Electric Shower Keeps Tripping Breaker, Fuse, MCB, And RCD


Electric Shower Keeps Tripping Breaker, Fuse, MCB, And RCD

You can’t ignore tripping fuses, breakers, MCBs, and RCDs because they will keep you from enjoying a hot shower.

Tripping in a breaker, fuse, MCB, or RCD doesn’t occur accidentally. If you’ve never heard of an RCD, the term stands for ‘Residual Current Device.’ RCDs are better than fuses and breakers, and if yours keeps tripping, something has gone wrong.

The RCD protects homeowners from electrocution. In other words, rather than taking offense with the RCD or even the circuit breaker, you should find out why they tripped. What went wrong with the electric shower?

Why is My Electric Shower Keeps Tripping Breaker, Fuse, MCB, And RCD?

1). Faulty Shower

Investigate the shower. MCBs, RCDs, and breakers can trip in response to a faulty shower. An immersion heater in an electric shower exposes the connections to water after corroding. The result is a short circuit that trips the breaker.

Some electric showers wear out over time. Others are plagued by factory defects. You also have electric showers that people mishandle. The tripping will persist until you fix the shower.

2). Moisture

You must place the electric shower on a dedicated circuit with an RCD. But some contractors install electric showers on shared circuits. Breakers, RCDs, and MCBs may trip because moisture invaded the wiring in the shower or other devices on the circuit.

That includes the sockets. Some people ignore this possibility because they have weather-sealed sockets in the bathroom. But those moisture-resistant protections will wear out over time, allowing moisture to invade the outlets.

3). Overload

Overloads can trip breakers, RCDs, and MCBs in residential settings. Many people blame overloading on the presence of multiple heavy-duty devices on a small circuit. They are not wrong.

For instance, a circuit that accommodates air conditioners, microwaves, and washers will trip the moment you activate the electric shower. This is why some contractors place electric showers on a dedicated circuit.

4). Rating Exceeds The Capacity Of The Circuit

Did you install the shower yourself? Are you a licensed electrician? Some consumers buy electric showers whose rating exceeds the capacity of the circuit. For instance, you can’t be surprised that a 40A shower tripped the breaker on the 30A circuit.

Others use the wrong cable. For instance, they expect contractors to use 10mm cable while installing a 9.5kw shower.

This matters because breakers are designed to protect the wires. And if the shower overwhelms the conductors, the breakers will trip to prevent a fire. This is the best-case scenario.

If you upgrade the breaker without replacing the wiring, the wires will ignite before the breaker can respond.

5). Loose Wiring

You have two concerns. The first is loose connections. The second is damaged wiring. Both cases can lead to short circuits, overloads, and arcing, prompting the RCDs, MCBs, and breakers to trip.

6). Ground Fault

A hot wire somewhere along the circuit touched the ground wire, and the breaker tripped to prevent overheating fires, and electrocution.

7). Faulty RCD/MCB/Breaker/Fuse

These devices are not perfect. If they keep tripping and blowing incessantly without explanation, you should consider the possibility that your RCDs, MCBs, and breakers have developed a fault. You should only make this assumption after ruling out all other potential culprits.

How Do I Know What Has Gone Wrong?

  • You can tell that something is wrong because the breakers, fuses, RCDs, and MCBs will trip and blow whenever you use the electric shower.
  • Look for signs of an arc fault on the circuit, such as crackling outlets.
  • Popping and crackling sounds can also signify a short circuit.         
  • The lights will flicker because of an overloaded circuit.
  • Look for loose connections.
  • Inspect the wiring. Do you see tears and burn marks?
  • Look out for a burning odor or any scent you can’t recognize
  • Check the panel for a blown fuse. The fuse has a wire that melts in response to a surge.
  • The shower may stop working altogether.
  • Sometimes, a malfunction in the shower can trip the main breaker, cutting all the power in your home.

What Should I Do To Prevent From Tripping Breaker, Fuse, MCB, and RCD?

  • Double-check the wiring after an installation. If you installed the shower yourself, ask an electrician to inspect the appliance. They will prevent ground faults ensuring that every wire connects to the correct terminal.
  • Give the electric shower a dedicated circuit.
  • If the shower shares a circuit, disconnect all the other heavy-duty appliances before running the shower. This will prevent overloading.
  • You can also upgrade the size of the circuit. The circuit size should exceed the amp rating of the electric shower. Don’t forget the 80 percent rule. You shouldn’t run a 30A shower on a 30A circuit. Give the circuit some room to breathe.
  • Descale the element and canister regularly. Otherwise, the shower canister will overheat because you allowed the limescale to accumulate.
  • Use RCDs, MCBs, fuses, and breakers of the correct size.
  • The wire size should match the circuit size. If your wires look burnt, don’t be so quick to blame the issue on a defective shower. Make sure the wire size is correct. If it isn’t, don’t hesitate to buy thicker lines.
  • Replace frayed, burned, and damaged wiring.
  • Install GFCI and AFCI technology.
  • Replace a faulty electric shower.
  • Replace defective MCBs, RCDs, and breakers.
  • Use tools that control humidity to lower the moisture levels in your home. This will keep the moisture away from your circuit’s wiring.
  • Hire a professional to perform regular maintenance.

If Tripping Happens, How To Fix Breaker, Fuse, MCB, And RCD?

  • If the shower’s rating exceeds the RCD’s capacity, get a new RCD, preferably one with a higher rating.
  • If you have a low-quality RCD that trips for no reason, replace it with a high-quality RCD that can accommodate your shower’s needs.
  • If the RCD tripped, reset it.
  • If the breaker tripped, go to the panel and find the switch. Flip it to the ‘On’ position. This will reset the breaker.
  • Install a new breaker whose rating exceeds the electrical draw of the shower.
  • Replace a damaged or low-quality breaker with a high-quality option.
  • Make sure the fuse is the correct size and shape. The fuse’s rating should fit the shower’s electrical needs.
  • Avoid cheap poorly-made fuses. Ask a licensed electrician to recommend a suitable replacement. 
  • Use the correct wiring. The gauge should match the breaker size. This assumes that the breaker size can accommodate the electric shower. Upgrading the breaker means installing new wiring.

For the most part, you don’t have to fix the breakers and RCDs unless they show signs of damage. You respond to tripped breakers and RCDs by resetting them. But if you forget to solve the underlying problem, the breakers and RCDs will trip again. Fuses are a different case. You can’t fix a blown fuse. The only option is to replace it.

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Stellar is an engineer. He has an unconventional approach to problem-solving, and is adept at devising original solutions to complex issues. He is an imaginative thinker and regularly comes up with resourceful answers to challenging problems.

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