What is Residual Current Device

Any household in Sydney is prone to electrical faults that may lead to an electrical fire, electric shock or electrocution.

Aside from that, it only takes a fifth of a second for high electric current to cause a fatal condition. It inevitably reminds you to handle electricity at all time carefully.

But being careful in using your electrical appliances is not enough. Think of using your oven with a grounding fault, and touching the knob could severely shock you. Fortunately, you can control these mishaps through using a smart protective gadget called Residual Current Device (RCD).

What RCD Means

An RCD or Residual Current Device is an electrical protective device that can protect you from getting electrocution or shock in case of touching electrically live parts and wires. It is designed to switch off the power supply when it detects a sudden current change in the wiring.

As it operates for emergency purposes, it reduces the probability of electrical fire in your home. Also, RCDs come in portable versions that offer a level of personal protection that fuses and circuit breakers cannot provide.

Many parts of Australia, under RCD regulations, require sold or leased residential homes to have at least two of the device to protect the electrical system. On the other side, there are additional requirements for installing non-portable RCDs as set out in AS/NZS 3000:2007: Writing Rules.

How RCD Operates

The RCD monitors your wiring system permanently to detect any leaking current or abrupt change in current flow. It measures the current passing in the live and neutral wires in your electrical system.

It cuts the power system 10 to 50 milliseconds when it detects a massive current in one of the wires or current difference for more or less than 300 mA. Also, it switches off the power supply when the current is missing that could potentially leak somewhere in the wiring system.

Furthermore, the safety device can continuously monitor the electrical current in an entire building, single equipment or an individual circuit. The broad spectrum of usability of RCD from your whole house to a single outlet can reduce any electrical hazards.

Types of RCD

The ability of RCD to ensure safety is essential in electrically dangerous areas in your home, such as the bathroom and garden. It’s good to know that there are different types of RCD to secure you as always as possible in these areas of your home.

Fixed RCDs 

This type of RCD provides the highest level of protection as it covers the whole electrical system in your house. It’s installed in the fuse box that protects individual and groups of circuits. 

On top of that, this type of RCD makes a safe wiring system and any appliances connected to it.

Socket-Outlet RCDs

RCD of such type can replace the standard socket-outlet. It’s a socket-outlet with a built-in RCD that can protect the person in contact with the equipment plugged into the special socket-outlet.

Portable RCDs

The portable RCD is quite very helpful in anywhere you go. You can plug it to any standard socket-outlet providing you and your equipment a sense of security and safety from electrical hazards.

RCD Maintenance

Checking if your RCD works is an easy task to do. Go to your consumer unit and see if there is a pushbutton marked ‘T’ or Test. The test button is part of the RCD with an additional label of ‘test quarterly’. 

Testing your RCD every three months is necessary with the guide of a competent person. Also, if you are using a portable one, then you’ll check if it works properly every time you use it. Testing your RCD to work efficiently strongly indicates it is working reliably and safely.

Aside from the benefits it brings, it’s also consumer-friendly in terms of using and maintaining the device.


Electricity is amazingly useful; however, the danger awaits in every improper usage of it. But using an ingenious protective device such as residual current device can save you from any electrical mishaps.

Moreover, RCD is a life-saving investment. It ensures electrical safety for your whole house, equipment and to your family. The protective device can ensure you’re far from getting electrical fire, electric shock or electrocution.

Sutherland Shire Electrician can help you install, inspect and replace RCD in your home. We make sure that RCD continues to secure you from getting an electric shock and electrocution. With our level 2 electricians, we’re proud to provide lifetime warranty regarding your electrical system problems. 

Call us at (02) 8378 2825 today, and we are always ready to help.

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