RCD Testing: Does Your Business Need It?

Electrical safety is a priority in many businesses. Big or small, it is crucial to ensure a well-maintained and properly working electrical system.It promotes the health and safety of the employees, customers, and public. Plus, it ensures productivity, minimizes costs of repair, prolongs functional life of equipment, and improves compliance.

Different countries will have varying rules when it comes to promoting electrical safety. In USA one of the most important is RCD testing. If you are clueless about the latter, keep on reading and learn from the insights we’ll share in this short guide.

What is an RCD?

RCD stands for a residual current device. Once activated, it cuts the supply of electricity to a power line. It is also often called a safety switch or earth leakage circuit breaker. The main job of the RCD is to monitor the flow of the current to the circuit where it is connected. If there is an abnormality in the supply of electricity, then it cuts it off immediately to prevent any potential hazard. By cutting electricity when needed, an RCD prevents electrocution and fire, among other electrical problems.

An RCD is constantly working. It evaluates the movement of the current in a circuit. Under normal situations, there is a steady flow of current in the wires. When there is a fault, on the other hand, such as when there is current discrepancy or leakage drop, the RCD is triggered. In turn, it stops the flow of electricity before it causes damage or injury.

There are different types of an RCD device that your business can use. One of the most common is a fixed RCD, which is the one that you will find in a fuse box. There are also RCDs that are installed in a socket or outlet. Alternatively, there is also a portable RCD, which is plugged in a socket.

Why Does Your Business Need an RCD?

The law is present to protect businesses and the public. Hence, if an RCD is required, this means that it is important. Among others, the best thing about an RCD is that it protects lives. This is one of the simplest ways to ensure workplace safety, especially when workers are directly confronted with electrical hazards. It cuts off power in as quickly as 30 milliseconds, which can spell the difference between life and death.

As earlier mentioned, an RCD is also crucial for protecting properties. It minimizes the possibility that there will be fire. By cutting electrical supply as soon as there is a problem, it can avoid an electrical fire.

RCD Testing: Does Your Business Need It?
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What is an RCD Test?

Now that we have defined what an RCD is, let’s talk about its testing. In a nutshell, it is the process of intentionally tripping the RCD to see if it will work in case there is a need to. It is crucial that the RCD activates as soon as possible. The quicker it cuts the supply of electricity to the circuit, the better it is for your business. Regular RCD testing is important to be sure that it is up to
the current standards.

When Should You Conduct an RCD Test?

In Australia, businesses are required to complete an RCD testing once every three months. For compliance, each test must be properly documented. This way, the
authorities will have a concrete way of verifying that a business has been carrying out its responsibilities.The requirements, however, will vary from one industry to another. The push button
test must be conducted at a specific interval. For instance, in construction, it should be done every three months. Meanwhile, it must be conducted every six months in manufacturing and 12 months in amusement, service, and rural work.

Do I Need an RCD?

It is good to have an RCD and conduct an RCD test even if the law does not mandate its need. This is a good safety measure. However, technically speaking, there are only specific parties that are required by the law to have such. In New South Wales, it is needed by businesses with a high-risk environment. The test should be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 3000:2018. More than just the installation of RCD, the law also necessitates that it should be tested periodically to make sure that it is working as it should be. So, what exactly constitutes a high-risk environment? According to the law in New South Wales, these are environments with exposure to heat, moisture, vibration, and corrosive chemicals, among other similar risks.

 

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How is It Done?

Conducting an RCD test is pretty straightforward. All that you need to do is to push the RCD test button. This can be done by the building owner or anyone. There is no need to hire a licensed electrician to do this. However, this is only the simplest test that you can do.

There is another kind of test, and this time, you will need an electrician to do it. An electrician will usean RCD tester. This device is a precision instrument, which will measure how quick the electricity is cut when there is a fault. This measurement is expressed in milliseconds. If it does not reach the minimum trip time required by the law, then the electrical system will be given a fail rating.

Conclusion

In sum, RCD testing is a must for businesses, specifically those that are classified to have a hostile environment. An RCD is a device that immediately cuts off electricity when there is a problem, which prevents fire and electrocution, among other hazards. Depending on the industry of the business, RCD testing is needed at a pre-determined frequency to make sure that it is working properly.

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