Why does my Safety Switch keep tripping?

Electrical Safety Switch Tripping possibilities

Electrical Safety Switches  are RCDs ( Residual Current Devices)  that remove the supply to an electrical circuit when the circuit under protection has detected a leakage to earth. The RCD/Safety Switch responds in mere mili -seconds; avoiding an unsafe condition and thereby potentially preventing electrocution or Fire hazard.

Possible Causes Of Safety Switch/RCD Tripping

Faulty appliance – unplug all electrical appliances, does the RCD reset OK? If the RCD resets OK plug the appliances back in one at a time. Reset the RCD as you plug each appliance back in to find the faulty appliance.

Items with motors or pumps starting – many items with motors or pumps, for instance showers and pond pumps, cause momentary electrical spikes that are big enough to trip RCDs. Seek advice from a qualified electrician.

Older washing machines – aging washing machine heating elements can cause momentary electrical spikes that are big enough to trip RCDs.

Certain wash cycle phases – some cycles of the washing machine, for instance the spin cycle, can cause momentary electrical spikes that are big enough to trip RCDs.

Certain dishwasher cycles – some parts of the dishwasher cycle draw a lot of current, a faulty component, for instance the motor, can trip an RCD.

Overloading a washing machine – too many items in a washing machine can cause certain wash cycles, for instance the spin cycle, to trip an RCD.

Fridges and freezers cooling – the fridge or freezer cooling motor starting.

Turning an heating element on after a long time of being off – moisture in heating elements can trip an RCD, for instance in a sun bed or electric fire. Try resetting the RCD a few times so that the heating element can cause the moisture to evaporate.

Moisture in outside electrical distribution boxes – remove the supply and dry the distribution box. Check the weather seals have not perished.

Moisture in outside electrical sockets – remove the supply and dry the electrical socket. Check the weather seals have not perished.

De-frost timer on a fridge or freezer – a faulty defrost element on a fridge or freezer can cause ‘nuisance’ RCD tripping.

Water heating elements – faulty water heating elements can cause nuisance RCD trips when thethermostat tells them to heat the water.

Moisture in wiring – moisture in the electrical wiring is a common cause of RCD trips. Have you just emptied a bath? Taken a shower? Is it raining – rain can get into the electrical wiring under the floors or in the loft.

As you may have found this list contains certain  conditions that may give clue to an RCD tripping. In most cases this concerns appliances or situations that involve at least one or a combination of  three conditions 1) Moisture leaking electricity to earth in the appliance or premises wiring. 2) A heating element that is either faulty or drawing sudden electrical surges. 3) An appliance with an electric motor that is either faulty or drawing sudden electrical surges.

If you have trouble sourcing constant or intermittent RCD/Safety Switch Tripping then Contact us and we can send a Qualified Electrician around to check it they can source and fix it on the spot.

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At Tested and True …We test Safety Switches as well as other electrical testing services. We come to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australiand Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide January 2014

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