I have a mystery regarding trip switches. The 2 switches that I isolate when the problem occurs the 2 breakers does not trip individually, The main breaker trips all the time which is on a different circuit. Look at the attached picture. Arrows on the top shows the 2 breakers that I isolate and on the bottom shows the main breaker that trips all the time. By me isolating the 2 top breakers the rest work ok and no more tripping during the night. During the day where I have most of the electrical appliances working and don't experience any circuits tripping.

At nighttime when going to bed the 2 circuits keep tripping. These are the outside outlets and the perimeter fence lights although these 2 circuits are not in use

During the day I can use these 2 circuits and don't experience any tripping. I purposely used the perimeter lights and outside outlets during the day and they don't trip . They only trip at night even when not in use.

I have rattled my head to try and carry out fault findings with no results. Could it be that the breakers have weakened but then again why not during the dayenter image description here

  • I am a professional handy man that knows a bit about electricity I shared your question with an electrician friend of mine hopefully he will find this entire Stack Exchange thing very interesting and be able to answer your question and join the site. And by the way he is extremely good at what he does so I hope that you will soon have an answer.
    – user41750
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 3:10
  • I emailed a electrical engineer friend of mine and he found it very interesting as well,Thank you, Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 2:07
  • Sorry wasn't finished writing, this friend was asking me on what the temperature and humidity was at the time of tripping as this could be a contributing factor for the tripping Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 2:09

1 Answer 1


That main breaker appears to be an RCD (Residual Current Device, also known as a GFCI or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter).

So, apparently you have a ground fault somewhere in one or both of the circuits that are tripping the RCD. Since those circuits are both outside, they might travel through a common junction box or conduit that's suffered from water intrusion (and perhaps the nighttime temperatures lead to condensation that trips the breaker).

Some electrical equipment can lead to nuisance tripping of RCD/GFCI devices (such as electrical motors or fluorescent lights), though since you say that the breaker trips even when the circuits are not in use, this is likely not the problem.

I'd trace out the wires that lead out to those outside outlets and perimeter lights and see if you can find any damage or water problems.

There are a number of stack exchange questions on gfci tripping, which might help you isolate the problem.

If you can't find the problem, I'd call out an electrician to evaluate the circuits and if he can't find the problem, maybe try switching out the main breaker to see if that main RCD is faulty.

Providing your location would be useful, you're apparently not in the USA since that breaker does not seem to be common here.

  • I don't think this could be a grounding problem maybe temperature or humidity. I am in Cebu the Philippines,. It looks like I will have to go through the whole system and check. I am not sure how they earth things as they run a 2 wire system and they are both RED, I am trying to get the subdivision to get me a qualified licensed electrician and see what he has to say. What I can't understand is that during the day it gets equally hot and humid but no tripping takes place, so if this was a grounding fault it should also trip during the day.Thanks Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 2:28
  • @PatrickBoulle -- cooler conditions at night promote condensation (cooler air can hold less moisture than warm air), which is what is causing the earth faults. Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 17:05

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