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The Earth Leakage Unit – It’s a Life Saver

Your Life flashes in front of your eyes….your Anxiety levels heighten…your Palms are now sweaty…you’re questioning your Sanity…All because your home earth leakage had just tripped, and every time you try to pick it up, it just keeps tripping.

Oh, the agony!!

What a Damn nuisance! 

Is it a faulty earth leakage unit?

Can you just bypass it because it’s causing you to now live life without electricity?

Agh…It’s like load shedding all over again.

First answer, it is not necessarily faulty.

Second answer, No No No! Don’t bypass it.

The earth leakage unit was designed to shut off / trip.  It was designed to save your life.

It’s main purpose is to detect stray voltages on the metal enclosures of electrical equipment/appliances, and then interrupts the circuit by tripping if a dangerous voltage is detected.

Had it not been in place or had it been defective, it would not trip and could result in someone being electrocuted.

(Bwahahaha, just thought of the electrocution scene in the movie Home Alone) 

No!!!…. Sorry….That is sooo not cool…)


Back to finding a solution.

So now, what do you do to fix/find the cause of the tripping fault?

Firstly, it is advisable that you contact an electrician. However, you can find the cause with a bit of an elimination process, which will result in you either fixing the fault or possibly narrowing it down to just one item. 

Step #1: Switch off all circuit breakers, that are connected through the earth leakage unit. For example, the lights, plugs, geyser, etc…

Step #2: With the main-switch on, you can now turn on the earth leakage unit.

                If it doesn’t trip, then you are a step closer to finding that fault. 

Step #3: Now Switch on each breaker – one at a time – till the earth leakage trips.

Step #4: At the point of tripping, you would have established which breaker is at fault. Read the label below that breaker to know which circuit is at fault. 

  1. If it is a plug circuit, then look around your premises as to which items that are plugged in that aren’t working and unplug them (eg. Iron, Toaster, Kettle, etc).

After doing so, then switch on that breaker.  If the earth leakage still trips then call an electrician. If it doesn’t trip, then plug on each item, one by one. It possibly will trip when the faulty appliance is connected. You can then decide on whether to get that item repaired or replaced.

  1. If it wasn’t a plug circuit, but rather a light, geyser, stove circuit, etc, it would be advisable to contact an electrician.

So, now that you have some education on the purpose of an earth leakage unit and how to do a bit of basic Fault Finding, you should understand the importance of the earth leakage unit being in “working condition”.

There is a test button on the unit which, if pressed will cause the earth leakage unit to trip. If it does not trip then it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. You as the consumer should test it regularly.  Once a month, or more frequently will be a better option. 

So that’s it from me…

If you guys have made it here to the end of this blog (aaaand read every word), then I thank you guys for the support.

And if you guys did read every word, then I hope I’ve contributed to your knowledge bank in some way.

Test your Earth Leakage unit, and Stay Alive 😊

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