Powerline Adapters and RCD protection

Using a Powerline Adapter with an RCD

Powerline Adapter

Powerline Adapter

We had the following question from John Barham regarding the use of Powerline Adapters with electrical safety devices known as either RCCD (Residual Current Circuit Device) or RCD (Residual Current Device). These are special circuit breakers that are deigned to ‘trip out’ the mains power supply if a dangerous condition is detected.

” I have two power line adapters. They work within one building, but I can’t get them to work where one of the circuits, although on the same meter and distribution board and phase, is protected by an RCCD.  The RCCD does not trip when using them, the adapter does not transmit through it.

 Perhaps someone else has a workround, other than bypassing the RCCD”

We also had this in from Jim O’Connell:

 “We have a powerline adapter that was working fine on a particular circuit until an RCD was fitted to that circuit which seems to have caused a problem. It still works fine on circuits without rcds.  Have you come across this problem before?”

We’ve tried various online searches to find out about use of Powerline Adapters and the results seem to be that Powerline adapters are not too effective over long mains runs via an RCCD.  If you know differently, please let us know by adding a comment below

The options?

We’ve seen a couple of postings suggesting that newer Powerline adapters, typically the higher-power faster models cope better, and other reports that some types of Powerline adapter can cope better than others, but nothing conclusive, and no solid recommendations. If you have experience of a model that works well, please add the details in the comments section below to help others looking for a solution.

If you can’t get Powerline to work for you, your options are as follows:

 Powerline tripping RCD?

We had this in from Mark Preston:

 “Powerline adapters: can they cause a circuit to trip? I have three powerline adapters in the house ( one at the router to transmit, and two elsewhere in the house). The circuit within  which lies one of the powerline adapters (plus a wireless adapter, plugged in for the power supply), keeps tripping. Oddly, it takes a while before I can untrip it: just flipping the trip ( or pressing the test switch on an RCD protected circuit) doesn’t produce immediate results; can take an indeterminate period before I get the circuit back. Could this behaviour be caused by the powerline adapters?”

We’d not heard directly of people experiencing RCD trips as a result of Powerline adapters. If you’d seen his, please add some information below.

Please add your comments and suggestions below:

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