Ryan Taylor

Managing Director: Hi-Spec Electrical Ltd:

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Electrical Tripping

Do your electrics keep tripping? Here are the most common causes…

Do the electrics keep tripping in your home or business? Do you have intermittent or occasional electric trips and are wondering what causes them?

Can’t reset the RCD?

Haven’t got any power?

If your electrics keep tripping or you’re having a problem with your power, don’t call an emergency electrician just yet!

Now before any of my qualified electrical friends on here want to comment on earth leakage or current imbalances just remember.

That is NOT the purpose of this blog! This is just a simple non-technical guide for homeowners and landlords with no electrical experience to try and spot the problem on their own! Please leave the gun in the holster for now- Thanks!

Here are the seven most common causes of electric trips, and some things you can try to fix the problem yourself.

Seven common causes of electric trips at home or work

When electrics keep tripping it can drive you a little crazy – so check all of the following to see if you can identify the cause and prevent further annoying trips!


1 – Check your kettle

It might seem unlikely, but kettles are a common culprit when it comes to electric trips and can cause you to lose most of the power in your home.

Unplug your kettle from the socket and try to reset the RCD. If the power comes back on just plug your kettle back in and hopefully you can go back to making those little cups of heaven again. If you’ve got the power back on, you plug the kettle back in and it trips the RCD again, you’re probably better off just throwing it away and buying another. It’s simply not worth the cost or hassle of trying to fix it compared to buying a new one.


2 – Outside lights

Another common cause of tripping electrics is water getting into your outside lights. If you’ve had a particularly heavy rainfall you may find water has wriggled its way into the light fitting and caused the RCD to trip.

You may need to check inside the light fitting and see what’s happening in there – watch out for any spiders or creepy crawlies that may have a cosy little bed inside! Don’t attempt this job unless you’re confident and competent, one of our electricians is just a phone call away if needed.


3 – Extension leads

Yep plugging in a million and one plugs into an extension lead can cause the electrics in your home or office to trip. Not only that, unless you’re looking to make an insurance claim then we wouldn’t recommend overloading your sockets, as you’re increasing the chances of setting fire to your home. THINK! If it looks like the spaghetti junction or you’re thinking there may be too many plugged in, you’re probably right!


4 – Garage or outbuildings

Just like your outside lights, the power supply in your garage or other outbuildings are also susceptible to water – and if it gets in, this causes the power to trip in your home and not just your garage! Once it’s all had a chance to dry out, hopefully it will go back to normal, so hang tight and be patient. Oh, and get that leaky roof fixed!


5 – Dodgy wiring

Have you become a bit of a have-a-go sparky? Wiring up that snazzy new chandelier yourself to save on costs might seem like a good idea at the time, but in the long run this can cause you no end of trouble. Incorrect wiring of your lights, sockets, cookers and the like can cause your electrics to keep tripping, leaving you frustrated – best to hand this job over to the professionals, hey?!


6 – Home DIY

Remember that cute picture of the kids you proudly displayed on the wall last week? Well those cheeky little devils could well be the cause of your electrical nightmares!

When you’re drilling and hanging those family photos or funky new shelves on the wall, you need to be extra careful to avoid hitting a hidden electrical cable. While you’d probably imagine that an electrical trip would happen immediately, that’s not always the case. Sometimes it might take a while, so if you’ve recently hung that picture up, you might be able to blame the kids!


7 – Appliances

Now before you say we covered this in the first point, just hear us out! Yes, your kettle is an appliance, and yes, you should unplug that first and see if the RCD re-sets…

But if this doesn’t work, then it may be a different appliance. Your kettle is usually the main culprit but if on this occasion it’s not, you may need to take more drastic measures.

You’ll need to go around the house and unplug everything. Yes, everything. Your TV, your hair straighteners, your washing machine etc. Once everything is unplugged, go and re-set the RCD. If it re-sets then you know one of those appliances is causing the tripping.

Now, go around and start plugging them back in one-by-one. Use each one and keep going until one of them triggers the RCD. Then voila! You have your culprit! Still no joy? If you’re 100% sure that you unplugged everything but the RCD still won’t re-set, then you know its most likely one of the other reasons we’ve outlined above – except for number one, of course!

So if your electrics keep tripping, try these simple steps and hopefully you’ll be able to get your power back on so you can veg out in front of your favourite TV show – but if you need help with electric trips and you’re not confident in carrying out any of the above steps, please call us or your local electrician.

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