Basic troubleshooting tips for your electrical gadgets

Are you facing problem with your electrical gadgets and they are not getting switched on? Wait and do not hurry! Follow some basic layman's troubleshooting steps before you decide to call up the service center or technicians. This article aims to list down some basic troubleshooting steps which we should follow under such situations.


We own and use numerous electrical gadgets in our daily life like electric iron, geysers, microwaves, mixers, grinders etc. It is common for us to come across the situation when some of the gadgets won't power on and its time to ring up the service center. But let us wait for some time and try to analyze what has gone wrong. It may be some minor fault which is self-repairable and knee-jerk reaction of immediately calling up the service center or technicians may prove counterproductive and a waste of money at times. Off course, everybody is short of time to do all this stuff but sometimes effort invested on such troubleshooting can actually save more time if, for example, you have to take the product to the service center which is quite far away from your residence.

Here I will list down few common troubleshooting steps which one should follow in case your electric gadget is not powering up before deciding whether a gadget really requires a technician intervention. In this article, I am covering only the case of gadgets not powering up and not other kinds of faults. Again let me be very clear, these steps are very basic and do not require much technical knowledge and many of you might be already following some of the steps. But the intent here is to list down all possible things that can be checked by us.

Troubleshooting steps to be followed

  • Check the electrical socket : You need to check the AC power electrical socket to which 3 pin or 2 pin plug of your gadget is connected to get the power. You can do this by connecting the gadget to some other socket of the house to rule out the chances of your electric socket being faulty. If your gadget does not power on even with other sockets, then the plug socket is not a problem and you need to investigate further.
  • Check the 2 pin or 3 pin plug : Sometimes the plug may have some problems like loose pins, wire fixed loosely to the pins, end of the wires becoming carbon coated due to sparking and hence proper contact is not made due to the carbon deposit. So it should be ensured that you check the plug properly for the above possibilities. You will need to open the plug screws to check wires from inside but I think it is not a tough job to do so. Nowadays though opening of plugs may seem obsolete as most of the gadgets come with plugs that are sealed, so only thing you can do is to check the plug pins from outside.
  • Check the switch : It also makes sense to check the switch for the plug socket, in case it is loose or nonfunctional. Sometimes the switch itself may be loose and it switches on only when pressed hard
  • Check the wire : In case of the appliance not powering up it makes sense to check the wire connecting the appliance to AC mains supply. Sometimes there are chances that the wire gets old and has become thin or cut in between. In such cases, the gadgets do not power up.
  • Check the fuse: Many electrical gadgets like UPS etc have a small fuse connected from outside and is covered by a cap. When a gadget does not power up always make a point to open the cap and check this fuse. If this fuse is blown off, then you can easily get another fuse from an electrical shop and replace it yourself.


In case a problem is detected in any of the above steps, then your efforts has gained best results by saving your time and money to get your gadget repaired. But when even after following all the above steps gadget does not power up then there is some major problem inside the gadgets and there is a possibility that some parts and components like condensers, transformers, coils, PCB, motor etc has burnt out. In this case, you should always call up the service center to get the problem rectified. Never try to open the gadget and try to check an internal problem yourself, if you do not have enough technical knowledge as you may be messing up further with the problem.


Author: Umesh17 Nov 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

Very basic but important steps in finding the faults when gadgets do not turn on. It is always better to see the preliminaries before calling the mechanic.

Sometimes there is a mains glow bulb or LED in front of the gadget and if that is not glowing we can infer that somehow power is not reaching the gadget.

I remember one incident when water purifier was not working but actually the point from where inlet water connection comes to the purifier was choked with sand or water calcium.

Similarly there are many observations which help us in resolving the problems easily.

Author: Natarajan17 Nov 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

A good practical article for housewives and people at home to refer to when something does not work.
Sometimes, when the power trips and comes back, 2 pins work and 3 pins do not work, please check the main power console for your house to locate the circuit breaker.
The wire being cut is common with iron boxes as they are encased and often there can be wear and tear at the acute angles in the stiff wires. Please check this after removing the plug from the mains.
I have had an issue with the plugin extension cord that powers our printer, computer, and laptop charger.As the author has stated, the fuse would have gone, you can replace these easily as you get these fuses in packs of 2 or 4.
When you are handling geysers, better seek professional help as meddling with the circuits on your own standing on wet floors would be risky.
Many of current slimline tube lights are so fragile that a couple of times we had a wire coming off the square box like the connector to which a thin naked wire is screwed into.
Sometimes when three pins are not working, I've seen people using a two pin adapter to run small mixers and grinders, this also trips the power and we need to set the main circuit breaker once more before the gadgets start working.

Author: Venkiteswaran29 Nov 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 6

The tips given in this article are the basic checks one can do when an electrical appliance is not functioning. However as most of present day appliances are having electronics for control and regulation, if the points given above do not locate or solve the issues, then it means some minor or major component is affected. That may need checking by a technician.
Another important cause can be tripping due to overload. However many appliances have now the overload trip indicator and the same can be found out from the manual. Appliance specific issues are usually given in the user manual supplied by the manufacturer.
An important caution: Do not meddle wit any electrical appliance when the connection is ON. Before doing any such checks, disconnect the appliance plug from the electrical circuit. Some appliances retain current for sometime. Hence it is better to wait for a little while even after disconnecting.

It is always better to ask a qualified and experienced electrician or technician to check electrical appliances.

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