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Discuss How to locate earth leakage wiring fault [Home wiring]. in the Electrical Talk - All Other Countries area at ElectriciansForums.net

Hello Everyone,
I am from India. Things were good [seemed to be good] with temporary electric connection [single phase, 230v] to our new house. Now when we are organizing electrical wiring, dividing phases, installing ELCB, the problem started occuring.

Now the electricity connection is of 3 Phase, 230v each phase. We have a basement, ground and first floor. All the 3 phases goes to all 3 units i.e.; basement, GF & FF with each unit having one MCB box. A panel outside the building have terminal box, ELCB [4 Pole] and Main Switch [4 Pole] here the live wire connects.

Two UPS units one each [single phase] for GF and FF is in the basement, so the current passes through these before reaching some selected MCBs to power lights, fans & refrigerators which we wanted to be working even when there is power outage.

The problem:
Now when we installed ELCB it started tripping. We checked each neutral and found one faulty at MCB box on GF which is presently disconnected to prevent tripping. Another problem is ELCB still gets tripped when some switches are turned on and this phase wire is connected to a single MCB [there are multiple MCBs in each box]. We have tried to connect the phase wire externally to check if it works but the ELCB still trips.

After trying different things the issue is still unresolved. Tracing the cut in wire physically is not possible as the wire runs between false ceiling and RCC roof and also within pvc pipe in roof and walls. There may be chance that false ceiling worker might have pierced the pvc pipe within the roof and crossed the screw through it which might have stripped the wire and now is leaking the current and hence tripping the ELCB.

Can anyone suggest some solution? Is there anyway to check [with multi-meter] if there is any current leakage due to cut or touching of any wire in the building.

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to put max. info.



you need to use an insulation tester (Megger), on all cables -- L-N, L-E, N-E. any low readings will point you in the right direction


There could also be circuits that are supplied by the ELCB and their neutral is on the wrong neutral bar.

These kinds of faults can be misleading because the ELCB will only trip when some current is running through it. That means that energising any circuit (even one that's not actually faulty) can cause it to trip if there's a fault on another circuit elsewhere. If you're not careful this can get you running around in circles trying to find faults that don't exist.

Best way as Tel says above is borrow a megger tester and disconnect and test each circuit individually as a dead test.


I agree with all above comments.

2 other things spring to mind.

somewhere in the building a device has been poorley wired.
I have seen in spain,
a light that because there were no neutrals available at that point had been connected with only a switched live and the returning "neutral" was just made off to the steel structure of the building.

2. you mention UPS x 2
not only can these have a large leakage current to earth that could upset the elcb or rcd
also, if the live is coming out of that unit and the neutral is returning to somewhere other than the UPS output, it could cause a similar problem.


one test that might help you to find the fault.

disconnect main earth cable.
check to see if you have any continuity between live and earth (board side, not incoming earth)
same test between neutral and earth.

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