What To Do If Your Safety Switch Keeps Tripping and Power Is Lost
A very common problem that can occur in homes is losing the electricity supply. Often, the cause of the power outage can be identified quite easily if the home is fitted with a safety switch. To save the delay and cost of calling out an electrician, below is a guide to help you assess the cause of the power loss quickly and easily.
How Safety Switches Work
Safety switches basically provide increased protection against electrocution. They work by quickly sensing if there is a fault to earth and cut off power instantly. The fault in the electrical current could be a result of faulty appliances, circuit wiring or misuse of electrical equipment.
So, if your home is fitted with a safety switch (which many Queensland homes are) and the safety switch keeps tripping, these are the steps to follow:
Locate your safety switch – it is usually in the switchboard. Check if the safety switch or any of the circuit breakers are ‘OFF’ or down. If so, this means one of them has tripped and it is now a process of elimination to identify the cause of the problem.
If all circuit breakers and safety switches are ‘ON’ but power and lights are out, contact your local electricity provider e.g. Energex.
If any of the switches are ‘OFF’, flick them back ‘ON’ or up to reset them. It should look something like this:
If the safety switch or any of the circuit breakers trip again, disconnect the last appliance used. Reset the safety switch/circuit breaker again and if everything continues to function normally, the disconnected appliance should not be used again (as it is the likely cause of the problem) until it has been checked by a licensed electrician.
In the event that the safety switch continues to trip, then it is necessary to unplug ALL appliances – fridges, freezers, computers, microwaves…everything. Reset the switch again and plug each of the appliances back in, one at a time, until you locate the faulty one. Avoid touching appliances while carrying out this process.
If after going through this process the reason for the fault has not been determined and there is still power to some appliances and lights, the problem will need to be assessed by a licensed electrician (PRO Electricians can help).
Although safety switches are reliable, like everything else, they are not failsafe. It is important to check them regularly to ensure they are in good working order. Usually they have a ‘test’ button that can be pressed to check they are working. Once pressed, this button will trip the safety switch to ‘OFF’ indicating it is working properly. Simply reset it.
Top Tip: An easy way to remember to check your safety switch is to do it each time you receive your electricity bill.
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I approached PRO Electricians after a letter drop in my neighbourhood. I’d been trying to get some lights I’d bought at Christmas installed but no-one was returning my calls. Steve was prompt, knowledgeable, and on time. I’d be more than happy to use him again for more electrical work.
Thanks very much, Steve, for a job very well done. Must admit that I was very impressed with your communication, the work you did and your promptness. And the fact that you are just a really nice guy!