DIY How To

Residual Current Devices

RCD's (Residual Current Devices) can respond to changes in the flow of electric current. For example, when a flex or cable is cut or an electric tool malfunctions, and direct contact is made with a mains supply conductor and earth, the RCD automatically disconnecting the power supply to the equipment to reduce the risk of you being electrocuted.

Residual current device types and uses


RCD's are available in several forms:

  • as portable adaptors
  • incorporated in socket outlets
  • as separate stand alone units for fixed wiring installations offering whole house protection
  • as modular units for use in household consumer units


However, although RCD's are a vital safety aid, they can't guarantee 100% protection. Even with them in your home, isn't it better to make a long term investment in good safety practice by looking after appliances such as hedge cutters, hedge trimmers, chainsaws, drills and sanders.


Do not work with electricity in damp or wet conditions. If you MUST, always use an RCD. Always place the cable of a hedge trimmer or mower over your shoulder and keep it behind you at all times.

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