How to reset a tripped switch

No power – tripped switch?


What is an RCD?


An RCD is a sensitive safety device that automatically switches off your electricity if it detects a fault. More or less mandatory these days, fixed RCDs (which provide the highest level of protection) are installed in or adjacent to the consumer unit (fusebox). Each RCD can be applied to an individual ring or radial circuit, or to a group of circuits.


The RCD constantly monitors the electrical current flowing through one or more circuits. If it detects electricity flowing down an unintended path, it will switch the circuit off almost instantly, significantly reducing the risk of death or serious injury. For example, if you are using an electric lawnmower and sever the cable, or if the electric shower in your bathroom malfunctions, the RCD will ensure that the electricity stops flowing.


How do I know whether or not I have an RCD fitted?

If you’re in a new build, or you’ve had any significant rewiring work done since mid-2008, you almost certainly have an RCD. To check, go to your consumer unit and look for a device nearby with a button marked ‘T’, or ‘Test’. This test button is one of the features of an RCD.


If you don’t find a fixed RCD, we strongly advise you to get one fitted. At Excel Electrical, all our engineers are experienced, qualified and certified to install fixed RCDs, with the minimum of disruption and at an affordable price. There are numerous fixed RCDs on the market, and our electricians can offer advice on the best choice for you and your pocket. Our main priority is to keep you safe.


How to reset a tripped switch

Be prepared.


Understandably, consumer units tend to be hidden away in dark places – even we would admit that the fusebox is probably not your home’s most attractive feature!


The days when one would approach the problem area with a sputtering candle and a box of matches are – or should be – consigned to history. We recommend having a good, powerful torch to hand – or, better yet, a battery-powered lantern for a more ambient light.


If you can, print out the flow charts featured here, or take a screenshot and save them to your phone, tablet, laptop or other battery-powered device. Following the step-by-step processes described in the charts may be more or less tedious, depending on whether you’ve lost all power or just a single circuit, but this should enable you to identify and isolate the problem. It might be just a blown light bulb, or a faulty sandwich toaster – in which case either can be easily replaced.


Remember that an RCD’s primary purpose is to keep you and your electrical system safe. If it trips once, the problem might be easily fixed. But if the RCD keeps tripping, it’s doing its job – warning you about a potentially dangerous problem. Don’t ignore the warning – it’s time to call a qualified electrician.


Excel Electrical is here to help – give us a call on 01508 488007.

There are steps you can take before having to contact an Electrician. Please refer to the process flows below;

1. Main RCD Tripped

2a. Fault with Power Circuit

2b.Fault with Lighting Circuit