RCD’s keep you safe and it’s important to check your RCD regularly. RCDs stop you from a fatal electric shock if you touch something that is live, such as a dangerous power point or light or a faulty appliance. They also provide some protection against electrical fires.
RCDs are installed on the main switchboard (meter box) of the house or business in accordance with the State’s Wiring Rules.
In 2000 it became law that every home built after 2000 had two RCDs fitted. The reason for two RCDs (or more) is to divide the property’s circuits evenly between them to protect the power and lighting circuits. So when there’s an issue such as a faulty appliance or power surge, the RCD will trip and cut the power to protect the occupants of the building.
RCDs must be fitted by a licensed electrical contractor to ensure the home and business complies with the regulations.
Testing your RCD’s
RCDs only save lives if they’re working correctly. They’re the single most effective measure to prevent electrocutions, serious electrical injuries and fires.
Before testing your RCD, make sure all computer equipment and smart TVs, etc. have been shut down and switched off at the plug.
All RCDs have a test button (like the buttons in the image), which should be pressed every three months as a minimum to verify it is working properly. When the button is pressed, the switch on the RCD should instantly snap into the ‘off’ position.
You can immediately move the RCD switch back into the ‘on’ position. Timing devices and clocks will need to be reset.
If you think there is something wrong with your RCD give us a call and we will test it for you.
TO DO’s when the RCD Trips
The main reasons RCDs trip are:
- faulty appliance,
- faulty RCD,
- light or power circuit, or
- overloaded circuit.
To reset your RCD follow these easy steps:
- Turn off and unplug every electrical appliance in your home or office, including the dishwasher, refrigerator(s) and freezer(s).
- Go to the switchboard and move the RCD switch into the ‘on’ position, as there are no electrical appliances on that RCD’s circuit the switch should stay in the ‘on’ position.
- Go back into the house or business and systematically plug each appliance into the socket and switch it on. After each one you plugged in, check the switchboard to ensure the RCD switch is still in the ‘on’ position.
- If the switch has tripped, then the last appliance you plugged in is faulty. It should be switched off, unplugged and the RCD switch moved into the ‘on’ position. It should hold that position and not trip.
- Check all electrical appliances by plugging each one in and switching it on, remember to check the RCD on the switchboard in between each appliance.
If for any reason you cannot isolate the faulty appliance or any other fault, give us a call and we can carry out the check for you.
Renting and RCD’s
If you’re renting a house, the landlord must ensure RCDs are installed on the switchboard of the rental property in accordance with the Wiring Rules. Your property manager knows these requirements. Annual maintenance of RCD safety switches is important to ensure the occupants are protected against the threat of electrocution and proof of compliance should you need to make an insurance claim.
Testing rules still apply and the tenant may be asked to do the test, or the landlord or property manager will arrange for this to be done.
Selling your home and RCDs
If you are putting your house up for sale, RCDs must be fitted to protect all circuits supplying power points and lights before the land title is transferred to the new owner. On January 1, 2019 it became law that all new homes built and new appliances fitted to existing homes are RCD protected including ovens, air conditioners or any appliance on its own circuit.
If two or more RCDs are not installed, you will need to engage a licensed electrical contractor to install them to comply with the Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000) and ensure your property meets compliance for insurance and legislation purposes.
If your RCD test fails, you’re selling a home or require an annual maintenance check REQUEST A QUOTE today.