The electric distribution board of our apartment looks approximately like this.

enter image description here

It has one main switch and 5 sub-switches. Every several hours, the main switch randomly 'jumps' and our entire apartment is disconnected.

We thought one of our devices might be the cause, so we disconnected almost all devices except the refrigerator and the freezer, but it still jumps randomly. We don't want to disconnect the refrigerator and freezer, because since the 'jump' occurs randomly, we do not know how much time we will have to keep them powered off.

We still don't know if it's one of the devices, or maybe there is another problem. How can we find out?

  • 4
    It might be wise to call an electrician. If the main switch, which keeps "cutting out" or "tripping", is a RCBO, RCD (US:GFCI) or equivalent, it could indicate a dangerous problem in the wiring or in an appliance. Since none of the smaller circuit breakers (MCBs) has tripped, it is less likely to be a simple overload of a circuit. – RedGrittyBrick Oct 2 '15 at 13:22
  • Confused: Why do people kerp referring to circuit breakers as switches? – keshlam Jan 2 '16 at 3:04

There may be an overload, First off make sure all the other breakers are a lower value than the main. If one is higher than its likely overloading the Main.

On each breaker there should be a value. In the US they are on the end of the switch. In that picture you posted they seem to be on the body prefixed with a "C". Those values are the number of amps a circuit will handle before the breaker trip. If the Main is higher then a branch then the branch will not trip because the main is tripping first.

If thats not it then the main may be defective and would need to be replaced.

  • "make sure all the other breakers are a lower value than the main" - can you elaborate, how can I check this? – Erel Segal-Halevi Oct 3 '15 at 17:22

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