How come my safety switch won't turn back on?
With the changes in legislation making it compulsory for most (if not all) homes across Queensland to have at least one safety switch fitted, a very common question we get asked is 'why can't I reset my safety switch?'
There can be a few reasons as to why your safety switch won't turn back on, but the most typical is a faulty home electrical appliance. Often the toaster or kettle get the blame, but it could just as easily be any other appliance that is plugged into the power in your home (fridges can be just as guilty!).
If you have any questions regarding the safety switches in your home, feel free to give Hanson Electrical a call on 0456 478 029 and we would be happy to assist.
What does a safety switch do?
The purpose of a safety switch is to almost instantly stop the power supply when it detects a change in the electrical circuit. This change could be due to a fault in an appliance or by a person getting an electric shock.
These little life-saving devices act really fast (in around 0.3 seconds!) to minimise the effect of an electric shock on the body and help to prevent permanent injury or death.
How to reset your safety switch?
There are two things to consider when resetting your safety switch.
- If the issue which caused the safety switch to trip was a temporary one (such as a fork in the toaster or a hair dryer in contact with water) the switch should remain in the ON position as soon as it is reset.
- However, if the problem is ongoing the switch will always flick back to the OFF position until the issue is repaired or the faulty appliance is turned off and unplugged from the power supply.
The first step to take when your safety switch won't reset is to turn off and unplug any appliances which you think may be causing the fault. A good place to start is with those showing signs of wear or damage such as exposed wires, broken parts, or any not operating as they should.
Once you've unplugged all the necessary appliances, try to reset the safety switch again. If it stays on, you've found the culprit! Ensure this appliance remains unplugged and is either thrown out or taken to a professional to be repaired.
Still not staying on? Time to go the whole hog.
Unfortunately, electrical faults are not always obvious. Many occur within the appliances electrical systems and don't always affect the way the unit operates at first, which can make them tricky to locate. For this reason, the best method to eliminate a faulty appliance from the power supply is to turn off and unplug all the appliances in your house, reset the safety switch and gradually plug them all back in. Make sure you walk through your entire home, room by room, and check each and every power point to ensure you have unplugged every appliance you have. Don't forget the hidden ones like the dishwasher, rangehood or cooktop!
If the issue is ongoing, the problem appliance will cause the safety switch to trip as soon as it is plugged back into the power supply, allowing you to identify and remove the faulty unit and have repairs carried out.
Handy Tip: Plug a radio in first and then, as you plug each appliance back in, keep an ear out for the radio noise. As soon as it turns off, you know you've found your culprit!
Sometimes electrical defects are intermittent and will only occur sporadically or during certain circumstances. This type of problem is harder to get to
the bottom of as the safety switch may reset, only to trip again and again in the coming days or weeks.
Safety switch still not resetting?
If the safety switch fails to reset after you have unplugged all the appliances in your home the issue could be in the wiring or electrical infrastructure. This issue will need a licenced electrician to investigate and rectify.
Your safety switch experts across Brisbane
If you have any questions regarding safety switches or electrical safety, or would like to speak to one of our qualified team members regarding an electrical issue, give Hanson Electrical a call on 0456 478 029 today. We are your local electrical safety experts, so get in contact now!
Workplace Health and Safety (Frequently Asked Questions): https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/safetyswitches/frequently-asked-questions
BUILD (Safety switch laws and requirements): https://build.com.au/safety-switch-laws-and-requirements
Workplace Health and Safety (Playing it safe with safety switches): https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/safetyswitches/safety-switch-films