Here’s a list of FAQs about safety switches to explain in more detail what they are for and why no structure should be without one.
Are circuit breakers and safety switches the same thing?
No. Circuit breakers are designed to interrupt the flow of electricity through a structure’s wiring system when a circuit overload is detected, in order to protect appliances and electronic devices in the home. A safety switch is designed to shut off the electricity completely if an electrical leak to the ground is detected in order to protect people from electric shock.
I’m not sure my home has a safety switch. How can I tell?
A safety switch is marked with a “T” or the word “test” and is found on the switchboard, along with the rest of the home’s breakers. If you do not see these markings on any of the breakers on the board, assume that your home is not equipped with a safety switch.
I know my home has a safety switch, but is one enough or do I need more?
Ideally, you should have a safety switch on every circuit in your home – which means a separate one for major electricity draws like the air conditioning system, oven, washer and dryer and of course, the lights themselves.
Are safety switches fail-proof?
Unfortunately, they are not. That is why it is recommended that the safety switches in your home be tested and inspected every couple of years to ensure their integrity and continued functionality.
Can I test my home’s safety switches myself?
Yes. Just press the “test” button on the switch and verify that the corresponding appliances/lights on that circuit turn off, once the button is pressed. If not, contact a licensed electrician ASAP to diagnose the problem and resolve the issue for you.
Can I install safety switches in my home myself, if I my home does not already have them?
Absolutely not. Only a qualified, licensed electrician should make electrical repairs or changes to your home. Not only is doing so highly dangerous, it is also illegal without a proper license and permit.
How long will the safety switches in my home last?
Safety switches rarely have to be replaced and should last the lifespan of your home. However, on rare occasions damage to wiring, loose connections and other electrical issues could jeopardize the integirty of a safety switch and cause it to need replacing.
Where can I find out more about safety switches and whether the ones in my home are properly installed?
Future Services specialises in all phases of electrical work, repair and installations. We offer free, no obligation quotes on all our services, including the installation and repair of safety switches.