What are RCDs and are you compliant?

A kitchen rewire that has RCD protection by Prestige Electrics Ltd

This summer we are offering a fantastic deal for you – ditch your fuse box for 20% off installation of a 17th edition consumer unit with RCD protection. Sounds good right? It is! But you may be wondering, what is RCD and why do I need one? We’re here to enlighten you.

image3RCDs or a residual-current device (RCD) is a safety-focused device. They are also known as ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), ground fault interrupter (GFI) or Safety Switches abroad.

An RCD disconnects a circuit automatically, and fast, if there is a problem or fault such as that the electric current running down an unintended path (the wrong wire or electricity conducting through a person!) In technical terms it will disconnect a circuit if it detects the electric current isn’t balanced between the energised (line) conductor(s) and the return (neutral) conductor.

As RCDs cut off electricity automatically and very quickly, they protect against the risk of electric shock and fires caused by earth faults. They reduce the risk of serious injury and death by a huge amount and also reduce the risks of fires.

This is the reason why since 2008 nearly all circuits in new or rewired homes have to include RCD to meet the UK standard for safety.


These are the main types of RCDs:

Fixed RCDs

This type of RCD gives the best level of protection as it protects all the wiring and the sockets on a circuit, and any connected appliances. Fixed RCDs are installed in the fusebox.

Socket-Outlet RCDs

These can be used in place of a standard socket-outlet because they are essentially special socket-outlets with an RCD built into them. These provide protection only to the person in contact with equipment.

Portable RCDs

This type plugs into any standard socket-outlet. An appliance can then be plugged into the RCD. They provide protection only to the person in contact with the equipment, including its lead, plugged into the portable RCD. Manufacturers recommend that portable RCDs are tested after every use.

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Just because you have an RCD doesn’t mean you don’t still need to be careful. Remember; an RCD cannot protect against overheating or fire risk due to over-current (overload) or short circuits if the fault does not lead to current leakage. This is the reason why RCDs are often integrated as a single product along with some kind of circuit breaker, such as a fuse or miniature circuit breaker (MCB), which adds protection in the event of excessive current in the circuit (RCBO, “RCD w/ over-current protection”).

 

Call us on 0207 1187737 to take up our limited 20% offer.

 

If you already have RCDs that is great news just remember you should test all fixed and socket RCDs about every three months. Contact us to sort out your testing and ensure you are complying with standards.

You should also be getting your wiring checked at least once every 10-years to ensure the safety of everyone in your home.

Any other questions – just give us a call or drop an email and we would be delighted to help. In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful weather!

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