I cannot stress the importance of checking any RCD units that you have, especially the ones in your fuse box. It will not only keep you safer, you may save yourself unnecessary expense.
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Don’t forget to test – You should test all fixed and socket RCDs about every three months. Manufacturers recommend that portable RCDs are tested every time you use them.
Beware – If you hold the test button in for a long time and the RCD does not switch off the electricity supply, then give me a call.
But here is the important thing to remember, if you forget to test you RCD every three months come the time that you need to rely on it to protect you from an electric shock, it may not operate in the correct time or even not at all.
And if an electrician does some work for you or carry out an electrical inspection he will test the switch, if it fails to operate correctly the first time you will be advised to replace it, this cost could be prevented if you press the test button every three months.
Here is my advice
Test it today to start you off, and then test it every three months from then. Put the dates in your diary, it’s easy to forget about but important to remember.
What is an RCD?
An RCD, or residual current device, is a life-saving device which is designed to prevent you from getting a fatal electric shock if you touch something live, such as a bare wire. It can also provide some protection against electrical fires. RCDs offer a level of personal protection that ordinary fuses and circuit-breakers cannot provide.
So what does an RCD do?
An RCD is a sensitive safety device that switches off electricity automatically if there is a fault.
An RCD is designed to protect against the risks of electrocution and fire caused by earth faults. For example, if you cut through the cable when mowing the lawn and accidentally touched the exposed live wires or a faulty appliance overheats causing electric current to flow to earth.
How does it work?
An RCD constantly monitors the electric current flowing through one or more circuits it is used to protect. If it detects electricity flowing down an unintended path, such as through a person who has touched a live part, the RCD will switch the circuit off very quickly, significantly reducing the risk of death or serious injury
How do I check whether I already have fixed RCD protection? To check if you have fixed RCD protection, go to your consumer unit and have a look to see if there is a device with a pushbutton marked ‘T’ or ‘Test’. This ‘test’ button is part of an RCD. If an RCD is fitted, there should also be a label on or near the consumer unit stating ‘test quarterly’.