Safety Switches & Circuit Breakers

Did you know there are two safety devices in your electricity cabinet to keep you safe?

Safety Switches

Safety switches were originally known as Earth Leakage Circuit Breakers (ELCB) but are now more commonly Residual Current Devices (RCD)

These super fast switches (less than 1/20th of a second) cuts the power off the instant a fault has been detected to protect you from serious electrocution.

RCDs generally control several individual circuits.

The RCD checks the incoming and outgoing current at your switch board. If the current isn’t balanced a person may be getting an electrical shock. The RCD’s are designed to disconnect quickly enough to minimise the risk of death’ or serious injury .

A RCD will always have  test button’ like the units below, which should be regularly (monthly) pressed to check that it is working.

There are extra RCD’s in this installation as we have 3 Phase Power for our Instantaneous Electrical Water Heater rather than the single phase power in a typical house.

Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are provided for each individual circuit in your house.

A circuit may be a single appliance, several power outlets in a part of the house, or a number of light fittings.

Their purpose is to stop you adding too much load to the circuit, which can cause the cables to heat up, leading to a fire risk.


For more posts see Electrical


One thought on “Safety Switches & Circuit Breakers”

  1. These RCD’s actually work, saved me from getting a rather nasty boot.

    I was putting up some wall hangings in a new shed, and managed to hit a cable in the wall without knowing, In doing this i made the wall live. Next hanging I went to put in, I touched the wall, felt a bit of a tingle and pop out goes the power.

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