RCDs (Residual Current Devices) provide protection against electrocution and electrical shocks so it is necessary to have it installed on your property and to ensure that the RCD is in a functional state.
Sometimes your RCD might be switching off its own power, which is known as tripping. It mostly trips when it detects a fault in the electrical circuit. If the RCD is tripping too often it might be mostly because of a damaged appliance. On the brighter side, it confirms that your safety-device is working properly. Let’s look at a few reasons as to why does an RCD trip.
Broken electrical appliances:
Washing machines, toasters, kettles, refrigerators, ovens and freezers can become unpredictable and dangerous to use after a few years. Suppose one of the above appliances is perfectly fine to be used on its own, but if you were using two appliances at the same time, it might happen that the power switches off and your appliance needs to be replaced. It is not enough for the equipment to work properly, it should also be safe. When an appliance trips while other appliances are working, it shows that there’s a problem and you need to address is ASAP by finding a replacement.
For off-site work and projects, you can attach a portable RCD so that your equipment is protected.
Dangerous electrical wiring:
Short circuits can also be caused by faulty electrical wiring, hiding inside the walls of your property. When electrical current travels outside its intended path and doesn’t reach its intended destination, a short circuit happens. Since the power has not reached its destination -- a resistor such as a light bulb -- it continues to travel around the circuit with the same voltage that it started with.
In a properly functioning circuit, the current would pass through the destination, reducing the Voltage, as the power is supplied. As opposed to this, in a short circuit, the voltage is not used, and it causes the wire to heat up. It might result in a fire or an electrical shock.
When there’s a short circuit, the circuit breaker turns off the power as opposed to an RCD, which are mostly accompanied by circuit breakers.
The circuit breaker interrupts when there’s a short circuit in your property. It can be put down to faulty electrical wiring that has become fragile as well as lost their insulation.
When the electrical current travels through an unintended path and connects with the ground surface, it is known as a ground fault. If your body acts as a pathway for the current to reach the ground, then it leads to an electrocution.
When a metal knife is put into a toaster, the metal conducts the electricity and disturbs the intended path of the current. Likewise, since our body conducts electricity, the travel path for the current will be through the knife, to the body and finally, to the ground.
When a hair-dryer that is plugged into the socket, falls into a bathtub that is full of water, the path of electricity is diverted because water is an electrical conductor. The current will try to reach the ground via the body of the person in the bath.
So the RCD trips to protect you from electrocution, electrical shock, and fire. Since you realise the importance of residual current device, you need to invest in maintenance. At Response Electricians, we conduct Electrical Health Checks that will test the condition of your residential as well as commercial properties. Make sure that there’s required number of RCDs installed in your property so that it doesn’t prove to be dangerous for people living in it.
Also, you need to test your devices every three months. However, manufacturers recommend testing RCDs every fifteen days. If you need help with it, please feel free to contact our team of friendly and efficient Perth Electricians. And if you have even a tiny bit of suspicion regarding appliances and equipment that are causing your RCD to trip, please reach out to us so that we can ensure your safety.