I was wondering if anyone has ever heard of this happening before:

Since we've moved into our self build house (in 6 months now) our electricity cuts out maybe 2-3 times a month but it doesn't trip anything in the fuse box and usually comes back on again without our intervention.

There are usually no appliances running when it happens though sometimes there are (dishwasher/washing machine), but it's happened several times without

We've noticed it happens mostly at night but it has occurred during the day too, we're worried there could be a fault and a potential fire hazard.

Another thing we've noticed (though not sure if connected) is that our mains connected smoke alarms go off sometimes for no reason, but not when there is a power outage.

Thanks in advance

  • 4
    I’d start with the power company, because they won’t charge you. Tell them the symptoms you’ve posted here. There’s a good chance there is a loose lug on there side (meter can, pole, etc).
    – Tyson
    Aug 16, 2018 at 13:13
  • Are the individual branch circuits failing? When you wired it, did you use backstabs or side screws (or a third option, screw-to-clamp)? Backstabs are legal, but they cause exactly this sort of problem. A lot. If the problem is whole-house or half-house, we'd want to see some pics of the service panel(s). Did you use a torque screwdriver/wrench to tighten? Aug 16, 2018 at 20:30

2 Answers 2


I'm with @Tyson, my money is on the utility side. Outages like this are frequent especially if you are in a newer area where there is a lot of construction or in an old area where there hasn't been much maintenance on the lines. Check with the utility company if it is on their side they will have a list of recorded outages, right up to your meter if you have a smart meter. If it is not the utility company then your problem lies somewhere between the load side of your meter and the bus in your main panel.

Good luck


thanks for your advice, it seems you were right and saved me a bill from a spark.

Just phoned NIE (Northern Ireland Electricity), their engineers were out on site yesterday and they found an issue with HV connectors being loose, said that they were aware of a flicker in the area and it should be sorted now.

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