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Troubleshooting why your Electrical Safety Switch (RCD) keeps tripping

Nov 02, 2015 | Electrical Safety Tips

Most homes in Australia are now fitted with Residual Current Devices (RCD's), or as they are more commonly known as, Electrical Safety Switches. These are designed to trip (thereby cutting the power to that circuit) whenever a leakage is detected from that circuit. A leakage is caused when someone gets an electric shock, so the RCD will disconnect the current before permanent injury (or death) has occurred. However, it's not the only cause for a leakage, for instance a faulty appliance can also cause a leakage.

A faulty appliance that has a leakage is also a dangerous appliance and should be repaired or replaced immediately. But how do you located the appliance?

Firstly, as long as the faulty appliance is still connected, the RCD will most likely not reset. So you will need to go to every power point on the circuit and switch off and remove the plug from the socket (simply turning off isn't enough).

Then reset the RCD and start plugging back in the appliances one by one. Remember, that one of these could be faulty, so handle with care. When you plug in the faulty appliance it will trip the RCD again, so you now know the faulty appliance. Remove it and get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible (Do Not continue to use it).

If you fail to find the faulty appliance, then call us (or a qualified Electrician if not in Adelaide). An RCD is there to protect your life, so you don't want a faulty one installed.

Lastly, it is a good habit to test your RCD every month to make sure it is still working. Simply press the test button on the switch and it will trip the power connection. Then reset by turning the switch back to "On". If it doesn't trip, contact us immediately to fix the fault.

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