Steps to Reset a Safety Switch that has Tripped

If you have lost power to the power points in your home but everything else within the home is still operating such as lighting the most likely cause will be a tripped safety switch. The same can be said for your lights if they are also protected by a safety switch (some older switchboards do not have a safety switch protecting the light circuit) if you have lost power to the lights in your home but everything else within the home is still operating the most likely cause will be a tripped safety switch.


There are a few scenarios which would cause your safety switch to trip they are but not limited to the following:


  • There is a faulty appliance plugged into a power point or a faulty light fitting in circuit, these are the most common causes for a safety switch to trip and are the easiest for the home owner to self diagnose and rectify.


  • Multiple appliances that are getting older and being used together at different times which cause nuisance tripping this is a much harder scenario for the home owner to self diagnose.


  • Overloading of circuits by using too many items at the same time causing the circuit to trip.


  • Damaged wiring throughout the home.


  • Ingress of water after rains within electrical fittings or appliances.


  • A faulty safety switch located at switchboard


Steps to follow to start the self diagnosis:


  1. Firstly locate your switchboard, if this is the first time trying to locate your switchboard start by looking around the outside of your house most times it is located on the left or right side of the building but occasionally it will be located at the front or back of the building.

  2. Open up the door of the switchboard and inspect, the circuits inside should be labelled making it easy to locate the tripped circuit if the switchboard is not properly labelled you will need to look at the switches and locate the one that is in the “OFF” position. If you are unfamiliar with what a safety switch looks like please see the illustration below, what signals a safety switch is the “Test Button” and the toggle switch is what turns it “ON”.

  3. ​The next step is to reset (Turn “ON”) the tripped switch. If it resets without any issue great! It is recommended to monitor for the next few days if it trips again note time of day and what was being used at the time.

  4. If after resetting the circuit and it trips again you can start the self diagnosis procedure by unplugging all appliances from all power points from around the home do not forget any power points located outside the house! Or by turning off all light switches around the home if it is your lights that are tripping the safety switch.

  5. After everything is unplugged or lights switches are turned off return to the switchboard and reset (Turn “ON”) the tripped switch. If this time it stays on that is good news you will be able to locate what caused it to trip in the first place. Go back around the house and plug every appliance in one by one or turn each light switch on one by one, eventually you will plug in the faulty appliance or turn on the faulty light fitting which will cause the safety switch to trip at this point you have located the problem.

  6. If it was a faulty appliance that caused the problem it is recommended to dispose of the item so it does not happen again, if it was a faulty light fitting that caused the problem you will need to get in contact with an electrician to replace the light fitting just remember not to use that light until it has been repaired.

  7. If you have followed all of these steps and are not able to reset the safety switch you will need to contact an electrician as the problem may be damaged wiring or a faulty safety switch or other factors that will need a more intensive diagnostic process. 

  8. Sabtech Electrical are experienced in the diagnostic and repair of tripping power, lights or any other electrical faults. If you have followed all of the above steps and are not able to reset the safety switch do not hesitate to contact us, loss of power is given a high priority as it is a necessity. Contact us at Mobile: 0421 924 125, Email: or fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

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You can also follow the visual cues in the following Fault Finding Guide:

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