RCD - Tripping

4 Reasons Why Your RCD Keeps Tripping

The Electrician’s Point of View.

In our opinion and point of view, there are large amounts of information both supplied in hardware and electrical stores as well as the internet material that can be misleading to parts (RCD) failing as a means of on sell. We have supplied this article to provide information on general faults to best assist you.

Safety Switches Tripping

Every house and business should have a minimum of two RCD’s (Residual Current Device) and possibly more. If an RCD is tripping your best option would be to unplug all appliances and then turn your RCD switch off. Once switched off when you’re ready switch it back on. Then go around the house and one by one plug your appliances back in, if by yourself every time you plug something in make your way back to the RCD switch and check if the RCD switch has turned itself off. Continue to do so until you find the source of the problem. If the RCD switch turns off when you install an appliance that means it’s your appliance that’s faulty not the RCD. So there you have found the source of the problem, make sure you get it repaired or dispose of it appropriately.  If once every things plugged back in and you still haven’t found the problem keep the RCD switch on and monitor it. If the RDC switch trips again, your best option would be to contact your local electrical company and have them take a look to find the source of the problem. Also remember any outside appliances such as pumps or bbq’s could also be causing the RCD to trip. Some of the most common appliances that tend to trip are electric kettles, toasters, range-hoods, Hair appliances, fridges and freezes as they tend to be used a lot, which causes them to wear out faster.

Every household and business is expected to have a safety switch installed to protect you and your family. Any house and business can easily have an electrician install an RCD switch. In most cases they can be installed to your existing switchboard, this will depend on the condition of the original board. It’s important to protect all power points and circuits. 

 Safety Switch 

Nuisance Tripping

A good description of nuisance tripping would be when your safety switch (RCD) trips about every one to two days. Some common examples of nuisance tripping would be when an outside power circuit (power point) was disconnected and insects or ants particularly were found inside. Another example would be when submersible water pump was unknowingly leaking into the electric motor and had caused it to seize.

These examples are just some of the appliances that can trip your RCD and continue to do so, until the problem becomes constant and apparent. Nuisance tripping is a hard fault to find as they often do not present themselves. If the problem continues to present itself that’s when an electrician is handy as they can use their meters and testers to find the fault. 

Faulty Electrical Wiring

Faulty wiring can be another issue if you have ruled out electrical appliances being the cause of your safety switch tripping; faulty wiring could be another issue. Old electrical wiring deteriorates over time and the insulation around the wiring becomes brittle and unsafe. This is more common to occur in older houses that have black rubber insulated cables, split metal conduit or the old type cotton cables as the electrical system. Most of the time the problem circuits can be repaired or replaced by a licenced electrician, Though in some situations the only solution to this problem would be to have the whole household rewired. If your home is only 10 to 15 years old, rodents eating into cables could be another source of the problem.


Safety Switch Myth Busted

People tend to think that there RCD might need replacing or is possibly broken if it keeps on tripping, but normally it doesn’t need replacing nor is it broken in fact it’s actually doing its job. If your safety switch was broken it actually wouldn’t be tripping at all when there is a fault. If that was to happen in some cases it can then become unsafe. An example of when it needs replacing would be if it didn’t trip or if the switch gets stuck when it goes to trip and won’t release when pressing the test button on the RCD. It is recommended that every month you check to make sure that your RCD switch is working so that you and your family continue to be safe.

Test Button

Rain and Lightning

Stormy weather can be another major reason which is causing your RCD switch to trip. In some cases long periods of rain could cause excessive water leaking in behind electrical items such as external power points and outside lights. An example of when this might occur would be a leak from say the roof and it streaming straight down inside the wall and onto a power point causing the RCD switch to trigger. Thunder and lightning is also a common cause for an RCD switch to trip as an RCD switch doesn’t like voltage fluctuations so the imbalance in electrical supply can trigger a trip.