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RCDs in the Home

RCD's or Residual Current Devices are electrical devices which disconnect the supply whenever it detects that the electrical current is not balanced between the supply live and return neutral conductors, such as when there is a short circuit down to earth (an electric shock is a prime example of this) The RCD will sense the short circuit and disconnect the supply quickly, thus limiting the amount of time a potentially lethal current can flow.

In the UK these devices are also commonly known as 'trip switches' or 'trips'. In the current IEE Electrical Wiring Regulations (17th edition) it states that all new installations, including a change of distribution board or the installation of new circuits in a property wired to any previous installations must have RCD protection.

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