Safety Switch 101
The best single safety investment you can make for your Workplace or dwelling is to buy a Safety Switch. Installing a Safety switch is the most effective method of preventing injury or death caused by electric shock. A safety switch works by detecting tiny differences in current through electrical wiring, and it can detect a potential path to earth. Take the example of a person holding a faulty appliance that has an electric charge thereby providing a path to earth. A truly effective Safety Switch will detect that leaking electrical path and shut all the power down in mere milliseconds, quite often before the sensation of electrocution is felt, thereby preventing a harmful or potentially fatal electric shock. Safety switches are Electro-mechanical devices and over time can be subject to failure. They should be tested regularly to make sure they are in working order.
Safety Switches can be prone to trip under certain conditions… There are a number reasons why a safety switch will trip. The Top 5 reasons are:
An Appliance Fault
When an appliance becomes damaged or develops a fault, it may start to leak excess electrical current. This excess current will be detected by the safety switch and cause it to trip. The easiest way to determine if this is the problem is by unplugging all electrical appliances at the power point, resetting the safety switch and then reconnecting the appliances one by one until the faulty appliance can be identified. Always use caution when dealing with possible faulty appliances and if in doubt contact an electrician.
Intermittent or Nuisance Tripping
As the amount of electrical appliances we have in our home increases, so does the likelihood of Nuisance Tripping. If there are a large number of appliances plugged in to the home at one time and a small amount of current leaks from each, the current adds up to become more substantial. This may mean that the safety switch is continuously on the verge of tripping. If there is the tiniest change in electrical current from the electricity company this can push the switch to its limit causing it to trip. This can become more of a problem in older homes where the electrical wiring is not in good condition. Limiting the amount of appliances plugged in at one time can help minimize this type of tripping.
House Wiring Fault
Faulty wiring poses the most threat to our safety and presents the worst fire risk. Fortunately, a safety switch dramatically reduces these risks. All wiring deteriorates over time and can become dangerous, so older houses are obviously more at risk. A safety switch will detect any fluctuation in electrical current caused by damaged wiring and trip, cutting off electricity immediately and stopping the wiring from burning out. A qualified electrician can assess your electrical wiring and may suggest repair or replacement.
Faulty Safety Switch
Sometimes the cause of a safety switch tripping can be the switch itself. As with any electrical appliance, a safety switch can become defective with age or mistreatment. Safety switches should be checked every six months to ensure they are working effectively. A qualified electrician can offer advice on how to do this, or do it for you if you are unsure.
An Electrical Storm can also be the cause of a safety switch going off. When lightning strikes your home, power lines or a power station it may cause a power surge which can cause a safety switch to trip. If this occurs, it is best to wait until the storm passes before resetting the switch. If in doubt always consult an electrician.
Without the right safety equipment and safety precautions, electricity can be deadly. Always check with an electrician if you are unsure why your safety switch has gone off.
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By the Way did you know that you need your RCD tested as often as every six months, it is SafeWork requirement. Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC Pro-Logger 2 it can perform static testing class 1,2 & M ,RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection, 3 phase run testing and logs results as you test. all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations, 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 Australian Standards ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price.
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Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide June 2017
National Coverage through the Safety Services Network (SA State Member)
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