Identify a life-threatening open neutral
Open neutral—Identify a life-threatening situation and take the correct actions
A so-called open neutral may occur in a damaged electrical power network, which could result in a life-threatening situation. In an open neutral, the neutral wire breaks and can cause the voltage to rise from 230 volts to 400 volts. This may break the electrical appliances in your home. The fault may also cause a fire hazard if the electric current tries to discharge through the building's structures.
You can recognise an open neutral from these signs:
- The lights on the property are exceptionally bright and some are very dim. The intensity of the light varies, especially when other electrical devices are turned on or off.
- Electrical equipment is working strangely and lamps may break.
- You receive an electric shock from a metal-shell device.
- There is a "crackling" sound and a bang from the distribution panel, and you may smell that something is burning.
If you suspect an open neutral
- Contact our emergency services if you suspect an open neutral.
- Turn off the power using the main switch before making the call.
- Be careful and wear leather gloves, for example, when switching off electricity.
- Avoid touching the metal case of the panel, as it may be live.
- Also do not touch other things with a metal frame, such as the sink or water taps. They might be energised as well.
Proactive maintenance helps to prevent dangerous situations
The electrical installations and equipment of properties require maintenance and upkeep. In order to prevent dangerous situations, it is advisable to get an electrician to periodically check the condition of the distribution panel. This allows any detected faults and deficiencies to be repaired quickly enough.