DIY Doctor

Electrics tripping... no clear reason

Postby Vix9 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:48 am

I have an RCD board with six other switches. Every six months or so, my electrics stop working and trip out constantly for several days before appearing to sort themselves out.

At the moment, they are not working. This is the issue:

I have tried putting the RCD to an 'on' position, and something this works and sometimes it doesn't. When it is on, I can turn on some of the other switches but often they trip it immediately.

I have tried unplugging every appliance but this has made no difference.

If I leave the fuse board all switched off for 30 minutes or so, I can switch it on and it will stay on. However, sometimes it will trip if I switch on something - which could be bedroom lights, tv, kettle (all on different loops).

I'm beginning to think that there is something that gets hot and it needs 30 minutes to cool down - however, I don't know how to identify what this is. And I don't understand why I have the issue every six months or so and it works perfectly inbetween.

Also, it can trip in the middle of the night (as last night) when there is virtually nothing on.

I've had a selection of electricians out but none have come up with an answer....

Any ideas very welcome!!

thanks Vix9
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Postby kbrownie » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:20 pm

is it just the rcd that trips or do any of the breakers go?
rcd's pick up leakage to earth, so that's what i'd assume is happening, if it is only rcd that is operating. What type of earthing arrangement do you have and how close is your neighbours, cu to yours.
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Postby BLAKEY1963 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:02 pm


U say u have had several electrcians.
any registered electrcian , in one of the part p schemes
will b able to help u
u have one or more faults on one or more circuits , which
should be able to be located using the corect test gear.
persevere with a local part p registered electrcian.
most of the genuine ones like myself and others on this site
will give free advice and quotations.

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Postby sparx » Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:21 pm

Hi Vix9, this could be damp getting into a socket on an outside wall or any of a dozen other reasons.
As it trips your RCD rather than an mcb I would suspect a neutral to earth fault.
As Blakey says the only way forward is with a reliable leckie with Insulation test meter who can disconnect the commoned up neutrals from their bar in consumer unit and test each circuit individually with Line & neutral together, tested to earth,
regards SPARX
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Postby Vix9 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:47 pm

For all suggestions - did as recommended and got another electrician in... turns out the RCD is faulty.

He's given me the option of replacing it (if he can get the old part) or putting in a whole new fusebox.

Thanks again.
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