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Safety Switches | Parker's Electrical NQ

Safety Switches

   What is a safety switch? A Safety Switch is an RCD (Residual-Current Device) that protects your home and family members from fire and electric shock. a safety switch is a life-saving device which is designed to prevent you from getting a fatal electric shock if you touch something live, such as a bare wire. It can also provide some protection against electrical fires.
 
  The Australian Standards states that all power and lighting circuits must be protected by a RCD and that there can only be 1 light and 1 power circuit on one RCD.

   Parkers Electrical NQ recommend that you install 2 poll or 1 poll RCCB, these are a CB & RCD in one unit, Parker's electrical NQ can install or upgrade your safety switches for you and to the current Australian Standards. We use all RCCB on Power and lighting circuit in our switchboard upgrade.
There are many types of safety switches, we are going to cover the most common ones and recommend what type is best today.
2 Poll RCD    

 This is a 2 Poll RCD and is often used to protect 1 or many circuits, the use of this type of RCD is out of date as regulations have changed.
    The disadvantages are
     1) If one circuit is faulty then you lose all your circuits.
     2) If protecting 1 circuit this is a more expensive way of doing this.
4 pol RCD 
This is a 4 Poll RCD and is often used to protect 3 phase circuits or many single phase circuits, the use of this type of RCD is out of date as regulations have changed.
  The Advantages are:
     1) Often the only way of protecting 3 Phase circuits.
  The disadvantages are:
     1) If one circuit is faulty then you lose all your circuits.
     2) This is often a more expensive way of protecting your circuit.
RCCB   
   This is a 2 Poll RCCB, it looks the same as the 2 poll RCD but it is a RCD and a CB in one unit, This is one of the recommended ways of protecting your circuits and complies with the Australian standards. All Lights & Power circuits must be protected with one of these.
  The Advantages are:
     1) If a circuit is faulty only that circuit is effected.
     2) This is often the cheapest way to protect your house.
1 poll RCCB     
    This is a 1 poll RCCB this is a same as the 2 poll RCCB that only takes up 1 spot instead of 2. This is one of the recommended ways of protecting your circuits and complies with the Australian standards. All Lights & Power circuits must be protected with one of these.
  The Advantages are:
     1) If a circuit is faulty only that circuit is effected.
     2) This is often the cheapest way to protect your house.
     3) You can fit more circuits in the switchboard which means a smaller switchboard.

How they work:

RCD      A RCD measures the deferent between the current on the active and neutral wire, if the deferent is greater then a set amount usually 30 milliamps (0.003 Amps) the RCD will trip out. The missing current cold be leaking of to earth by a fault in a device or through a person being in contact with the active cabile. The RCD will trip in less then 30 millisecond (0.003 seconds)
   A RCD has a amperage rating, A RCD will not trip out at its maximum amperage, infect if the draw on the RCD is greater then the amperage rating it will damage the RCD and may not work correctly.
   A RCCB is the same as a RCD with one big deference it is also a Circuit Breaker, this means that the amperage rating is the same as having a CB or fuse, this means that the RCCB will trip if their is a current leak or the circuit is over loaded.
Parkers Electrical NQ can install or test RCD's in you're house for you.


Australian Standards

In the AS/NZS 3000-2016
1)  Clause 1.5.6.2 stats RCD's are recognized as a means of providing automatic disconnection of supply in accordance with clause 1.5.5.3
1.5.5.3 Protection by automatic disconnection of supply
(d) Disconnection times. The maximum disconnection time for 230/240 V supply voltage SHALL NOT exceed the following.
(i) 0.4 s for final subcircuits that supply:
(A) socket-outlets having rated current not exceeding 63A (lighting is classed as a socket outlet)
(B) hand-held Class 1 equipment; or
(C) portable equipment intended for manual movement during use.
(ii) 5 s for other circuits including submains and final subcircuits supplying fixed or stationary equipment.
2) Clause 1.5.6.3 stats RCD's for the limitation of earth leakage current SHELL be capable of interrupting the part of the circuit protected by the RCD when an earth leakage current reaches a predetermined value. RCD's shall be installed for additional protection of the following:
(a)   All Socket Outlets, Lighting Points & Hand Held equipment.
(b)  Some Wiring systems as specified in Clause 3.9.4.4, we will not go into this.
(c)  Electrical heating cables as specified in clause 4.10.5, usually not used in north Queensland.
(d)  Electrical equipment, including socket outlets, installed in damp situations,
1)   Installation requirement for deluge showers clarified.
2)  Showers Zone 1 further clarified for different shower head configurations.
3)   Fixed water container size of 40L.
4)  Spa pools and tubs water capacity clarified per applicable standards.
(e)  Specific electrical installations as specified in AS/NZS 3001, AS/NZS 3002, AS/NZS 3003, AS/NZS 3004, AS/NZS 3012 & AS/NZS 4249.
 
NOTE: in areas where excessive earth leakage current could present a significant risk in the event of failure of other measures of protection or carelessness by users, RCDs are designed to provide additional protection against the effects of electric shock by automatically disconnecting supply before serious physical injury can occur.

NOTE:


Written by Gary Parker
25 December 2016
©Parker's Electrical NQ. You have the right to use any part of this article as long as you credit it to Parker's Electrical NQand link back to this article using this link SAFETY SWITCHES BY PARKER’S ELECTRICAL NQ

    

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