Troubleshooting/Identifying an Electrical Wiring Issue
Last edited 12/02/2019 - 11:02
TL;DR Our power circuit (i.e. not lights) intermittently trips the RCD usually in the middle of the night. What would an electrician do to identify the cause? Is there are device I could purchase to try and DIY diagnose (safely/legally)?
Was hoping for some advice or theories from people with experience or even perhaps a sparky if possible? I know I doubt it will be solved here given the many possible causes, but I thought I may as well give it a shot?
Since about mid December, our power circuit cuts out, usually in the middle of the night. It's never really happened before; lived here about 4 years. It happened about 5 or 6 times in December, and then only 2 or 3 times since. We haven't really bought any new electrical appliances or changed the way we do anything (especially given we are sleeping). Sometimes we have a fan and/or portable AC on, but that's about it.
I've only now started to note the dates (the two most recent ones were Jan 20th and Feb 11th). There doesn't appear to be any rhyme or reason apparent to me (except usually being in the middle of the night whilst sleeping). I think once it was during the day as we left in the morning and came back late afternoon to no power. When we notice it, all I do is go outside to the switchboard and flick the power circuit breaker back up and everything works again. No other unit has complained of anything similar.
I emailed my ex builder strata manager and he basically says I need to get an Electrician to come and fix the issue, saying it is most likely:
An overloaded circuit.
A faulty devise, switch, dimmer that triggers power shut off.
A fault in the RCD.
Any ideas how much the above would cost to fix if one or more of them was the cause?
My main concern is that because it only happens at at night intermittently (and less frequently recently), it might be difficult or impossible to diagnose, which would either waste everyone's time or result in a hefty bill by the electrician. Has anyone gone through a similar situation or know what an Electrician would do in this scenario? Would they test the circuit and/or every electronic device with a multimeter?
(or something similar, sorry I have no idea about these things, just what I've googled).
Might get roasted (pun intended) for asking, but would I be able to test electrical items if I bought some device? I don't even know what device or how much they would be?
Thanks in advance as always.
Update my wife just mentioned now (conveniently forgot to tell me at the time) the builders who were renovating our kitchen mid-late last year reported to her they experienced many instances of this happening during their couple of months renovating…so the problem existed at least since July