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8 easy steps to dealing with a triggered safety switch.

Safety Switch

If your house is protected by a safety switch, well done, you’ve done the right thing.

However you may need to know what to do if it’s triggered and more importantly, find out what caused it to trigger in the first place.

The key principle to this problem solving exercise is through the process of elimination.

The way a switchboard is usually setup, a single safety switch will protect many power circuits in your home.For example, you may have a separate power circuit for the kitchen, another for the laundry and a lighting circuit for the front of the house all of which are protected by the same safety switch. So when a safety switch activates, the first thing we need to do is work out which circuit is actually causing the problem.

Here’s 8 easy steps for how to handle a triggering safety switch.

  1. Turn all circuits associated with the safety switch off.
  2. Re-activate the safety switch. It should now remain activated, but if not you should call an electrician.
  3. Slowly, re-activate each individual circuit until one circuit causes the safety switch to trigger again. You now have identified the problem circuit.
  4. Turn off all the circuits again, and now turn them all on except for the problem circuit.
  5. Go around your home and try to find where the power is not working e.g. the kitchen. These will be power points associated with the faulty circuit. A good place to start is always fridges, microwaves, motors, pumps.
  6. Unplug all the appliances that are connected to the faulty circuit.
  7. Once you are certain ALL appliances are unplugged from the circuit, go back to switchboard and re-activate the faulty circuit. It should now all stay on and not trigger again. If it does still trigger, call an electrician. You now need to eliminate appliances until you find the one causing the problem
  8. One by one, plug each appliance back into the power point. Eventually one of these appliances will cause the safety switch to trigger. Congratulations, how have now identified the faulty appliance. You can get your appliance repaired by an electrician or replaced.

Now you should feel confident the next time your safety switch goes off that you know how to find a problem. Hopefully you’ve found this article helpful!

Keith, the sparky.

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