RCD/Safety Switch

What is an RCD?

Today your going to learn about safety switches and what they do... Also known as residual current devices (RCD). A safety switch is there to keep you safe from electrical shock and electrocution. It is  important to know how this life-saving device works in order to ensure your home or business is as safe, Most people think the existing circuit breaker will save you from electrical shock in the event of a fault, WRONG. They're job is to protect the cable, not you.

RCD safety switch

How does safety switch work?

The safety switch works by continuously monitoring the flow of electrical current in the circuit, thus, when a fault is detected, the RCD cuts off the power. Your system may be tripped by a short circuit, a circuit overload, or a ground fault.

When electricity moves through wiring, it travels through active wiring (for sending electricity) and neutral wiring (for returning electricity). When the flow between each type of wiring is equal, the residual current device will allow the electricity to function as normal. When an imbalance is detected, the safety switch will stop the flow of electricity.

Why does the RCD trip?

How does an RCD work when an electrical fault is detected? in layman terms, it switches off the power instantly (0.04 of a second). This can happen for a variety of reasons, the most common; moisture, short circuits, overloaded circuits, and ground faults.

Short Circuits

When electrical current travels through its respective the circuit, it will flow out on the active and back on the neutral. However, If a core is touching a surface or making it's way to ground (earth) the electrical current won't reach the entended destination, This time the RCD if built with short circuit protection (RCBO) will trip.

Circuit Overload

Nowadays your home has so many electrical portable appliances it's hard to keep up! Circuit overload occurs when too many items are plugged in for example in winter, plugging in numerous oil heaters will cause the breaker to trip when the rating is exceeded fro example 16 amps.

Earth leakage

This usually occurs when a cable breaks down or when moisture is present, usually between neutral conductor and earth. When this happens usually when heavy rain has fallen. It will cause the RCD to trip.

Other RCD Issues

If your RCD keeps tripping, it’s usually a symptom of a larger problem. Your equipment might be damaged or faulty, or there might be old wiring in your building. If these causes have been eliminated, there is a chance that your residual current device is faulty.

Westcork Electrical offer RCD inspection, installation, and replacement services to homes across Sydney. It is essential to ensure your family and home are safe from shock and electrocution. If you suspect that your device may be faulty, ask us to visit your property ASAP. Electrical safety is of utmost importance to our team.

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Jonathan Loon
Jonathan Loon
23:18 05 Dec 23
Great service and communication from Westcork. Alan was highly professional and the installation went smoothly. The preparation process they use was helpful, with Alan sending a video discussing the installation plan and what was needed prior to installation. Everything went smoothly and without issue.
Bridget De Maine
Bridget De Maine
04:55 04 Dec 23
I found Westcork Electrical from Google reviews and my experience was just as positive as others - he was super responsive, friendly and helpful, and I found his comprehensive quote process really easy and transparent. He did a combo of small and more intricate work with our place and he took the time and care to explain every aspect of the job in detail, as well as check on a few other little things around the place while he was there. Thanks for a job well done, Alan!
Deryk Neighbour
Deryk Neighbour
22:18 28 Nov 23
Alan did an amazing job! The work was completed on time and he was very easy to communicate with. I would definitely recommend him and use his services again in the future.


How many safety switches do I need?

Having one safety switch is not enough, especially in older homes. We recommend you have safety switches installed on all your electrical final sub-circuits throughout your house.

How often should safety switches be tested?

A safety switch test has to be completed every three months to ensure the mechanism continues to work properly. If the power goes off, then it's working properly. If it doesn't turn off the power, contact your certified electrician to check it immediately.

How much does it cost to install safety switch in Sydney?

The cost of installing a safety switch in an average home is between $200-$300 all-inclusive.

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