PSA: What If Your RCD Safety Switch Keeps Tripping?

Have you noticed that your safety switch is constantly tripping? It can be extremely frustrating, especially when it is occurring on a regular basis, but the worst part is determining the reasoning behind why the circuit is tripping in the first place. 

The Purpose of RCD Safety Switches

First, let’s determine the purpose and role that safety switches play. Safety switches are a safety feature (as hinted within the name) which provide an added level of protection against electricity. How they work is that they can quickly sense when a fault to the earth has occurred and kicks in by instantly cutting off the power supply. The fault within the electrical current generally is a result of faulty appliances, misuse of electrical equipment, circuit wiring or when there is a high load from a variety of appliances on that circuit. 

It is important to note that whilst safety switches are reliable and can generally be trusted, they are not always necessarily fail-safe. It is good practice to conduct routine checks to ensure that they are all working as they should be. Most safety switches will have a test button which can be pressed to test / ensure that it is working efficiently. Once the button has been pressed it will trip the safety switch to OFF to demonstrate that it is working properly. Once this has been completed, all you need to do is reset the button (turning it back up/on). If your circuit contains a refrigerator or air conditioning unit, wait a few minutes before resetting to avoid causing potential damage to the appliance.

Steps to Follow If Your RCD Safety Switch Keeps Tripping

1 – Check your safety switch

If your power has gone out and you suspect it is due to the safety switch tripping, the first step would be to go and check the meter box located outside to see if the safety switch or any of the circuit breakers are off/down. If you notice that there are switches present that are off, turn the switches back on to reset them. The next step is to determine what has caused the issue through a process of elimination. 

Note – If the safety switch and all circuit breakers are switched on but your electricity is out, contact your energy provider as the issue may lie with them. 

2 – Process of Elimination 

The hardest part of the process is determining which appliance is tripping the circuit. Did you plug in and use a different appliance when the circuit tripped? Test it again and if the circuit trips for the second time, then chances are likely that the reason behind the circuit tripping is due to that appliance. If this is the case, unplug that appliance and do not use it again until it has been tested by a licensed electrician. However, if you are noticing that your safety switch is continuing to trip, disconnect all appliances that are currently in use within that circuit and plug them in one at a time until the faulty one trips the safety switch.

If after completing the process of elimination you still cannot determine the cause of the fault and there is still power within certain areas of the house (as this indicates it is not an issue related to the energy provider), then the problem will need to be assessed by a licensed electrician. 

3 – Contact a Licensed Electrician

Still experiencing issues with your RCD safety switch and cannot determine the root of the problem? Contact your Domestic Electrician AucklandAuckland Electricians will be able to conduct appropriate tests to determine the issue and provide solutions to prevent it from occurring again in the future. The team at Northern Lights are registered electricians with more than 20 years of experience in the Auckland area. 

At Northern Lights, we can help you with electrical maintenance and LED light installation. We specialise in residentialcommercial and industrial electrical services. Good electricians are hard to come by, that’s why Northern Lights provides services not just in Auckland but also across the North Shore. Whether you’re looking for an electrician Albanyelectrician Milford, or electrician Glenfield, let the experts help with your electrical needs. We provide electrical services 24 hours, 7 days a week. Contact us today and one of our friendly team members will help you out!

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