RCD Testing Service Melbourne
RCDs (residual current devices), or safety switches as they are commonly called, are important safety devices that can save your life; but only if they are working and react (trip) fast enough.
They are typically found in your switchboard, Portable Socket Outlet Devices (PSOAs) used by tradies and incorporated into some types of appliances. You can also get portable RCDs that plug directly into power outlets.
To ensure the RCD is working correctly, the trip time must be checked. This measures how fast it will disconnect the power on the protected circuit when a fault is detected.
Our technicians will certify the trip time of your fixed and portable RCDs using specialised equipment that is accurate to within 1 millisecond (1/1,000th of a second).
Why it’s important to have your RCDs regularly checked
The use of RCDs has long been recognised as a highly effective way to protect people against electric shocks that can come about due to using faulty appliances and leads. But they can only protect you if they are working correctly.
RCDs work by detecting an imbalance in the current flow on a circuit or when excessive current is flowing to earth. When this happens the RCD will trip and turn off that circuit faster than the blink of an eye.
An RCD that is slow to trip or fails to trip can put lives at risk. This is why they must be regularly tested by trained technicians using correctly calibrated test equipment. Typical retest intervals range from 12 monthly to 2 yearly. Some work environments may require more frequent retesting.
The “push button” test method is a quick way to check if the RCD will trip. It is recommended this test be performed on portable RCDs after connecting to a power supply and performed at least daily. However, the "push button" test can not be used to certify the RCD is reacting within the maximum time limit. Never rely solely on a push button test to determine your RCD is working correctly.
Clarification: RCDs are also known as safety switches. Yes, we provide safety switch testing because it is the same service as RCD testing.
Our client based in inner Melbourne has 50+ RCDs spread over 3 levels of their building. We developed a plan enabling them all to be checked without causing disruption to their normal work patterns. During the first round of testing it was revealed several RCDs had slow trip times, 2 were not working and therefore not providing any protection at all.