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Troubleshooting - RCD Keeps Tripping

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

As a professional electrician, one of the most common issues that I encounter when assisting clients is an RCD that keeps tripping. RCD stands for Residual Current Device and plays a critical role in electrical safety by monitoring power flow and tripping the circuit in case of an electrical fault. However, when it trips frequently, it can be a frustrating and, ultimately, costly issue to address. In this blog post, I will outline what to do when your RCD keeps tripping, as well as discuss the potential causes, risks associated with ignoring this issue, and how to prevent future trips.



The first thing you should do is to identify the location of your RCD. Most households have an RCD located at the mains board or fuse box. Once you've located it, check the trip switch and try resetting it. If this works, the issue may have been a temporary power surge, and you should have no reason to worry. However, if the RCD continues to trip frequently, then you have a much bigger issue at hand.


One possible reason for an RCD constantly tripping is a faulty appliance. It's possible that one or more of your electrical appliances has an internal wiring fault that is causing your RCD to trip. To identify the faulty appliance, unplug everything connected and turn the RCD back on. One by one, plug in every electrical device and turn them on to see which device causes the RCD to trip.


Another common cause of an RCD trip is a wiring issue. Over time, wear and tear in the electrical wiring in your home can cause the insulation to degrade, creating a short-circuit or earth fault. When this happens, the RCD is triggered, indicating that there is an electrical fault. If you suspect that your wiring is the issue, it's essential to get in touch with a qualified electrician as soon as possible to avoid any potential danger.


Ignoring an RCD that trips frequently can have severe consequences, including a risk of electrocution or even a house fire. As such, it's essential to take immediate action when you notice that your RCD is tripping frequently. Additionally, it's highly recommended to have a qualified electrician conduct regular maintenance and inspections on your appliances and electrical system to avoid serious issues in the future.


In conclusion, if you notice that your RCD is frequently tripping, don't ignore it! As I've outlined above, there could be several potential causes, but the best course of action is to get in touch with a qualified electrician to assess the situation and fix the issue. By taking swift action, you can avoid any significant risks, protect your home and your loved ones, and ensure that your electrical system is in good working order.



Fault Finding Electrician; What to Expect


When you call an electrician to repair your tripping RCD, the first thing they’ll do is try to identify the source of the fault. They’ll ask you a series of questions to establish the nature of the problem as well as the electrical loads that were active when the RCD tripped. This information is incredibly helpful, as it helps the electrician to either eliminate or focus on potential causes.


The next step in the troubleshooting process is to perform visual inspections. The electrician will check for any visible signs of damage or signs of burnt wires around the outlets or switches. They’ll also examine your switchboard to see if there are any obvious signs of faults. If the visual inspection is inconclusive, the electrician may have to conduct tests using specialised equipment.


The most common cause of a tripping RCD is a ground fault or a leakage to earth. In this situation, the electrician will need to perform insulation resistance tests to determine which circuit and the point of the short circuit. Once the defective part is identified and located, the electrician may replace it or repair it, depending on the severity of the damage.



In some situations, a tripping RCD might be caused by an external factor, such as lightning strikes or power surges. In such cases, the electrician may advise installing additional protection devices such as surge arresters or lightning arresters, aside from fixing the current tripping problem.


In conclusion, tripping RCDs can be a daunting issue that can put your safety at risk. With the range of possible causes and the hidden complexities, resolving such an issue is best left to professionals. By hiring a certified and experienced electrician, you can rest assured that your problem will be accurately diagnosed and fixed using the best techniques and tools suited for the job at hand. Don’t compromise your safety by attempting to fix an electrical problem yourself. Call Great Park Electrical for a qualified electrician today.



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