Residual Current Devices (RCD), often called safety switches, can literally be the difference between life and death by instantly shutting off the supply of electricity before electrocution can occur.
RCDs work by protecting all power points and lighting circuits in the building and cutting off the electricity supply should a fault be detected such as a sudden surge, a short circuit, or contact with a live wire.
Western Australian Regulations
It’s the law in Western Australia to have at least two safety switches installed on the main switchboard of a building in accordance with the wiring rules. Two is the minimum, but more are often needed depending on the size of the main switchboard and amount of electricity used.
Commercial and industrial sites need many more to comply with legislation and protect employees.
Two or More Electrical Safety Switches
The installation of two or more electrical safety switches means circuits can be evenly divided between them, ensuring at least some light and power remains if one switch is triggered.
For safety reasons, the RCDs are extremely sensitive and even small electrical current leakages can cause them to shut off the power. Having two or more RCDs avoids the inconvenience of one triggering due to appliances with low-level leakage currents.
If one of your safety switches keeps cutting off the supply of electricity for no apparent reason, it’s best to call in a licenced electrician to find the source of the leak.
Types of Electrical Safety Switches
There are now combination circuit breaker and RCD switches that protect the electrical circuits and prevent electrocution. These are useful when space in the meter box is limited.
Portable RCDs are great for attaching to power boards or extension leads for protection when you’re working outside with power tools.
RCDs fitted to every power point are used in wet areas such as bathrooms and large workshops.
Electrical Services in Perth
Dr Sparky Electrical, your local electrical contractor, can install the correct number, type and rating of RCDs to ensure your premises comply with the regulations.