This action ensures that there is no harm caused by improper current flow. The basic form of this device originated in South Africa, where there were a lot of deaths caused by electrocution in the mining industry. The technology has constantly been developed to give us more advanced versions.
Main types of RCD
A Residual Current Device is popularly known as a ‘safety switch’ or a ‘trip switch’. It is available in four main types. A plug RCD is the popular type where it replaces a regular fuse plug and is connected directly to the end of the power cord of electronic appliances. An adapter RCD is one that is connected to a wall socket. Regular plugs can be safely plugged in to the adapter as it protects the appliance.
There is another type of RCD called the socket RCD, which looks almost like the regular plug sockets but has buttons for test and reset. This type of RCD is normally seen in garages and sheds. Whole Home RCDs are connected at the main meter of the house; they can protect every electronic appliance in your home. The Whole Home RCD is commonly used in household switchboards and factories, as it provides maximum protection and less hassle.
Four reasons why you should opt for RCD installation
The RCD ensures that the current flow to and from an electronic appliance is equal. When it senses that there is a difference in the flow, it switches the circuit off in less than a second. There could be current leakage from faulty equipments or damaged cables; an RCD prevents any harm that might result from this leakage, including lethal electrocution.
A Residual Current Device should be used in every environment that has a high risk of irregular flow of current. This also includes your garage and your garden, as equipments like saws, drills, lawn–mowers and trimmers are used often. Regular use of these electronic tools can increase the chances of the electric cables getting damaged or cut by accident. Damp areas of the house like the bathroom and the kitchen also need RCD.
It’s especially important to use RCD during the festive season, as there are many decorations that run on electricity. Some Christmas lights and decoration lights are not waterproof. If you intend to decorate your outdoors with Christmas lights, you need to use a Residual Current Device to prevent any short circuit or black–out. As these lights are used outdoors, they are exposed to rain, thunderstorms, and humidity, which can cause severe damage to electronic equipments and cables.
Residual Circuit Devices are commonly used in big companies, factories, etc. With new regulations, the use of this device is now compulsory in every new installation in several countries. For people who have children and pets, it’s highly recommended to replace old switchboards with new ones that come with RCD protection. Remember not to try and install this device yourself, as it should be installed only by a certified professional.
Grace Beckett is an expert associated with PASS Ltd. For more information on RCD, check out the courses by PASS Ltd and get yourself trained on how to use this electrical equipment.