In a safer electrical world, more and more devices are being added to homes across the UK.
RCDs (Residual Current Device) monitor if electricity has gone down an unexpected path. This includes malfunctions of an appliance, damaged or broken wires and when live parts are touched. These scenarios can happen to anyone at any time; that’s why it is vital that you have an RCD.
MCBs are modules that protect wires from damage. This damage is caused by short-circuits (when a current flows through an unintended path with very low resistance. An example of this is when a damaged or fualty installation leads to a live and neutral to touch) or overcurrents (when there is more demand in a circuit that is allowed. An example of this is when too many plugs are taking power from a socket). MCBs also make sure that there is equal distribution of energy throughout devices. Without an MCB, short circuits and overcurrents could lead to fires; that’s why they are also vital for safety in a home.
RCD’s look like this. They are located in the Consumer unit and they should be tested regularly. Check out how to test your RCD here.
MCBs look like this. They are also located in the consumer unit and doesn’t need to be tested.
RCBOs are separate modules that act as an RCD and MCB. It maintains the same level of safety throughout the home in a more compact design. RCBOs are better for system divesity; while having an MCB and RCD does do the same job, at Plugged In Electricians, we use RCBOs in new consumer units that are fitted. If you are looking for a new consumer unit, there are some next steps below:
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RCBOs look like this (generally). They are located in the consumer unit and should be tested reguarly in the exact way an RCD would be.