Do I need RCD protection?

As your local, qualified electrician in Ebbw Vale I am always happy to answer questions about your electrics. 

One question that has stood out recently is “Do I need RCD protection?” Due to some serious concerns about safety, RCD protection has been in the news. The legislation around RCD protection has changed and this means that for many homeowners in Ebbw Vale, the answer is yes, you do need RCD protection. 

What is an RCD?

RCD is short for Residual Current Device. You’ll find your RCD protection device (if you have one) installed on your fuse board. An RCD is, quite simply, a life saving device that stops you from receiving an electric shock from touching something carrying a live current. If, for example, you cut through the cable whilst mowing the lawn it is the RCD that prevents you from receiving a nasty shock. An RCD is an essential part of your electrical safety and is now a legal requirement for many new installations under regulation BS7671:2018(AMD2:2022).

Types of RCD

RCDs come in various types, each designed for a specific purpose. The most common type of RCD protection found installed on fuse boards in Ebbw Vale is a type AC RCD. Type AC RCDs have been on the market for quite a while and were previously the industry standard. As with many things, times have now changed, and type AC RCDs no longer offer the best protection. Type AC RCDs only react to AC earth faults but can be blinded by a DC current overload. This occurs when an electronically controlled device, such as your washing machine, introduces DC current into the wiring and effectively turns off the RCD. As the RCD is no longer protecting you, you can be left in serious danger. When type AC RCDs were introduced, our homes were very different places with less technology as standard. Nowadays almost every socket has a sophisticated piece of electronic equipment plugged into it, increasing the potential for DC feedback. This includes your washing machine, PlayStation and even your LED lighting.

Type A RCD Protection

So, what RCD protection device do you need to fully protect you and your Ebbw Vale home? The new style RCD that should be installed is known as a Type A RCD. Crucially, it does not become blinded by the introduction of DC current, and it therefore protects against both AC and DC fault currents. Type A RCDs are now legally required for socket circuits and for any fixed equipment which may produce DC fault currents. As they are so new, and were initially expensive, even recent changes to your home or fuseboard may not feature type A RCDs and may need to be updated. 

PG Electrics are your friendly, local electrician in the Ebbw Vale. Fully qualified and NICEIC registered we are always happy to answer your questions and help you make informed decisions. If you would like to update your RCD protection, or you need help determining which RCDs you have, call us today.