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I am having problems with a residual current circuit breaker (RCCB) tripping frequently.

The breaker is located in the panel of a newly renovated flat in a three-floor building (basement floor, if it matters). The breaker trips in stormy weather with thunder storms and high winds. For example, it just happened three times within 20 minutes today. However, it also trips on dry sunny days in the summer time without any weather, but that happens less frequently and less predictably.

The device was newly purchased, with all the other breakers in the panel.

When the device trips, none of the 20 individual breakers are tripped.

When the device trips, I cannot physically reset the breaker, it is impossible.

I first have to turn off all of the 20 individual breakers. Then I am able to easily reset the RCCB breaker (without any effort).

I then reset all 20 individual breakers.

I have tried resetting the individual breakers one at a time, but that does not help. I cannot reset the RCCB with any single individual breaker reset by itself.

When an incident as I have described happens, none of the other floors in the building have their RCCBs tripped.

The device is made by Legrand which is a highly respected brand. The device was purchased new in late 2020.
Its model information: XC3 40A 30mA 4031 83

As I am located in Turkey, there’s a local site in Turkish from the vendor, but I was unable to find a global Legrand page on it. https://www.legrand.com.tr/urunler-ve-sistemler/koruma-ve-endustriyel/moduler-urunler/xc-dx-kacak-akim-koruma-anahtarlari

On the web, it retails for around 24 USD: https://www.hepsiburada.com/entes-legrand-403183-2x40a-30ma-ac-tipi-xc3-kacak-akim-koruma-anahtari-p-HBCV00002TU59M

An experienced local electrician told me that an expensive test equipment exists for locating the fault, but that he doesn’t have it.

Can the device be faulty? As the brand is a quality one, I am thinking this is not likely. How would you suggest I go about solving this problem?

Many thanks.

Note: I have reviewed the following question here: What could be a reason for RCCB triggering?

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2 Answers 2

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As far as not resetting until all branch breakers are OFF, that may be by design - i.e., not allow reset under any load condition. The instructions should indicate if that is the case. If that is not the case then next time I would turn off half the branch breakers and try to reset. If it doesn't reset, turn the first half back on and turn off the other half and try to reset. If that works (either half) then the next time narrow it down by turning off only one quarter (half of the original half off), etc. until you narrow it down to a specific branch circuit.

As far as the real source of the problem, what you have described points to water getting into one or more junction boxes (receptacles, switches, splices) and causing an actual ground fault. That can happen in relatively dry weather (dew/condensation or water from man-made sources) too, but will happen much more in storms, which fits your recorded pattern. Start with checking any outside boxes (outside receptacles, outside light fixtures) as those are most likely to be affected.

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    Thank you for taking the time to respond.
    – Sabuncu
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 18:23
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A faulty device is always a possibility.

Better brands usually stand behind their products with good service.

There is also a possibility that there is a problem with the building's wiring.

Replacing the RCCB is a fast way to find where the problem is.

In some places, work is warranty for some time to repair/replace defects.

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  • Thank you for taking the time to respond. I called their customer service, but they were not forthcoming with any helpful information. They just stated the working parameters for the device and advised me to consult an electrician. (And most electricians here are unlicensed.)
    – Sabuncu
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 11:50
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    Replacing the device should tell if it is a defective device or you have problems in the building/flats wiring, the problem stops or not. Replacement is to be done by a professional, it is not something you want to fool around with, death is possible.
    – crip659
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 12:27
  • Thanks, as a first step, I'll have the breaker replaced and then monitor the problem for a while.
    – Sabuncu
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 13:18
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    I had a similar problem with a GFCI in the USA. It was partially relieved by tightening the ground connections in the panel, but was not fully resolved until the GFCI was replaced. Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 14:36
  • @PhilFreedenberg Thank you.
    – Sabuncu
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 18:24

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