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Diagonising Earth-Leakage Trips
Earth leakage units play a very important role in saving lives from earth leakage trips. An effective circuit breaker must be able to detect any issues with the Geyser, lights, stove and even plugs. Of the four mentioned, the plugs are the most common causes of trips. The use of circuit breakers detects the slightest faults and responds accordingly. Tracing nuisance earth leakage trips is very frustrating, especially if your power board has a build in RCD, and you experience intermittent trips of the circuit breaker, which resets with no apparent reason. Earth leakages are either resistive or reactive.
Resistive Leakages from conductors measurable by an Ohm meter or Megger, are caused by either a fault on an electronics appliance or water ingress to either a socket or an appliance like an element of a kettle, immersion heater or a cooker. It may also be caused by intrusion of vermins and insects in external power boxes.
Reactive Leakages are either inductive or capacitive. Inductive Leakages can be caused by induced current due to lightning or the use of faulty earth wires. Capacitive Leakages, caused by stray capacitance, are the most serious on any system protected by an RCD, limiting circuits that can be protected by a circuit breaker.
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