Why RCCB frequently Tripping? Causes, Reasons, Solutions

RCCB stands for Residual Current Circuit Breaker. RCCB is an electrical protective device and has a very important role in electrical power circuits. Nowadays, every electrical circuit, wiring, and installation uses RCCB. The main function of an RCCB is to disconnect the power supply when it senses the leakage current. RCCB is used to give protection against earth fault, earth leakage, electrical shock, etc. Now we are going to discuss what are possible reasons or causes that make the RCCB for frequently tripping.

Causes and Reasons for RCCB frequently Tripping

The basic working principle of an RCCB is that it checks whether the current in both phase and the neutral wire is the same or not. When there is an unbalance between the current in phase and neutral, the RCCB will trip and it will disconnect the main power supply. So any fault or cause that makes an unbalance in phase and neutral current can be a cause of RCCB frequently tripping. So here some possible causes are explained below.

Neutral Fault

In some electrical equipment and devices, the neutral is connected with the earth or ground. So in this case, if the neutral wire is broken or damaged then the RCCB will trip. Because when the neutral wire is broken the current will flow from the phase to earth, so as there is no current flowing through the neutral wire, the RCCB will sense it as a unbalance between phase and neutral. So the RCCB will be got trip. Until this problem is solved, the RCCB can not work normally.

Neutral to Earth Fault

In most of the electrical wiring and circuit, the neutral and earth wire is separated on the load side. Generally, the neutral wire completes the circuit to flow current from source to load. On the other hand, earth wire is connected to the equipment body or case. Generally, there is a potential difference always present between the neutral and earth wire if the circuit is connected to an electrical load. So if the neutral wire touches the earth wire a leakage current will follow through the earth wire which makes an imbalance in the phase and neutral wire. As a result, the RCCB will trip. 

Phase to Earth Fault

When phase wire accidentally touches the earth wire, a huge amount of current will flow from phase to earth which is called phase to earth fault. Phase-to-earth faults may happen due to insulation failure, wrong connection, etc. When a phase-to-earth fault occurs a huge current flows through the phase and earth wire but no current will flow through the neutral wire. So the RCCB treated it as an imbalance in phase and neutral and it will be tripped to disconnect the main power supply.

Wrong and Faulty Wiring Connection

Wrong and faulty wiring connections also can cause to trip the RCCB. On the input side of the RCCB, both phase and neutral of the power source should be connected and on the output side, both phase and neutral of the electrical load should be connected.
Here you can see in the below diagram of the wrong connection that causes the RCCB to Trip.

Why RCCB frequently Tripping? Causes, Reasons, Solutions

In very older electrical wirings, electrical wires and cables are gradually damaged, which means their insulation becomes weak, so due to the weakness of insulation of electrical wires, if there is any leakage happens between the phase, neutral, or earth wires then also RCCB will trip.

Faulty Equipment

Some most common household appliances such as Electric kettles, refrigerators, mixers, hairdryers, etc can cause to trip RCCB because these appliances become faulty very quickly after purchase. Most of the time they pass the leakage current. So purchasing those appliances from local brands is not recommended. Other reasons like insulation failure, unwanted contacts, and component damaging to electrical equipment can cause to trip RCCB frequently.

Rain and Lightning

Rainy or stormy weather also be an important reason for frequent RCCB tripping. In rainy seasons, there is a big chance of leakage current in outdoor equipment like sockets, outside lights, etc. In rainy seasons water leaking causes for leakage current in electrical devices. Most of the outdoor equipment is suffering from this problem.

Lightning also can cause to trip RCCB because lightning makes voltage fluctuation and imbalance. So using RCCB in electrical installation is a good practice to protect your costly devices from voltage fluctuation.

Wrong Selection and Internal Fault of RCCB

The selection of RCCB with the wrong rating also can cause to RCCB be in a normal condition also. A 30mA RCCB can be used to prevent electrical shock and any fault or leakage but remember that most of our home wiring is not so much accurate. In most cases, it is seen that there is always a leakage current of more than 30mA even in normal conditions also. So in this case we have to select having a rating of more than 30mA, it may be 300mA. If we take 30mA RCCB, it will be got trip.

When the RCCB becomes older its sensitivity decreases, so over a long time use of RCCB becomes faulty and it may trip due to that.

How to solve the RCCB Tripping problem and identify faults?

When your RCCB gets trips frequently, unplug all the devices and equipment. Now once turn off the RCCB and again turn it ON. Now if your RCCB is not tripped then obviously any device or equipment is faulty. Now connect your devices one by one and check if the RCCB is tripping or not. Thus you can identify your faulty equipment.

After unplugging all the equipment, then also your RCCB gets trip then obviously there is a leakage in the wiring connection or there will be the possible causes already explained in the above section. So in this case, you should hire a licensed and experienced electrician to identify the problem.

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Why RCCB frequently Tripping? Causes, Reasons, Solutions Why RCCB frequently Tripping? Causes, Reasons, Solutions Reviewed by Author on May 05, 2021 Rating: 5
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