Homeowners Advice – How To Reset Your Trip Switch

Published on 22 December 2020

If you have a loss of power in your house the first thing to do is check your consumer unit, otherwise known as fuse box.

STEP 1 – Locate your Fuse Box

It contains three types of switches

Main switch

This turns off the electricity supply to your home.

Fuse switches (or circuit breakers)

Switches that trip to protect the appliances in your home if there’s a fault in the circuit.

RCDs (Residual Current Devices)

Switches that will trip and turn off the electricity if the circuit they manage is considered dangerous.


All the switches should usually be in the On position.

They are labelled so you know which part of the electrics they control.


STEP 2 – Find which circuit is causing the fault

The most likely switch to ‘trip’ is the RCD. To reset it, first you need to identify where the problem is.

To do this switch off each of the fuse switches next to the RCD,  then switch the RCD on.

Turn on each fuse switch one by one to see which one causes the RCD to trip again. When that happens, you’ve found the cause of the problem.


STEP 3 – Restore your power

If the faulty switch is labelled Sockets you will need to go round the house unplugging any appliances connected to this circuit.

Switch off any kitchen appliances that cant be unplugged at the wall switch instead.

Then you can begin to plug the appliances back in one at a time.  It might be a good idea to start with the kettle and iron as these can often be the cause of the problem. If the RCD trips again then you have found the appliance that is at fault.

Leave the faulty appliance unplugged and continue to plug back in your other appliances.

The RCD should remain On and you should now have your power back.


Other causes of circuit faults:

In new homes faults can sometimes happen when cabling has been damaged due to homeowners putting up pictures and shelves or installing new decorative lighting.

Electrical wires typically run vertically up from light switches and down from sockets so it is wise to avoid drilling above or below these.


STEP 4 – If all else fails

If the RCD and circuit switch wont reset then you should get in touch with your housebuilder for help as the electrics in your new home are under warranty for atleast two years.

If your house is no longer under warranty you should contact a qualified electrician for assistance.


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