In these modern times, pretty much every apparatus in our house is controlled by power. In addition, electricity is utilised in practically every area of the economy. We have apps in our homes to control our lights, pool, heating, cooling, watering systems, even our solar panels and energy usage is controlled by electricity.

Regardless of electricity being probably the most important invention of our modern times, it is still a dangerous resource that can be a major hazard especially when it’s not dealt with in the right way.


What is an RCD?

An RCD, also known as a residual current device, is an electrical invention that was made to prevent electrical shocks from occurring if you touch a live wire, or or appliance. The risk of electrical fires can also be reduced by the use of RCDs. The RCD provides a level of safety that ordinary breakers and fuses do not offer.

You will need a minimum of two RCDs to make sure some light and power remains if one operates. Having two RCDs also lowers the chance of your power tripping due to some appliances which have low levels of earth leakage.


How does an RCD work?

What does an RCD do? This is one of the most common questions we get!

An RCD is a safety device that will automatically switch off your electricity if there is a fault. It is designed to provide safety against the risks of electrocution or electrical fire that can be caused by faults in the earth wire.

The RCD works by monitoring the levels of electrical current flowing through one or more circuits it is protecting. If it picks up that the electricity is flowing down an incorrect path, such as a person who has come into contact with live wires, the RCD will switch off the circuit immediately, thus reducing the major risk of death or serious injury in a significant way.

RCDs are fitted in the switchboard or fuse box and they have a test button on them. If you push the test button or the RCD has detected a problem, the switch will change to the off position.


Different types of RCDs

There are different types of RCDs that can be used around the home or business to protect you from the likelihood of electrical shock. These can be located around different areas where it may be more dangerous. e.g. bathrooms and backyards. The various RCDs that can be used to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

The different types of residual current devices include standard RCD that is fitted inside your switchboard, combination RCD, portable RCDs and power point RCDs


Combination RCDs

A combination RCD is basically a combined circuit breaker and residual current device. When you don’t have a lot of space in your switchboard or meter box, these are a good option to protect your electrical circuits and appliances. These can be installed so you don’t have to upgrade your entire switchboard to a bigger size.

A Combination RCD
A Combination RCD


Portable RCDs

Getting power to your work site will often require a power board or extension lead. A portable RCD attached to these types of power will help protect you and any workers around when using power tools or electrical appliances outside.


A portable RCD
A portable RCD


Power point RCDs

Power points can be fitted with RCDs permanently ie within the power point itself, or there are separate plug in RCD power points which can be used. These are designed to protect electrical appliances within your workshop or bathroom.

A Power Point RCD
A Power Point RCD


Circuit Breakers

A circuit breaker is generally located within your distribution board that is within your home. The circuit breaker is designed to protect the electrical fittings and cables that are installed within the home. The fuses are made to prevent you home from overloading and short circuits.

Having circuit breakers fitted in your home will help to increase the safety in your home to hopefully prevent electrical fires. The circuit breaker will cut the power when the electrical wiring inside your home has an overload of current flowing through it.

Circuit breaker
Circuit breaker located in distribution board