The safety switches in our electrical systems are located in the circuit breaker. As part of WA legislation, these safety switches (or RCDs) are required to be fitted in all homes in the state. Unfortunately, these switches always seem to trip at the most inconvenient times. However, it’s no reason to panic as it’s a sign that they’re doing their jobs properly. A safety switch is activated when it detects a change in the electrical flow through the circuit it’s fitted to. This happens in as little as 0.3 seconds.

Here’s a quick guide on why your safety switch may have tripped and how you can reset it in your home or office. 

Reasons why your safety switch has tripped

There are a number of reasons why your safety switch may have tripped, as it has detected a changed in the flow of electricity. Some of the common reasons often include: 

  • A faulty or old appliance 
  • Faulty wiring in your home or office (be particularly careful in older buildings)
  • Water leaks in the ceiling or walls which can affect the power circuit 
  • Overloaded power boards or power outlets
  • RCD sensors can also be set off by electrical storms
  • A fault in the safety switch

How to reset your safety switch

Although it can be a pain to have to reset your safety switch, the process is usually quite simple. 

  1. Find where your safety switch is on the circuit breaker. 
  2. This should be in the ‘off’ position as it’s been tripped. 
  3. Try and flip this back into the ‘on’ position. It may be reset easily and in which case you’re done. However, sometimes there’s a little more work to be done. 
  4. If it does not reset, try and turn off and unplug all of your electrical appliances in your home. 
  5. Once you’ve done this, try and reset the switch again. 
  6. After this, you can start plugging in your appliances again. If there is a faulty appliance, it will usually trip the safety switch again once you plug it in. This is an easy way to find which device is causing the issue. 

If you find that the safety switch isn’t able to be reset after all of this, you should call upon the help of electrical contractors in Perth to help resolve the issue. 

Even if you’ve got a few safety switches in place, you need to regularly test them to make sure they’re all up and running. Here’s how to run a quick test on your safety switch. 

  1. Find and press the ‘T’ or ‘Test’ button on the safety switch. 
  2. This will trip the switch into the ‘OFF’ position. 
  3. You can then return the switch to the ‘ON’ position. 
  4. If it doesn’t trip to the ‘OFF’ position, there’s likely a problem with your safety switch. 

As always, if you are ever unsure about your safety switch, get in touch with a licensed electrician Perth to undertake a full electrical check of your home. They can assess the problem, repair faulty safety switches, and can install new ones to ensure your whole house is protected