Why are RCD sockets still popular? | Time keeper

Why are RCD sockets still popular?  |  Time keeper

Why are RCD sockets still popular? Andy Douglas, MD at Timeguard, offers his thoughts.

The 18th Edition gives us detailed information on the different types of RCDs. These regulations apply to the design and verification of electrical installations as well as any addition and/or change to existing installations of sockets rated to a maximum of 32 amps in locations such as kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor areas.

RCD protection must be provided for all circuits supplying lamps and all circuits supplying external devices. In fact, the requirement for all sockets to be protected by RCDs or RCBOs dates back to 2015 (17th edition).

So what makes RCD sockets and contact modules so popular so far?

Why SRCDs?

Sockets with integrated RCDs, also known as SRCDs, are primarily intended to provide additional protection in circuits where fault protection already exists in the consumer unit. They provide additional protection against electrocution in key areas of the property or workplace. They also provide an easily accessible local location for reset after a tripping event.

Don’t forget that older properties with older wiring may not have adequate RCD protection, and if they are still ‘compliant’ (strictly speaking) and customers are not willing to consider upgrading, you can recommend an SRCD in most locations worldwide. Property.

The SRCDs mechanism itself is double-pole switching and the SRCDs can be easily installed inside standard 35mm deep-walled boxes. It is also an easy way to add protection outdoors where you are required, for example, to install an IP protected socket.

What are SRCDs?

You’re installing these devices for safety, so your top priority should be quality and reliability. Choose a supplier and brand you know you can trust.

Your minimum requirements should be in compliance with BS 7288:2016: Specification for residual current appliances with or without overcurrent protection for socket outlets for domestic and similar uses. This standard was published in November 2016 and is a further revision to BS 7288.

Any products you encounter that are old enough to not meet the 2016 standard are likely to have been manufactured using older generations of electronic components, as opposed to newer designs by reputable manufacturers that have invested in bringing the latest technology to market.

The main visual sign of compliance with the standard is a double flag indication system to show whether power is live red – on, or green – off when the RCD is tripped.

However, ‘under the hood’, other changes add further reassurance for users. It’s mostly about EMC flexibility, with more stringent testing being done to ensure products can withstand years of use, electrical or physical abuse, and radio frequency interference.

You should also be able to choose white and metal boxes, indoor or weather-safe outdoor plugs, and single and double gang.

Positive or negative?

Make sure you know whether the device is mechanically (passive) or electrically (active) locked.

Active protection will leave the SRCD in an unlocked state in the event of a power outage or tripping event, and power will remain isolated until the user checks the device and chooses to manually reset it.

Passive appliances allow power to be automatically restored to appliances such as refrigerators and freezers after a power outage and then restored, and they do not need to be physically reset.

Get more details about the Timeguard range of RCD socket protection devices here

Read more industry feature articles here

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