Are RCDs Mandatory?

RCDs are a mandatory safety device designed to minimise the risk of an electric shock from electrical circuits and equipment, therefore it is the responsibility of building owners or managing agents to ensure that RCDs are tested.

Tenants must be informed of the requirements, and document that they’ve done so, to protect themselves from liability. If a tenant will not permit RCD testing at the required testing interval, the managing agent or building owner could become liable.

When an inspection or test identifies that an RCD fails to comply with the standards, the RCD should be removed from service and replaced immediately. The decision to take remedial action, disposal or other corrective action is determined by the owner or the person responsible for the safety of the site. The electrician or agent can’t force a building owner or tenant to replace an RCD, but the electrician testing must not keep the RCD in service. Circuits can be doubled up in switchboards to temporarily bypass the RCD, but retain power to all circuits.

‘For an RCD not to be installed on a new circuit there needs to be a very valid justification.’


How do you read an RCD?

RCDs have codes and symbols like other electrical components and equipment. The information shown on the commercial RCD below represents the following:

  • CLIPSAL – Manufacturer
  • Part number of RCD
  • C32 is the rating of the RCD in AMPS. This one is 32 Amps
  • 240V is the operating voltage of RCD
  • 6000 is the kA Rating of the RCD
  • 30ma is the milli amp rating of RCD. This RCD when it detects a fault, will trip off at 30 milli amp of fault current.
  • Hz – Hertz, this relates to the 240V component and is the standard frequency in 240v electrical supply in Australia
  • Symbol (circled red) – Suitable for alternating and residual pulsating direct current (mandatory in Australia)

        Low voltage (f) Operation of RCDs, in accordance with Clause 8.3.10


For a Preventative Maintenance Plan for the commercial buildings you manage call Prolux today on 1800 800 880.