Why should I test my RCD (Safety switches)?

We all want to make sure our loved ones are safe, especially in our own homes. What’s the point of putting in a safety switch if you don’t know that it will work? – it’s a bit like rolling the dice. We have the brakes in our cars tested regularly, so if you could imagine that the safety switch in your house is a brake, it’s there to stop you from being electrocuted, so shouldn’t we get that tested too?

An RCD is designed to trip at 30 milliamps within 300 milliseconds, so those are some tight tolerances. The RCD measures how much current is going out and in turn, how much is coming back. When someone is being electrocuted, it causes an imbalance making the RCD trip.

It is recommended that for domestic installations, you should do a ‘push button’ test every 6 months, by simply pushing the test button. It is further recommended that an ‘injection’ test be conducted every year – this is where a small amount of current is injected in to the circuit with a special machine, causing it to trip and calculating the trip time and current. Contact your local electrician to arrange injection testing.

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