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Part of the power plugs in my flat stopped working this morning. I checked the breakers box and one of the breakers was in OFF position, with a yellow indicator.

After checking the producer's website, I've come to the conclusion that this means fault current. Here is the exact model:

enter image description here

I've disconnected all appliances from the power plugs and tried to reset the breaker, but it returns to the OFF position with the same yellow indicator.

My electrical engineering skills basically resume to those needed to change a light bulb, but I would like to understand if there is something I could check or do in this situation before calling a qualified electrician.

I'm also interested in a (layman's terms) explanation why the breaker is indicating fault current when there are no appliances connected.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is not electronic design. This would probably be better suited for diy.stackexchange. In any case, you certainly have some appliances still connected. Did you disconnect all ceiling lamps? The heaters? The water heater? The ventilation system? I guess not... Standard procedure to locate the problem is to try switching off some breakers to see where is the failure. \$\endgroup\$ – dim Sep 28 at 13:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Notice that your device is RCD residual current device (30mA) plus a 16A circuit breaker. \$\endgroup\$ – G36 Sep 28 at 13:26
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Yellow indicator here indicates there was a difference between live and neutral current and the difference is suspected going somewhere it shouldn't.

The fault may be not only in some appliance, but also somewhere between the panel and the receptacles, over the wires hidden in the walls.

Usual reasons include, but are not limited, to:

  1. Moist or water leaking near the wires, receptacles or distribution boxes. The leak may be hidden in the wall for a while.
  2. Insects, dust or mice at the same places (cockroaches?)
  3. An insulation of some wire degraded because of overheating (lighting fixtures?)
  4. Some hard-wired device (that cannot be unplugged) failing. (Water heater is the first suspect, cooker is the second, air condition third)
  5. The protection device itself malfunctioning.

Good luck!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the hints! We had a moisty morning and one of the power plugs is on the exterior walls. Probably a good suspect. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex Filipovici Sep 28 at 13:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AlexFilipovici pretty close. \$\endgroup\$ – fraxinus Sep 28 at 13:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Fixed! I went to that exterior power plug. Unscrewed panel. Used my wife's old hair dryer to blow in hot air for a couple of minutes. Also vacuumed nicely. Et-voilà! Thank you! \$\endgroup\$ – Alex Filipovici Sep 28 at 14:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ ... until the next rain, sorry to say it. Think about waterproofing it or some means to disconnect it in unfavorable weather. \$\endgroup\$ – fraxinus Sep 29 at 7:05
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The yellow indicator means it tripped on a residual current fault.
This probably means you have a short to earth, in an appliance, lighting fixture or due to water leaking somewhere.

Note that this is an RCBO, it trips on both overcurrent (16A B-curve) and residual current 30mA type-A, where only residual current shows the yellow indictor.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This one has indication if it tripped because of overcurrent or residual current. Yellow means residual current. \$\endgroup\$ – fraxinus Sep 28 at 13:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Water leaking it was, possibly some insects. If it would be possible, I would accept your answer too. Thanks for the explanation! \$\endgroup\$ – Alex Filipovici Sep 28 at 14:21

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