How Often Should an RCD be Tested?

Residual Current Devices (RCDs) are crucial to your safety at home or the office. RCDs monitor electric current and how it flows to prevent damage to property or, in the worst cases, to you. Once an RCD detects a surge or an imbalance in electrical current, it immediately cuts off the electricity, thus keeping you and your electronic equipment safe.

Power Plugs and sockets

Why Testing your RCDs is Important

Residual Current Devices, as explained above, help protect both people and property. Were it not for these devices, many people would be electrocuted due to imbalances in electrical power, or electric surges would frequently damage electrical appliances.

Since RCDs are designed to cut off electric power, failure to test and make necessary changes if the need arises can leave you exposed in the event of another imbalance in your electrical system. This is why it is vital to test these devices regularly to ensure that they are still functional.

What are the Regulations for Testing RCDs?

To remain in full compliance, RCDs should be tested and documented every three months. RCDs usually have a test button that should be pressed to determine whether the switch is functional. If the power goes off, then the RCD is still functional. However, if the power fails to go off, then an electrician should be summoned to retest and perform necessary repairs or replacements.

Testing RCD early helps to detect faults and avoid the risk of electrocution or fire, thus keeping your family and property safe. The cost of installing RCDs is not high, which should serve as an incentive for all homeowners to have these devices set up.

RCD testing

How to Test your RCD

  • Plug a functional lamp to a powerpoint and leave it on.
  • Ensure that the mains switch is “on” and that there is an electricity connection throughout your property.
  • Proceed to turn off your electronic devices from TVs to computers and other household appliances.
  • Press the test button on your RCD. The lamp that you left on should go off if the RCD is functional·
  • If it doesn’t go off, proceed to call a licensed electrician to conduct follow up tests and make repairs or replacements.