How to Test A Safety Switch

A safety switch is legally required in Queensland to ensure electrical safety at home. If you have an old home, live in a rental property, or looking to buy or sell your home, it’s important to test your safety switches. Not sure where to start? Read the pointers below to learn how to test a safety switch.

A safety switch is a critical component in your home’s circuit box or switchboard. It’s a blue or orange button marked “T” or “Test”, and it trips your power supply faster than your circuit breaker. That’s because a circuit breaker protects your appliances and electrical equipment, but a safety switch protects you and your family from electric shock.

To demonstrate this, let’s say that you plug your hair dryer into an overloaded extension lead. If you pull too much power, you not only ruin your hair dryer but you also risk getting electrocuted. A safety switch reacts to the power surge in seconds, potentially saving your life. That’s why you need to test your safety switches regularly and use appliances as intended.

Changing Circuit Breakers: Can I DIY It?

The short answer is no. If there’s a problem with your circuit breakers or safety switches, only a certified electrician can sort it out. All things electricity are best left to experts, otherwise you could bring great harm to yourself and your household appliances and equipment.

In addition, you need a safety switch for each circuit in your home, including your air conditioning unit, refrigerator, oven, and hot water supply. This reduces the chances of electric shock at every touchpoint with power.

How Often To Test Safety Switches

You should test your safety switches once after three months. Keep in mind that a safety switch can handle 4,000 tests, so it should last a lifetime if you use your power in the right way.

How To Test Your Safety Switches In 4 Easy Steps

Step 1: Make sure everyone in your home knows you’re testing your safety switches. You’re essentially cutting off your power, so any activities like using computers, gaming on TV screens, or hot showers will stop functioning temporarily.

Step 2: Press the “T” or “Test” button next to your circuit breaker. This causes the power to trip and turn off the circuit breaker.

Step 3: Check which appliances, lights, and power outlets switch off. If any still have power, then their circuit needs a safety switch to safeguard them from electrical damage.

Step 4: Reset the safety switches and turn on the circuit breakers to restore power. If this doesn’t work, call a certified electrician immediately to diagnose your power problems. Don’t try to fix your circuit breakers or safety switches yourself.

As you can see, it’s easy to test a safety switch and identify issues with your power supply. Get into the habit of testing your safety switches regularly, and use the right appliances for the right work. Safety switches exist to protect you from injury or death through electrocution. If you find any problems with these self-testing steps, call an electrician to replace safety switches and keep your home safe.