Under the AS/NZS 3760:2010 guidelines RCD testing shall be carried out at necessary time intervals depending on the business environment. Minimum requirements are to perform a push button test out every six months accompanied by a timed test every 24 months. As with electrical test and tag records are to be kept upon completing your RCD testing.
In South Australia the Workplace Health & Safety Code, Regulation 165 also states “A person with Management or control of a workplace must take all reasonable steps to ensure that residual current devices used at the workplace are tested regularly by a competent person to ensure the devices are working effectively. A record of testing (other than daily) must be kept until the device is next tested or disposed of.” If an RCD is tested and found to be faulty it must be taken out of service and replaced as soon as possible.
What is an RCD and how does it work?
RCD stands for residual current device (also called safety switch) and they are proven to provide a defence against electrocution and even fire caused by electrical power defects or faults. An RCD works in your electrical system by continuously monitoring the current moving within the circuit. In normal conditions the current moving inside the cables will be steady. Under a fault condition where earth leakage occurs the drop or discrepancy in current will instantly trigger the RCD and cut the electricity before any injuries or damage occur.
The table below indicates the frequency required for RCD testing in the different work environments as well as showing the testing intervals required for testing & tagging of electrical equipment.