The Technical Bit
An RCD is a sensitive safety device that switches off electricity automatically if there is a fault. It is designed to protect against the risks of electrocution and fire caused by earth faults. For example, if you cut through the cable when mowing the lawn and accidentally touched the exposed live wires or a faulty appliance overheats causing electric current to flow to earth.
It works by constantly monitoring the electric current flowing through one or more circuits, it is used to protect. If it detects electricity flowing down an unintended path, such as through a person who has touched a live part, the RCD will switch the circuit off very quickly, significantly reducing the risk of death or serious injury.
The current electrical regulations BS7671:2018, designed for everyone’s safety; require RCD’s for all socket outlets, all luminaires (lights), mobile outdoor equipment, cables buried in walls less than 50mm, bathrooms, gardens and more. That’s virtually every circuit in todays residential property.
The Important Bit
They are installed to protect you, the family and anyone else who visits your property. Do you have children, grandchildren, old folks? Remember accidents are not restricted to just these groups? Can you afford to ignore such a sensible safety device?
The two accepted ways to achieve RCD protection is to have fixed units installed in your consumer unit. Current regulations recommend a minimum of two, to maintain power within some of the property.; ensuring you do not experience a total power loss due to tripping; as found in many older systems:
The other method is a device called an RCBO which offers protection to each individual circuits, thereby reducing the effects of nuisance tripping by keeping power flowing to the other unaffected circuits. In most cases this will require the complete removal of existing consumer units and the installation of new units. Today this is recommended method of protection, but it does come at a slightly higher cost than the former.
Invariably upgrading your installation with RCD’s will require a new modern consumer unit. However you can be assured that everyone, your family included, will benefit from the improved safety and peace of mind; that RCD protection will bring.
Safety is paramount with LA Electrical and we will always be happy to discuss safeguarding needs and assess your property.
LA Electrical is registered with the Electric Safety Council and data used here is sourced from: – www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk