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RCDs are protective devices installed in consumer unit and can also be stand alone units. They protect against an earth fault on a circuit or an installation and work by measuring the balance of current between line and neutral conductors. They operate when there is an imbalance of current i.e to earth and disconnect before there is a risk of injury or damage. An example of this is when an earth metalic part of an installations becomes live the RCD will detect this and trip.
They also have a integral test button which can be tested by the user and is recommended that they should be tested every quarter (3 months). Once the test button it pressed the trip switch should operate and if it doesn't then you can contact us to see if a replacement is needed and to make sure there is not an underlying fault.
Your consumer unit or fuse board is the first step of your installation and contains the main circuit protection of the installation.
Older fuse boards will have brown or ceramic pull out fuses with a wire through it rated to the amperage of the circuit.They work when a fault arises on a circuit that causes the wire through the fuse to heat and break stopping the current flowing through that particular circuit.
Newer Consumer unit have circuit breakers instead of fuses which have two contacts together when operating normally and will pull apart in fault or overload conditions. Circuit breakers can be operated manually by a simple switch (known as a trip switch) and can be switched back on. They can also be switched back on after a fault however it is advised to contact an electrician to make sure there is not an underlying fault.