Understanding how an RCD works is essential for comprehending the vital role that these devices play when it comes to protection. It is mandatory to include RCDs in domestic circuits for valid reasons, primarily the safety of individuals within the property.
An RCD is designed to monitor the electric current flowing through the circuit being protected. Both the phase and the neutral conductors pass through a magnetic ring. During standard, no-fault conditions, the current flowing into and from the load are in balance. However, when a fault occurs, such as a person touching a bare conductor, for example, some of that current will flow through the person’s body to ground or another circuit.
In this scenario, the RCD will detect the leakage current and quickly switch off the supply. This will help to prevent the likelihood of injury as well as damage to equipment. It is designed to greatly reduce the risk of electrical fires and potentially extremely dangerous electric shocks.