Hope someone can help me with this domestic problem please. Intermittently the consumer unit (which I had installed a few months ago to replace the old conventional 'fuse-box') is cutting off the main supply. Upstairs and downstairs lights etc are left on, but anything connected to mains sockets loses power. Just the one MCB is tripping. So something on the 'ring main' is presumably causing this. The big snag is that it's *intermittent*. First happened a couple of months ago, then again 2 weeks later. Then nothing until yesterday, when it happened twice within an hour. On that last occasion at least no one was actively using anything (my wife and I were in the garden when we noticed the pond pump had suddenly stopped).
As soon as I flip the trip-switch back, power comes straight back. I have *dozens* of things connected to these 3-hole mains sockets. From domestic stuff like washing machine, gas boiler, freezer, dishwasher etc, to PC printer, scanner, desk-lamp, Pocket PC cradle, etc, etc. Dozens. So it's a daunting task to isolate the cause, but that's clearly what I need to do.
Could someone confirm the basics please? Is it a matter of methodically using my DMM on a high Ohms range between the Live and Earth pins of every mains plug involved? But, if the fault is intermittent, presumably that won't work! (Unless that particular unit just happens to be in its 'leaky' state when I'm taking the reading.)
Coming at it another way, is there some device (maybe to make myself) which I can successively interpose at each outlet socket so that, when the next trip occurs it will signal whether *that* unit was responsible (with say a battery-powered LED)? It might take a while, but it seems to me that at least that approach would eventually isolate it.
Needless to say, I'm keen to fix this asap. Apart from re-setting microwave and cooker clocks etc, the greatest PITA is recovering PC stuff.