Safety Switch, AKA RCD Breaker. Your first line Defence for Electrical Safety

Safety Switch 101
The best single safety investment you can make for your Workplace or dwelling is to buy a Safety Switch. Installing a Safety switch is the most effective method of preventing injury or death caused by electric shock. A safety switch works by detecting tiny differences in current through electrical wiring, and it can detect a potential path to earth. Take the example of a person holding a faulty appliance that has an electric charge thereby providing a path to earth. A truly effective Safety Switch will detect that leaking electrical path and shut all the power down in mere milliseconds, quite often before the sensation of electrocution is felt, thereby preventing a harmful or potentially fatal electric shock. Safety switches are Electro-mechanical devices and over time can be subject to failure. They should be tested regularly to make sure they are in working order.
Safety Switches can be prone to trip under certain conditions… There are a number reasons why a safety switch will trip. The Top 5 reasons are:

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An Appliance Fault
When an appliance becomes damaged or develops a fault, it may start to leak excess electrical current. This excess current will be detected by the safety switch and cause it to trip. The easiest way to determine if this is the problem is by unplugging all electrical appliances at the power point, resetting the safety switch and then reconnecting the appliances one by one until the faulty appliance can be identified. Always use caution when dealing with possible faulty appliances and if in doubt contact an electrician.
Intermittent or Nuisance Tripping
As the amount of electrical appliances we have in our home increases, so does the likelihood of Nuisance Tripping. If there are a large number of appliances plugged in to the home at one time and a small amount of current leaks from each, the current adds up to become more substantial. This may mean that the safety switch is continuously on the verge of tripping. If there is the tiniest change in electrical current from the electricity company this can push the switch to its limit causing it to trip. This can become more of a problem in older homes where the electrical wiring is not in good condition. Limiting the amount of appliances plugged in at one time can help minimize this type of tripping.
House Wiring Fault
Faulty wiring poses the most threat to our safety and presents the worst fire risk. Fortunately, a safety switch dramatically reduces these risks. All wiring deteriorates over time and can become dangerous, so older houses are obviously more at risk. A safety switch will detect any fluctuation in electrical current caused by damaged wiring and trip, cutting off electricity immediately and stopping the wiring from burning out. A qualified electrician can assess your electrical wiring and may suggest repair or replacement.
Faulty Safety Switch
Sometimes the cause of a safety switch tripping can be the switch itself. As with any electrical appliance, a safety switch can become defective with age or mistreatment. Safety switches should be checked every six months to ensure they are working effectively. A qualified electrician can offer advice on how to do this, or do it for you if you are unsure.
Electrical Storm
An Electrical Storm can also be the cause of a safety switch going off. When lightning strikes your home, power lines or a power station it may cause a power surge which can cause a safety switch to trip. If this occurs, it is best to wait until the storm passes before resetting the switch. If in doubt always consult an electrician.
Without the right safety equipment and safety precautions, electricity can be deadly. Always check with an electrician if you are unsure why your safety switch has gone off.
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By the Way did you know that you need your RCD tested as often as every six months, it is SafeWork requirement. Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC Pro-Logger 2 it can perform static testing class 1,2 & M ,RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection, 3 phase run testing and logs results as you test. all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. 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.
Call Now Mobile 040 7605568
Visit us at
http://www.testedandtrue.com.au
or our Facebook Page at https://web.facebook.com/testedtrue
Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide June 2017

SSN
National Coverage through the Safety Services Network (SA State Member)

|Test and Tag||Lonsdale||Adelaide||South Australia|

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Understanding the Danger of Electrical shock

The 2  Major hazards attributed to electrical equipment and wiring are electrical shock and fire. Electrical shock occurs when the body becomes part of the electric circuit, either when a part of your body comes in contact with both of the active component (Active/Neutral)wires of an electrical circuit, or one wire of an energized circuit and the Earth wire (or grounded wire)…., or a foreign conductive object that has become energized by contact with an electrical conductor.

The severity and effects of an electrical shock depend on a number of factors, such as the pathway through the body, the amount of current, the length of time of the exposure, and whether the skin is wet or dry (ie sweat). Water is a great conductor of electricity, allowing current to flow more easily in wet conditions and through wet skin.

240V can kill!The effect of the shock may range from a slight tingle to severe burns to cardiac arrest. The chart below shows the general relationship between the degree of injury and amount of current for a 50-cycle hand-to-foot path of one second’s duration of shock. While reading this chart, keep in mind that most electrical circuits can provide, under normal conditions, up to 20,000 milliamperes of current flow. So only a very small percentage of current leaking to earth can cause harm if touched by your body… as little as 30 milliamperes of current can KILL !!!

Current
Reaction
1 Milliampere Perception level
1-5 Milliamperes Slight shock felt; not painful but disturbing
6-29 Milliamperes Painful shock; “let-go” range
30-150 Milliamperes Extreme pain, respiratory arrest
151-4,300 Milliamperes Ventricular fibrillation
4,300+ Milliamperes Cardiac arrest, severe burns & even death

In addition to the electrical shock hazards, sparks from electrical equipment can serve as an ignition source for flammable or explosive vapors.

Even loss of electrical power can result in extremely hazardous situations. Flammable or toxic vapors may be released as a chemical warms when a refrigerator or freezer fails. Fume hoods may cease to operate, allowing vapors to be released into the work area.  So take care with your electrical equipment and consider all contingencies in the operation of that equipment.

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Of course the best way is to ensure that your appliances are not hazardous in the first place by ensuring that not dangerous electrical currents are present on the external parts of the appliance. We at Tested & True ~ test & tag come to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommendations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568

Tested & True ~ test & tag  Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC Pro Logger 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 in Calibration. 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.

Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au located in Lonsdale, South Australia

Peter Hill Manager Tested & True ~ test & tag Manager SA 0407605568 January 2017

National Coverage through the Safety Services Network (SA State Member)

SSN

Peter Hill Manager Tested & True ~ | test & tag | Lonsdale | South Australia |

The Electrical Switchboard your backup defence in electrical safety.

Fuses, Circuit Breakers and Safety Switches

These devices are found in your Switch board understanding these devices and how to use and maintain them will help  your management and understanding of Electrical Safety in the Workplace.

Primary Overload response devices (Fuses & Circuit Breakers)

Fuses and circuit breakers are built to fail in conditions of excess current which can overload the electrical wires in your home. These overloads are often caused by faulty appliances. When an overload occurs, the fuse melts before the wires can overheat, which reduces the risk of fire. Circuit breakers will often trip quicker and more importantly they can be reset to help diagnose and remove faults

  1. Always replace a blown fuse with the correct fuse wire. Never use fuse wire that is heavier than the recommended gauge.
  2. Never use any other type metal or wire.
  3. If fuses keeps blowing, or a circuit breaker keeps tripping, check that your appliances are not faulty.
  4. If fuses continue to blow, or circuit breakers continue to trip after appliances are unplugged, there could be a problem with your wiring. Contact a licensed electrician immediately.

Safety switches and RCD devices

Safety switches or RCD device look similar to circuit breakers and will have a test button to provide a test for the correct earth tripping of the device. The purpose is to they provide extra protection from electric shock. Safety switches monitor the flow of electricity and if any irregularity is detected, the electricity supply is immediately cut off.
Homes with children or backyard workshops should consider installing safety switches to reduce the risk of electrical accidents. It is imperative that commercial premises have them installed and tested regularly.. New homes and Commercial premises are required to have safety switches installed. Licensed electrical contractors can install safety switches in older homes at a reasonable cost. You can also purchase portable safety switches for appliances and extension cords. Useful particularly when using power tools outside ie Electric Lawnmowers, Hedge trimmers, Drills, circular Saws etc  and these portable RCD should also be tested on a regular Basis!

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Of course the best way is to ensure that your appliances are not hazardous in the first place. Tested & True ~ test & tag comes to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommendations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568..At Tested and True …we come to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommendations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks.  Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au located in Lonsdale, South Australia

Peter Hill Manager Tested & True ~ test & tag Manager SA 0407605568 January 2017

National Coverage through the Safety Services Network (SA State Member)

SSN

Peter Hill Manager Tested & True ~ | test & tag | Lonsdale | South Australia |

 

What you need to do to manage Electrical Risk in the Workplace

Managing electrical equipment and installations

A business needs to ensure that:

  • power circuits are protected by appropriately rated fuses or circuit breakers
  • electrical leads are not arranged so that they are easily damaged, run across floors or doorways, or over sharp edges
  • only leads and tools designed for wet or damp conditions are used in those conditions
  • circuits where portable equipment may be connected are protected by RCDs
  • if any current protective device (RCD or circuit breaker) is triggered, the system is not re-energised until the reason has been identified by a competent person
  • equipment identified as unsafe is disconnected or isolated and labelled as unsafe and not reconnected until it is repaired and tested as being safe
  • regular visual inspections and testing of electrical equipment, including RCDs, occurs. The nature and frequency of inspection and testing will vary depending on the electrical risks.

For further Important and detailed info go to:  http://www.safework.sa.gov.au/uploaded_files/CoPManagingElectricalRisksWorkplace.pdf

 

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WE can give you advice on choosing an UPS or Surge Power board to suit your Requirements…. and At Tested and True …we come to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommendations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…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 UEENEEP026 in test & tag operations , all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au located in Lonsdale, South Australia

Peter Hill Manager Tested & True ~ test & tag Manager SA 0407605568 May 2016

National Coverage through the Safety Services Network (SA State Member)

SSN

Peter Hill Manager Tested & True ~ | test & tag | Lonsdale | South Australia |

What Do I need Surge Protector or UPS?

Surge protectors … will protect your equipment from sudden  and dangerous in creases  or spikes in Voltage… They effective in shunting the excess power to earth in the event of the voltage increasing beyond 240 Volts (Australian Single phase appliance line voltage) … so that your equipment safe by making sure only a designated amount of power actually reaches your connected equipment. You can buy them as single-outlet units or multi-outlet power boards.

Surge_protection_board

An Uninterruptible Power Supply ( UPS) has that same qualities , but they provide a back-up power supply for a limited amount of time in case of a blackout or in some more sophisticated units  brown out protection (power goes low <240V) smoothing out any power fluctuations. This means if the power fails you have a good amount of time to save your work on your computer and shut it down normally.

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Here is the very latest findings from (ACCC) The Choice Website https://www.choice.com.au/electronics-and-technology/computers/computer-accessories/buying-guides/ups-and-surge-protectors

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WE can give you advice on choosing an UPS or Surge Power board to suit your Requirements…. and At Tested and True …we come to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommendations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…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 UEENEEP026 in test & tag operations , all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au located in Lonsdale, South Australia

Peter Hill Manager Tested & True ~ test & tag Manager SA 0407605568 May 2016

 

Buyers Guide To Surge Power Boards

How do surge protected power boards work ?
At first glance a surge protected power board operates like any other Power Board. It shows its ability at that moment when too much voltage gets passed along the transmission line , the surge protected board lets only a ‘safe’ amount through to the connected equipment. The rest it channels into the electrical outlet’s ‘earth’ and safely dissipated into the ground.
When a surge occurs at a certain level above normal voltage, a component built into the surge protected power board becomes conductive and starts to carry the excess electric current back down through the ground wire, so the damaging high voltage doesn’t reach connected equipment. Once the surge ends, that protective component resumes its ‘dormant’ stage of being non-conductive. It’s a bit like an electrical version of a pressure valve.
Australian domestic wiring is designed for a standard voltage of 230–240 volts. If the voltage goes too far above that, it can damage electronic equipment, which usually has many sensitive components. If excess voltage lasts for a very brief time (1–2 nanoseconds) it’s called a spike. If it lasts longer it’s called a surge. Even though a spike or surge can be so brief their duration is measured in nanoseconds, they can still cause damage to sensitive components. It is vitally important to protect sensitive business equipment, Computers, printers, photocopiers etc these items of equipment are sensitive to Surges in voltage.
Surge_protection_board
So what sort of a Surge Protected Board should you Buy ? Here are the specifications you should consider…Energy absorption/dissipation – This rating, given in joules, tells you how much energy the surge protector can absorb before it fails. A higher number indicates greater protection. Look for a protector that is at least rated at 200 to 400 joules. For better protection, look for a rating of 600 joules or more.
Response time – Surge protectors don’t kick in immediately; there is a very slight delay as they respond to the power surge. A longer response time tells you that your computer (or other equipment) will be exposed to the surge for a greater amount of time. Look for a surge protector that responds in less than Ten nanoseconds.
It is best to look for a Surge protected board with an indicator light that tells you if the protection components are functioning. Eventually the protection component will burn out after continual power surges, but the board will still function as a power connection. Without an indicator light, you have no way of knowing if your protector is still functioning properly.
Other important features may include ?
Building wiring status indicator: Detects potentially dangerous wiring problems in the wall outlet.
Circuit breaker: Protects the surge board from overload by connected devices drawing too much current.
EMI noise filtration: This reduces or eliminates line noise (electrical interference).
Other connections: Surge protected sockets for coaxial cable, modem or Ethernet network, all of which can also conduct high voltage that can damage connected devices.
Outlet spacing: Allows more room for one or more devices that use a transformer block.
Sockets: Check the number of mains power sockets available, usually from four to eight.

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At Tested and True …we come to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…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 in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australian Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au located in Lonsdale, South Australia

Peter Hill Manager Tested & True ~ test & tag Manager SA 0407605568 May 2016

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

IMG_2847

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