Does my home have an RCD fitted? Why do I need one?
Published: 14 Mar 2019
Does my home have an RCD fitted?
- No it's fine, my electrics all work....
The amount of residential homes we enter with electrical faults to find that the properties have no RCD. We look horrified whilst home owners look blankly.
Lets take this back a step or two and explain what RCD's are and how they keep you and your family safe in your own home.
There is no excuse not to have this lifesaving device installed in your home. RCD's are so essential to protect you, your family and anyone working on the electric supply in your home.
What is an RCD anyway?
- An RCD stands for Residual Current Device.
- An RCD is a sensitive safety device that automatically switches off electricity if it detects a fault.
- The amount of current that can leak through is more than enough to cause significant harm including cardiac arrest.
- An RCD can detect these leakages and disconnect the current in as little as 40 milliseconds.
- An RCD protects against the risks of fire & electrocution caused by earth faults, for example - running through the cable with the lawnmower.
How does this RCD work then?
- An RCD monitors the electric current flowing through one or more circuits that it protects.
- It will detect electricity flowing down an intended path, e.g. a person who touches a live part.
- The RCD will switch the circuit off immediately which significantly reduces the risk of death or serious injury to that person.
So how reliable are RCD's?
- According to "Electrical Safety First" RCD's are around 97% reliable.
- If they are tested regularly they are deemed more than 97% reliablility, guidelines suggest that they ideally they should be check every 3 months. Each RCD has a test button which can be pressed.
- RCD protection reduces the risk of death and injury but it doesn't reduce the need to be aware!
- Your wiring in your home should be checked at least once every 10 years.
Just sounds expensive to me?
- Prices will depend on your property and there is usually a days labour
- All works have to be completed by a qualified electrician
- The cost is a small price to pay when protection levels to keep your family safe are great!
I am reasonably sure I already have RCD protection, how do I check?
- Go to your fuseboard (consumer unit)
- Is there a device with a push button marked "T" or "Test"?
- If an RCD is fitetd there should be a label on or near the unit stating "Test quarterly".