What is an RCD?
A residual current device (RCD) or residual current circuit breaker (RCCB), also known as a safety switch, is a life-saving device which is designed to prevent people from getting a fatal electric shock if you touch something live, such as a bare wire. It can also provide some protection against electrical fires.
RCD’s generally fit into two main types:
- Type 1 = 10mA – mostly found in medical use.
- Type 2 = 30mA – these are the more common types used in business, construction and domestic environments.
RCD’s can be:
- Fixed – as in a switchboard.
- Portable – located in a powerboard or RCD Box, on a generator or on the plug end of a power / extension lead.
What is RCD testing?
RCD testing is the process of simulating a fault (like a faulty appliance) and checking that the RCD responds or trips out.
There are two types of tests:
- Push test: this is done by pushing the test button on the RCD, if functioning correctly this will trip the RCD.
Note: a push test alone does not guarantee the RCD will trip under a fault situation.
- Simulated test: using special equipment we simulate a fault and can assess if the RCD trips within the prescribed time frame for the type of RCD, these are based on the Australian Standards*.
How often should I test my RCD?
The Australian Standards* list the testing / retesting frequency for RCD’s based on the type and location of use, the more hostile / harsh the environment the more frequently they are to be tested.
In business, a tag is applied to signify the RCD has been tested and when retesting is required, this could be anywhere from 1, 3, 6 or 12 months.
A regular RCD push test can assist with keeping the circuits clear so that your RCD should work effectively if ever required. This also applies to the home environment, where quarterly RCD push testing is recommended…. change of season = test your RCD.
To find out what testing / retesting frequency best applies to your business situation please call 4U safety solutions on 1300 150 661 or use our contact us form.
What if my RCD fails?
If an RCD fails to trip in either the push test or simulated test it will need to be inspected by an electrical contractor urgently and generally requires replacing.
*Applicable Australian Standards:
- AS/NZS 3760 – In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment.
- AS/NZS 3012 – Electrical installations – construction and demolition sites.
Questions & bookings:
For more information and to make a booking please call 4U safety solutions on 1300 150 661 or use our contact us form.
Service areas for RCD testing:
We generally service the Greater Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula and Surfcoast Regions of Victoria. We have plans to expand the construction site RCD testing service into the Ballarat region, Melbourne’s West and so on down track.