It is irritating when a safety switch trips. Sometimes you are in the dark and have to figure out what is going on. The safety switch is designed specifically for your safety, and it trips so that there is no damage. There is usually a mains switch that supplies all the power to your house. Connected to the mains switch are multiple switches that supply electricity from the mains switch to different phases of your home. They aren’t always for individual rooms; they could be for types of power supply required, or the amount of supply required for specific phases. When the supply required in a phase increases or there is a sudden surge, the switch trips, cutting off any electricity to that zone.
Some of the reasons why a safety switch trips are:
Weather – When there is heavy rainfall or lightning, there could be a surge of electricity coming through the main line. This is quite rare though. Call a professional before you do anything to make sure everything is safe before you resume supply to your home.
Damaged wiring – If there are any loose or damaged wires due to wear and tear, there could be a short circuit. This could cause a trip so that the short circuit doesn’t cause any further damage.
Loose power point – If a power point is loose or the wiring behind the wall has loosened; there could be a short circuit without one knowing. The switch is triggered in this event as well. Call an electrician to help you with this.
Too many appliances – Every safety switch is designed to supply a certain amount of power. If there are too many appliances on one point, or in one phase, the switch will trip so that the appliances aren’t damaged, and no one gets hurt.
Faulty Safety switch – It doesn’t happen often but you can have your switches tested periodically to ensure they are all working and that they will trip when they are supposed to.
What can you do?
To begin with, you can try switching it back on again. If it switches off immediately, you know something is wrong and can try and figure out what the problem is. You’d need to switch everything off and unplug anything that is plugged in. Then you can turn the safety switch ON, if it trips again, call a professional electrician to help you by testing the circuits and correcting the problem.
If you switch it ON and it stays ON, you can start by plugging your appliances in one by one and you’ll know which appliance was causing the problem when it trips again. Leave that device unplugged and don’t plug anything else in that power point. Call an electrician to help you resolve this issue safely.
Testing your safety switch:
Ideally you should test your safety switches every 2-3 months. It can be impractical to call a professional electrician that often to test your safety switches at home. This is something you can do yourself. Most safety switches come with a “Test” button above or below the switch. It is marked with a “T”. However different brands have designed the safety button differently. Just look for a button market “T”.
Before you test any switches make sure no one in the house is doing anything with an electronic device that is plugged in. To test each phase or zone, simply push the test button and if the switch immediately trips, it’s a sign that it is working fine. You can also see which devices and parts of your home are connected to that safety switch. If you find any switch that is not working, call a professional to help you fix a new switch.
You can call QuickSpark any time to get your home inspected and find out if there is any switch you need to have replaced.