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How to reset a safety switch

Troubleshooting Electrical Faults:
Locating a Faulty Appliance and Resetting a Safety Switch

Introduction: How to reset a safety switch.

Electrical faults can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous issue in any home. When a safety switch trips, it’s often an indication of a faulty appliance or an electrical problem. In this article, we will guide you through the process of locating a faulty appliance and resetting a safety switch. By following these steps, you can ensure the safety of your electrical system and restore power to your home efficiently.

Step 1: Identify the Tripped Safety Switch:

Start by locating the electrical switchboard or distribution board in your home. This is usually found in the garage, utility room, or basement. Look for the switch that has tripped to the “Off” position or is positioned differently from the rest. Typically, safety switches are labeled and designated as “RCD” (Residual Current Device) or “GFCI” (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter).

Step 2: Switch Off and Unplug All Appliances:

To isolate the faulty appliance, it is crucial to disconnect power to all appliances connected to the circuit protected by the tripped safety switch. Switch off and unplug all devices, including electronics, kitchen appliances, the fridge and dishwasher, ducted heating and instantaneous how water systems, it’s important to note that simply switching appliances off at the power point WILL NOT WORK, they must be unplugged.  This step ensures that the appliance causing the fault is no longer connected to the circuit,  and allows you to reset the safety switch without it immediately tripping again.

Step 3: Reset the Safety Switch:

With all appliances disconnected, firmly push the tripped safety switch to the “On” position. If the switch remains in the “On” position without immediately tripping again, it indicates that the fault lies with one of the disconnected appliances.

Step 4: Isolating the Faulty Appliance:

Begin the process of identifying the faulty appliance by reconnecting and switching on each device one at a time. After plugging in and turning on an appliance, closely monitor the safety switch. If the switch trips again, it means the recently connected appliance is likely the source of the fault. Leave that appliance disconnected and move on to the next one until you identify the culprit.

If after unplugging all electrical devices you still can not reset the safety switch at the switchboard you will need to contact a licensed electrical contractor, I can be contacted through our contact page here

Step 5: Seeking Professional Assistance:

Once you have identified the faulty appliance, it is advisable to consult with a qualified electrician for repair or replacement. Attempting to repair the appliance yourself may void warranties or compromise safety. A licensed electrician can provide expert advice and ensure that the faulty appliance is safely repaired or replaced.

Preventing Future Electrical Faults:

To minimize the occurrence of electrical faults and safety switch tripping in the future, consider the following preventive measures:

  1. Regular Maintenance: Schedule periodic inspections and maintenance of your electrical system by a qualified electrician to identify potential issues before they become major faults.
  2. Overload Awareness: Avoid overloading circuits by plugging too many appliances into a single outlet. Distribute electrical loads evenly across different circuits in your home.
  3. Quality Appliances: Invest in quality appliances from reputable manufacturers that adhere to safety standards. Faulty or low-quality appliances are more likely to cause electrical faults.
  4. Grounding and Wiring: Ensure that your electrical system is properly grounded and the wiring is in good condition. Faulty wiring can lead to electrical faults and safety switch tripping.


Locating a faulty appliance and resetting a safety switch is an essential skill for homeowners to address electrical faults promptly. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can safely isolate the faulty appliance and restore power to your home. However, if you are uncertain or uncomfortable with the process, always consult a licensed electrician for professional assistance. Remember, safety should be the top priority when dealing with electrical issues.

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