The importance of having an RCD unit

November 12, 2017 1:52 pm Published by

Being an electrician, at some point in our lives we will get an electric shock of some kind. When it first happened to me, it was a painful experience. It is not like in the cartoons where someone receives an electric shock, their hair stands on end, sparks radiate around the body, and we see their skeleton!

An estimated 2.5 million people in the UK have or will receive an electric shock of some magnitude at some point within the calendar year. The most common cause of an electric shock in the home is via faulty wiring or an appliance.

This is why I see that it is important that every household has an RCD unit fitted. RCDs (Residual Current Devices) are designed to prevent you from getting a fatal electric shock.

An RCD constantly monitors the electric current flowing through one or more circuits it is designed 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 (within 0.04 seconds), significantly reducing the risk of death or serious injury.

Whilst I recommend a fixed RCD unit, I will explain all RCD’s available on the market:

Fixed RCDs

These are installed in the consumer unit (fusebox) and can provide protection to individual or groups of circuits. A fixed RCD provides the highest level of protection as it protects all the wiring and the sockets on a circuit, and any connected appliances.

Socket-Outlet RCDs

These are special socket-outlets with an RCD built into them which can be used in place of a standard socket-outlet. This type of RCD provides protection only to the person in contact with equipment, including its lead, plugged into the special socket-outlet.

Portable RCDs

These plug into any standard socket-outlet. An appliance can then be plugged into the RCD. They are useful when neither fixed nor socket-outlet RCDs are available but, as with socket-outlet RCDs, they provide protection only to the person in contact with the equipment, including its lead, plugged into the portable RCD.

Obviously, costs vary depending on the type of RCD unit but you can never underestimate the cost of a loved one’s life.

To find out how Green Door Electrical can help you, please call 01275 267979, visit our website or email

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This post was written by Richard Jay

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