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What is a Residual Current Device (RCD)?

BY Matthew Ramsey
Health & Safety

A Residual Current Device (RCD) is usually built into the main switchboard, and acts as a means of protection to reduce the likelihood of an electrical injury.

An electrical socket outlet incorporating an RCD, or a plug in RCD adaptor, can also provide additional safety.

An RCD detects faults in the electrical system and rapidly switches off the supply.

Plug in adaptors should be tested prior to use via the dedicated “test” button.

Electrical sockets with a built in RCD should be regularly tested to ensure continued effectiveness as a safety measure.

To prevent electric shock the RCD should have a tripping current of less than 30 milliamps (mA).

This is to prevent the human body from coming into contact with any current of 30 mA or higher, which can cause cardiac arrest.

If the RCD trips during or before use, remember there is a fault and the electrical circuit of supply requires checking before restarting.

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