When laying electrical wiring in an apartment, the main task is to protect the housing from current leakage. The best option is to install an RCD. This abbreviation refers to a small device that prevents electric shock to residents. This element cuts off electricity if an emergency occurs. It happens that an RCD knocks out too often. In this case, it is necessary to find out what the essence of the problem is, where possible damage lies. It is important to repair the fault in a timely manner.
How does the residual current device (RCD) work?
RCDs need to be able to automatically disconnect the electrical circuit. Such actions are necessary when the current indicators exceed the permissible norms in a certain area.
The mechanism of action of this device is quite simple. To find out why an RCD is knocked out, you need to understand how it works. It is necessary to connect the phase and the “zero” to the terminals. The device compares conductors that differ in amperage. Most often, the difference is small, but there are exceptions. When the difference exceeds the norm, the system automatically shuts down. You need to purchase a reliable device that will not work for no reason.
Knocks an RCD in various situations. Perhaps there really was a leak, or it was a false alarm. If you purchased a high-quality RCD and connected it in accordance with all the rules, then it will work without complaints. It is important to timely diagnose the device, find out the cause of failures in the system.
What does an RCD respond to?
Before carrying out repair work, you need to find out for what reasons the RCD is knocked out. These steps will help you choose the right way to fix the breakdown, if it really is.
The system may work for certain reasons. These include:
- Current leakage, which is important to determine in a timely manner. The device is purchased for its determination, therefore it is important that the system works without failures. If the RCD knocks out for the first time, then you need to check the wiring. The insulation can become unusable over time, in this case, current leakage is not ruled out. It is possible that defects will appear in the places where the joints occur. In some places, insulation may be damaged.
- Sometimes cable damage occurs in electrical appliances. It is often found that an RCD knocks out when several devices are connected at once. If one of them has a damaged cord, then the device must respond in a timely manner to the problem. It is found that the internal elements of the devices are faulty. For example, a heater breaks down in water heaters.
- If you touch the exposed section of the wire, the RCD must prevent electric shocks. When it begins to signal a danger, and a person at this time touches the cable without insulation, the device does an excellent job.
- Wrong choice of RCD. It is important to consider all technical parameters when purchasing the device. It can knock out an RCD if it is incorrect to make calculations. It is often found that the device is triggered for no apparent reason. The reason also lies in incorrect calculations. It is important to consult a qualified electrician before purchasing an RCD, to find out what characteristics you need to buy the device with.
- If the device is not connected correctly, a false alarm occurs. Some mistakenly choose a place in the electrical circuit where the device is installed. When carrying out installation work, you must strictly follow the instructions.
- A real breakdown of the system can occur if the trigger fails. In this case, even with slight vibration, this unit will knock out.
What errors can be made when connecting an RCD?
Even the most competent installers sometimes make mistakes. If grounding is incorrectly connected to the neutral conductor, a failure will occur. This should not be allowed. This rule is known to all people who work with electricity, but still make mistakes. Violations will be expensive for the person who does the work. You can die from electric shock. It is necessary to strictly follow the grounding rules. When a device is selected with suitable characteristics and correctly installed at the right place in the electrical circuit, it will work without failures.
Often there are complaints from people that the Termex water heater knocks out RCDs. This happens when the device is connected incorrectly, or when a device of a different capacity is selected.
What affects the location of the RCD in the circuit?
An important task of the installer is to choose the right place for the location of the RCD in the electrical circuit. Its functionality will directly depend on its location. When the appliance is placed outside, it may falsely trigger due to bad weather conditions.
What problems can arise when installing an RCD on the street?
Usually, after rains, dampness persists for a long period of time. When the appliance is outdoors, moisture gets inside. Excessive humidity also causes electric leakage. The device is triggering. If the RCD is low, lightning can act on it. In this case, the leakage current can only increase.
When the street freezes and the temperature drops below zero, then the RCD reacts worse to possible changes. Inevitably, microcircuits suffer from frost.
What difficulties can arise when repairing an RCD?
In the room, increased humidity adversely affects the operation of the device. Such problems can occur when the strobes are covered with a layer of wet plaster or putty. The solutions dry for a long period of time, while the cables are in high humidity. Difficulties arise when checking the protective device.
It is important to remember that after the solution has been applied to the tracks, it is not worth checking the RCD. It is necessary to wait until the moisture disappears. When the putty dries, it is not dangerous for the device, since it can not cause a leakage of current. In this case, the RCD should not be knocked out.
It is believed that wet plaster is a good conductor of electricity. When the wiring is insulated, imperceptible micro-holes remain. Through them, small particles of water enter the system. There is a risk of current leakage, to which an RCD immediately responds.
How is the device diagnosed?
To fix the problem, you need to correctly diagnose the system. It is checked whether the device circuit is connected correctly. Installation errors, unfortunately, are common enough. They lead to a false alarm system.
Sometimes an RCD can knock out, even when all the devices are disconnected from the electricity network. In this case, it is worth considering that the person originally bought the wrong device. If you installed the model at 32 Amps, then it is better to change it to a more powerful one, which will be at 64 Amps.
Usually, only a specialist with extensive experience in this field can calculate the breakdown. It may not test the entire system. It will be convenient for him to find a malfunction, acting step by step. When an RCD is knocked out on a water heater, it is necessary to check whether the power of the device corresponds to the heater itself.
The algorithm for determining the cause of the breakdown
The following algorithm should be followed:
- The first step is to turn off the electricity in the entire room. In the shield you can see the switch. If the work takes place in an apartment, then the shield is usually located on the stairwell. You need to enable the RCD. If there are no problems, then the machine turns it off. If this does not happen, you will have to replace the entire mechanism.
- It is necessary to check the correct operation of the "test" button. You do not need to turn on the central switch before this. You must disconnect the wires from all the terminals, only after that you need to raise the switch. If the system functions correctly, the device will show “on”. In other cases, it will be necessary to eliminate malfunctions in the operation of the devices.
- The next step will be to check if the device matches the current consumption. All electrical appliances must be turned off, leave the automatic lever on the “on” position. After that, you can gradually connect the devices to the power.
- If one of the devices knocks an RCD, then the cause of the breakdown was in it. It must be taken for repair or replaced with a working one.
- It happens that all devices are disconnected from the network, and the RCD still knocks out. Then you need to start checking the wiring. To calculate the damaged area, you need to test all the wiring in the apartment with a special device.
How to fix malfunctions?
By checking, a broken device is calculated, it is repaired or replaced with a new one.
It happens that just the wrong RCD is installed, and it is replaced with another one that meets all the standards.
When an RCD is knocked out when it is turned on, all devices are turned off from the network. Next, they test each, connecting to the network separately from the others. It happens that it knocks out an RCD when the washing machine is turned on. You can fix the breakdown with your own hands, but it is better to invite an experienced master. The washing machine knocks out an RCD for various reasons. But basically this is due to an improperly selected protection device. It is worth trying to replace it with a more powerful one.