If the lights or appliances in your home suddenly go off the 1st thing to do is check your consumer unit. There is a very good chance your RCD could have tripped. An RCD can be identified by its toggle switch and test button marked with a ‘T’. It is a safety device and is designed to shut of the electricity if it detects a fault.

It can be a real nuisance when an RCD trips out. When you return home and your house is in total darkness and your fridge/freezer is defrosting. Here a few causes of tripping RCD’s and what you can do about it:

FAULTY APPLIANCES – Any appliance can cause an RCD to trip from a faulty dishwasher to a computer power supply. An RCD will not reset until the faulty appliance has been unplugged from the circuit removing the fault. We suggest you unplug every appliance, reset the RCD then plug them back in one at a time checking to see if any cause the RCD to trip.

WATER INGRESS/MOISTURE – Should water or moisture get in to the electrical system this will cause the RCD to trip. Outside lights and sockets are a favourite for this. Humidity and moisture around lights in bathroom, leaking and badly fitted showers or shower trays. Should any water be found make sure to dry the area out fully before trying to reset the RCD.

OLDER APPLIANCES – Older appliances with heating elements are susceptible to earth faults & dead shorts. Cookers, washing machines, dishwashers are usual suspects.

DAMAGED WIRING/DIY – Have you recently changed anything to the Electrical system? A badly connected socket, switch or light fitting can cause an RCD to trip. Loose connections can arc under load tripping RCD’s. Have you recently hung a picture or shelf with a screw or nail? Cable in walls can be penetrated causing RCD’s to trip.

If you are unable to establish the continued tripping of an RCD, it is always best to call a qualified electrician who can inspect it as it may be faulty itself.


If you have an older system without an RCD and would like your fuse board updated we can help. Please get in touch, give us a call on 0117 332 7200 or fill out our contact form here.