There are two main reasons why an earth leakage protection device trips on an electrical installation:
- There could be insulation failure which causes current to track to earth. This usually occurs on appliances which are plugged via socket outlets or even those that are connected directly such as hot water cylinders or stoves depending on how the installation was done. To fault find this you need to trip all the circuit breakers in the distribution board and reset the earth leakage device first. Once the ELCB is up you can now reset circuit breakers one at a time until you discover the circuit which causes the ELCB to trip. Once the circuit has been identified you may go ahead and unplug all the appliances supplied by that circuit breaker. Reset the breakers and start plugging back the appliances taking note of the one that causes the ELCB to trip. Call a certified electrician to check your faulty appliance before plugging it back to the electricity supply. Ninety percent of ELCB trips are caused by appliances which have an earth fault.
- The earth leakage device may be faulty. This can be verified by disconnecting all the out going cables from the ELCB and try to reset it. If it fails to reset then automatically the device is faulty. Sometimes ELCB devices develop what is called nuisance tripping due to internal malfunctioning of the device.
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