will be responsible for resolving the incident. If the electricity distributor is E-Distribución (the Endesa group's distributor) you should call one of the telephone numbers indicated depending on your community, available 24 hours a day.

The distributor will try to give you answers and first try to solve the incident by means of telematics, taking a series of actions using the data you provide by phone. If this does not work, a technician will go to the place in order to solve the problem.

The professionals involved will get to work to solve the problem as soon as possible so that electricity is available in your area again, but this may take a while. Give them time, it's not always easy to solve the problem. You should bear in mind that, if it is a serious breakdown, the priority of the brigades will be to ensure service in essential sectors such as hospitals, police stations and emergency services.

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