Fixed RCD testing… Why is it important?

At every workplace there is at least one Electrical switch board that is built to divide the power and lighting into manageable circuits feeding, lights, equipment and power points for us to use. Though we may not have an understanding electricity, it is important that you know about the little understood device called the RCD (residual current Device) or sometimes referred to as the Safety Switch that will find amongst the breakers and or fuses in this panel.

An RCD is an electromechanical device,that detects any shunting of electrical power to earth thereby shutting the circuit down in mere milli-seconds, in doing so avoiding electrocution to personnel and possible fire hazards.

Being and Electromechanical device ,it can like any other similar device be prone to failure. As part of a regular testing check, it needs to have a push button test which basically is a test every 6 months to check out the mechanical workings of the RCD of which any body can do. If there are breakers on your Panel that are RCD’s.. the give away is a breaker with a button for testing also on the breaker are the words 30ma RCD… these are the devices that need to be tested monthly by push button. Picture below

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But this is a bit like push button testing a battery smoke alarm it only test the resultant action it doesn’t test the actual detection part of the device.

So periodically you need to have your fixed Main switchboard panel RCD’s tested with a calibrated RCD tester, and if it responds with a shutdown time lag of less than 299 mill-seconds… typical times for most RCD’s are usually are 5-50 milliseconds… here is a table below which will help

TYPE OF ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH EQUIPMENT IS USED
Residual Current Devices (RCDs)
PUSH BUTTON TEST BY USER TEST FOR OPERATING TIME RCD TESTER
FACTORIES, WORKSHOPS, PLACES OF REPAIR, MANUFACTURING,

ASSEMBLY, MAINTENANCE OR FABRICATION.

6 MONTHS 12 MONTHS
LABORATORIES, TEA ROOMS, OFFICE KITCHENS 6 MONTHS 2 YEARS
OFFICE EQUIPMENT WHERE EQUIPMENT OR SUPPLY FLEXIBLE CORD IS SUBJECT TO FLEXING ON NORMAL USE OR IS OPEN TO ABUSE OR IS IN A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT 6 MONTHS 2 YEARS
OFFICE EQUIPMENT WHERE EQUIPMENT IS NOT SUBJECT TO CONSTANT FLEXING OF THE SUPPLY CORD 6 MONTHS 2 YEARS
NEW EQUIPMENT AND REPAIRED/SERVICED EQUIPMENT PRIOR TO INITIAL INTRODUCTION TO USE, AND AFTER SERVICING PRIOR TO INITIAL INTRODUCTION TO USE, AND AFTER SERVICING

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Tested & True ~ test & tag  Lonsdale We know how to test all types of test sensitive electrical equipment like that of a RCDs and Surge Protected devices…We specifically use the STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and up to date. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australian Standards ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price.

Article By Peter Hill… Tested & True ~ test & tag, Lonsdale, South Australia, Contact 0407605568 May 2016 www.testedandtrue.com.au

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