RCD stands for Residual Current Device and is also known as a safety switch. They are proven to provide a defence against electrocution and even fires caused by electrical power defects or faults. An RCD continuously monitors the current moving within the circuit. In normal conditions, the current moving inside the cables will be steady. Under a fault condition where earth leakage occurs the drop or discrepancy in current will instantly trigger the RCD and cut the electricity before any injuries or damage occur.
RCD’s are extremely sensitive, disconnecting within 10 to 50 milliseconds of detecting a leakage current. This is usually lower for domestic residences and other locations such as hospitals. This stops the flow of electricity through someone’s body to earth.
Why Test RCDs?
When RCD tests are carried out, it will trip the RCD and disconnect the circuit that it protects. So, any electrical equipment will need to be turned off prior to RCD Testing being carried out. Our tests force the RCD to trip and we measure the operating residual current and the trip time. If the RCD fails to trip or trip current is above 30mA or trip time is above 300ms, then the RCD has failed and must be replaced.
What Types of Electrical Testing Is Performed?
- Load Test: This can be performed on most power circuits by a technician with a Restricted Electrical Licence. The technician uses an RCD tester by plugging it into a power point, tripping the circuit and recording the result.
- Injection Test: This electrical testing is performed by opening up the switchboard and tripping each individual circuit. While doing this, the electrician notes down the specific figures at which the circuit trips at both 180 and 0 degrees.
- Push Button Test: This test is conducted by pressing the button located on the RCD which in turn trips the RCD.
- Portable Load Test: This test is performed on portable appliances that contain an RCD. In the situation where the RCD doesn’t work, it is important to isolate this test to ensure the site is not affected by the trip.
- Portable Push Button Test: This test is conducted by plugging the portable appliance into the power and testing the functionality of the RCD by pressing the push button.
RCD Test Tags Standard
In Australia, RCD electrical testing must meet a set standard. This is the AS/NZS 3760:2010 in-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment. Your device must meet the RCD test tags requirements to ensure that it will respond in a fault situation. Under new laws, any circuit that is 32 amps or lower must be safety switch protected. This includes 3 phase circuits for industrial premises. It is also compulsory for old lighting or power circuits to be upgraded to a safety switch. There are also obligations on a business owner to have the safety switches tested regularly, every 6 months.
If equipment fails the testing, it should be immediately taken out of use and a durable tag must be attached to warn people not to use the equipment. If the equipment is safe, the electrician must attach a durable tag which indicates when the next test is due. Having this visible cue on the switchboard allows for a better safety culture and ultimately ensuring a safe work environment.
Make sure your business is compliant today. Contact us now for a free quote.
Voltec Maintenance RCD Safety Switch Testing
We understand that time is money to your company. As we will need to trip the power to perform electrical testing, we can schedule an appointment time that best suits you. Our team offers RCD safety switch testing at any time of the day to work around the operations of the business. This can be before or after business hours, in order to avoid downtime or minimise disruption in the workplace. There are two ways that we can perform the testing for your workplace:
- Contract basis – where we can lower pricing as per item; or
- Hourly rate – depending on the customer’s preferences and the difficulty of the situation.