Safety Switch Tripping? Here’s what to do if your safety switch tripped.

Safety Switch Tripping? Here’s what to do if your safety switch tripped.

If you experience a power outage, here is a step-by-step guide by a licensed electrician on what to do.

It’s 6:00am in the morning. You’re standing in the kitchen making your daily coffee ahead of a busy day at work and suddenly, the power goes off. You head out to the switchboard and find the safety switch tripping.

Never fear! Even when the safety switch stays off, there are a few simple steps you can take before even calling an electrician.

Firstly, a few common causes of a tripping safety switch:

  • Nuisance Tripping: Yes, even a residual current device can get a bit temperamental (sometimes caused by electrical storms
  • Overloaded Power Sockets: Using more electricity than the circuit breaker can handle (take note if you were using too many appliances at the time it tripped)
  • Water Ingress/Rain Damage: This is by far the most common cause of a safety switch tripping
  • Faulty Safety Switch: Much less common but worth having it checked by a qualified electrician.
  • Damaged Wiring: Another common issue where possums and/or rats have decided to snack on your electrical wiring (they don’t care much for electrical safety)

What do you do when your safety switch trips?

Firstly, you’ve isolated the fact that it’s just your house and not the entire street by checking to see the neighbour’s lights are still on. You may also want to check with Ausgrids Outages Page. Now that you’ve established there isn’t a power outage across Sydney, you’re ready to get your electrical circuits up and running again. Of course, the team here at Plateau Electrical are emergency electricians and if you need your power re-instated urgently, whether you’re in HornsbyPymble, or Mona Vale, we are here to help!

Step 1. Unplug all appliances

A faulty appliance is a common culprit if your safety switch keeps tripping. Therefore, the first step is to unplug all your appliances. Now, it is absolutely essential that you physically UNPLUG every appliance, it is not enough to just turn it off at the switch. While unplugging a washing machine or dishwasher may not be the easiest task, sometimes these larger white goods can be the reason for the power outage.

As a side note: the most commonly forgotten faulty appliances and power points are dishwashers, fridges, rangehood, pool equipment, outdoor power point and gas cooktops.

Step 2. Reset the safety switches

Locate your fuse box, open the lid, and identify which safety switch has turned off. Press the safety switch all the way to the OFF position, and then try to turn it back to the ON position.

If it still trips, double check you have unplugged every appliance and if so, you will need to call a qualified electrical contractor. There are most likely electrical hazards or a faulty safety switch preventing the power circuit from turning on

Step 3a. Identify the issue

If the actual safety switch has now stayed on. You can go through and plug in all the appliances one by one. Hopefully, as you plug them in one of them trips the safety switch and you can identify the faulty appliance.

Now the safety mechanism that caused the safety switch to trip

If you have a concern about an electrical appliance that may not meet safety standards, you can report it to NSW Fair Trading.

Step 3b. Contact a local electrician

Safety switches are fantastic for eliminating power and saving lives, but there may be other issues beyond the innocent coffee maker that trips the power.

At this stage, you have done just about everything you can do to stop the safety switch tripping before calling a licensed electrician. You will want to ring an electrician who has experience with electrical faults and residential electrical systems. Hopefully, all other circuits are still working so you can carry on with your day to day activities.

Ideally this electrician would have more than just basic fault finding skills as some faults are tricky to find. With over 250 5-star reviews and extensive experience in residential fault finding, our team of licensed electricians can help you with your tripping safety switch!

electrician Northern Beaches

Step 5. Call an electrician

Safety switches are fantastic for eliminating power and saving lives, but there may be other issues beyond the innocent coffee maker that trips the power.

In the case where there’s been water damage (e.g. rain, hail or storm) or where you suspect there is a fault in your electrical wiring, the safest option is to call an expert to resolve the issue. A local electrician can make a quick inspection, ensure your safety switches are installed correctly or reinstall new ones if they’re too old.

In short, safety switches save lives and you don’t want to take the risk by ignoring electrical problems in your home. Safety switches are a legal requirement under NSW legislation, so be sure to play your part in offering protection against electric shock.

If you have any questions, call our electrician in Northern Beaches and North Shore at 02 9982 8668 or drop us an email at – we are available 24/7!



Plateau Electrical are proud to announce they are now servicing the Inner West, Eastern Suburbs and the entire Sydney area.