What is an RCD?
An RCD is a safety device which is usually connected to your home fuse board, your RCD will either monitor just one circuit or several circuits depending how it is wired up. Basically, an RCD constantly monitors 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, or an earthed metal object such as the pipe work in your house, then the RCD will switch the circuit off very quickly, significantly reducing the risk of death or serious injury.
Do I need an RCD?
Definitely! An RCD is one if not the most important safety feature of your home. It dramatically reduces the risk of you or a family member receiving an electric shock and reduces the risk of an electrical fire. These little RCD’s that sit inside your consumer unit at home are life-saving devices.
How Much Does It Cost?
It’s difficult to put a price on safety and the price of fitting an RCD can vary. The best and safest way is to have a RCD’s at the heart of your home in your fuse board or consumer unit. However, it’s not as simple as just popping one in. It often involves a fuse board upgrade. The best way to get a price would be to give Evergreen a call and ask for a quote as there are a number of factors that could determine the cost.
Will it save my life?
In short, YES. Hopefully it will never have to though. Remember that just because your electrics work, it doesn’t mean they are safe. Electricity is a hidden killer. Regular testing of your property would ensure that any faults or dangerous situations are picked up on. In a privately owned property the recommended testing cycle is every 10 years or at the change of tenancy.
- To check if you have an RCD fitted check your fuse board, it will look similar to one of these
- Test your RCD regularly to keep it maintained to its optimal performance by pressing the little test button. This should be done every 3 months. You should also have a sticker on the front of your fuse board telling you how to do this. If your RCD doesn’t trip, then please consult an electrician immediately, if you are experiencing tripping problems then feel free to follow our guideline below or get in touch
The first thing to do if you loose mains power is unplug everything you can.
Don’t just turn the switchs off, that isn’t the same. If you call any electrician for an RCD tripping issue – these are the first things that they will do!
- Identify what the RCD is protecting. Clarify what the device is protecting and begin the diagnostic process. The rcd device will have a test button. If your consumer unit has one RCD it is protecting all the circuits connected to it. If it has two residual devices it protects everything to the left or right of it. If you have an RCBO (this is an RCD and overload protective device in one unit) it protects one circuit.
If your RCD won’t stay on; something it is protecting may have a developed a fault. Faulty appliances are common. Problems with the wiring are another cause.
- With a list of what the RCD is protecting, turn all electrical equipment in the property off. Switch the RCD off by the lever, or by pressing the test button. Make a list of what no longer works. The list will tell you what item(s) or area(s) could be causing the problem.
- If you believe the socket circuit is to blame; unplug all the appliances. Add them back one at a time to see if the rcd trips. If you believe to have found a faulty appliance, try it by itself. The combined earth leakage of two items can be enough to trip an RCD although pose no problem used by themselves.
This can be a time consuming although valuable exercise. Suspected items can leave the appliance disconnected for a few hours or days if necessary to help confirm. Appliances unknowingly faulty from a home without RCD protection move to a new one and cause tripping. Portable appliance testing should confirm the fault, but that’s with the help and test equipment from an electrician. Users of the equipment assume a problem with the wiring or electrical installation.
- If you think your electric shower is a cause; try turning the isolator off. If the RCD resets this would suggest a fault with the shower. A shower isolator removes the power in the same way unplugging a faulty kettle from its socket would.
- If the RCD trips are infrequent, make a note of the time. Could it be:
- An extractor fan in a guest bathroom that isn’t used a lot?
- A security light that no longer works?
- That the oven reaches a certain temperature?
- An outdoor light fitting affected by the weather?
Tried the suggestions to no avail? Maybe the trip is too random or localised to the upstairs lighting for example. You have carried out the first part of the electricians call out and will assist further diagnostics.
Notes that will help you track a tripping RCD
- Is this the first time the tripping started?
- Has any work has been carried out on the property or at the time the tripping began? Non-related work like new shelves can cause rcd problems because the wiring has been disturbed unknowingly.
- Have you have purchased any new electrical appliances or had any repaired.
- Are you aware of any previous unresolved electrical problems?
- Have you, or your neighbours have experienced power cuts?
Still got an issue? Need some help?Get in touch today and we will be over to help you solve your RCD tripping fault issue
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