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Socket RCD Compliance to new safety standard

Published: 18 March 2020 - GreenBrook Electrical

Amendments to the safety standards BS7288-2016 went live at the end of November and GreenBrook are the only manufacturer to ensure their RCD products adhere to the latest regulations.   To explain in simple terms; the new standard requires Type A RCDs and Type AC RCDs.  Type A RCDs can detect pulsating DC currents and surge faults that Type AC RCDs may not detect.  Pulsating DC currents are created from faults sometimes found in modern electronic equipment such as EV car chargers, solar panels, multi-media equipment, USB sockets, i-phone chargers, SONOS, Alexa etc.  This new standard requires much more rigorous testing of the RCDs with high voltage and short circuit tests. These tests are so intense; they are only able to be carried out by one of the industry independent test houses.Products that adhere to this standard have a more sensitive/stable trip window so are a much safer defence against electrocution.  

Another visible change to this standard is the additional markings on the front plate and the mechanical coloured flag indicators; which must now be green and red.  These indicators cannot be LEDs.  To keep with our stylishly design front plate; these indicators are placed within the window.A RED flag shows the device is ON with a live supply to the appliance. A GREEN flag shows the device is safe with the supply to the appliance switched OFF.  Packaging should clearly show ‘Type A’ to ensure the product complies.

GreenBrook are part of the BEAMA Technical Committee who helped to write the revised standard.  

GreenBrook have also noticed an upturn in their Powerbreaker RCD business with the changes to the 18th Edition increasing the use of RCDs in all public areas.  With this amendment, together with the increased safety requirements discussed in the government Hackitt Report, there is more call for using RCDs to detect and isolate products at the point of use to help prevent electrical fires, as well as helping to protect the main circuit and the consumer unit.   Using socket RCDs at the point of source also helps to stop nuisance tripping further up the circuit.  Socket RCD’s are a perfect opportunity for wholesalers to make an additional sale, whilst ensuring that their customers adhere to the latest safety regulations.   

PowerBreaker socket RCDs are available in both 30mA and 10mA trip currents in a selection of Passive and Active designs.  Many people are unaware of the differences between Passive or Active products and do not understand where best to use what!  So here is an easy way to understand it...

For Passive RCDs a typical application would be a refrigerator or freezer that would return to their regular mode of operation as soon as the power supply resumes normal operation.  Passive RCDs are also useful to use for sockets in hard to reach places where having to gain access to re-set an RCD would be tricky, however where protection is still required.

An active RCD is better used for electrical equipment such as hedge trimmers or power tools where unexpected restarting of the equipment could present a danger to the user in a power cut situation.

You will also see PowerBreaker offer both a 30mA RCD as standard plus a 10mA option.

PowerBreaker 10mA RCDs are the super sensitive products. These RCDs trip earlier as they are more sensitive to a fault current flowing, breaking the circuit before the trip occurs further upstream and takes out the nuisance to the consumer of the RCD tripping – often then cutting out other faultless items.  These RCDs have been deemed safer for use in areas with young children, such as nurseries and schools but also for use in places with more vulnerable people like hospitals or old people’s homes where a chance of electric shock, or machine faults could be fatal.  All public access areas would be advised to use 10mA as all types of people can pass through these areas.

So we see that the degree of risk depends not only on current and time but if the victim is a child or a person in poor health, the effects can be more serious so the need for RCD protection is even greater.

There are many other PowerBreaker products available - we offer a selection of spurs, in-line RCD’s and weatherproof RCDs.  Please visit our website for further details. or

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-April 2020+