Can I test electrical safety switches myself?


Can I test electrical safety switches myself?


Residual Current Devices (RCDs), sometimes called safety switches, monitor the flow of electricity from the main switchboard and prevent electrocution by rapidly cutting the electricity supply if an imbalance in the current is detected e.g. if some current passes through a person.

All fixed RCDs (installed in electrical switchboards) have a test button which should be pressed at least every 6 months. Pushing the test button simulates an earth leakage fault and shows whether or not the RCD is operating correctly. This test is called the “push-button test” which any user can safely and easily do.

AS 3760 also recommends an “Operating Time Test” be conducted at regular intervals. This test requires a special instrument which measures how quickly your RCD switches off the power to your circuits. You will need an electrician or qualified person to perform this test.

For more information call Safety Action on (03) 9690 6311 or email for a Fact Sheet on this topic.

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