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Discuss RCD being used as a main switch in the Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. Paul Hamill
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    Paul Hamill EF Member

    Is it against the regs to use and RCD as a main switch ? I have been told it is but Im struggling to see anything that confirms so. Im looking at 314.1 in the regs book but that doesn't say anything about an RCD being used as a main.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    That's going to make some domestic CU's with TT supplies problematic.
     
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  3. Paul Hamill
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    Paul Hamill EF Member

    Im not installing one personally but I am inspecting a lot of facilities and there has been RCDs used as main switches. Thats why I ask.
     
  4. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Sorry, as its a Bank Holiday being a bit flippant. You could use an S Type RCD as main switch on TT supply, as it negates issue of internal single insulated manufacturers tails on dual RCD's, shorting on metal enclosure. You could use a 30mA RCD as main switch on small garage CU etc. But if you used a 30 mA on larger installs, it would (not) provide very good division of services, would it?

    Edit
     
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    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  5. Leesparkykent
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    Leesparkykent You Rock Gmes Staff Member Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kent
    The regs aren't going to explicitly state about using an RCD as a main switch etc. Its about division to minimise disruption.
     
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    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Flanders
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    Flanders Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Tamworth
    As lee says its about avoiding disruption from nucence tripping i think there is a reg number for that , so try looking in the regs book for that
     
  7. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    In some cases its unavoidable ....
     
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  8. Paul Hamill
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    Paul Hamill EF Member

    I know its going to cause nuisance tripping and not ideal but I am was looking for a reg to back up that its not correct. We are doing inspections and have been told to pull it as being a Life health safety issue. Thats the term they use out here for a C1. Would any of you back home write it up as a C1 ?
     
  9. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Absolutely NOT

    C3 maybe but I think you would struggle to justify that.
     
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  10. Leesparkykent
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    Leesparkykent You Rock Gmes Staff Member Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kent
    no
     
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  11. Flanders
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    Flanders Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Tamworth
    How can there be a danger to life or property due to the main switch being an rcd, remember as others have said some installations have to have an rcd as a main switch , the most it would get is a code 3 or just info
     
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  12. Paul Hamill
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    Paul Hamill EF Member

    Thats my argument, to me its not unsafe to be used as a main, just bad practice in certain situations. Thanks for the replies.
     
  13. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Unless the property had essential medical equipment reliant on electrical supply.
     
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  14. spinlondon
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    spinlondon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Harlow Essex
    For many this is not just bad practice, it's a non-compliance which would in some cases warrant a code C2.
     
  15. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Reminds me of another from our American cousins;

     
  16. Des 56
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    Des 56 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Gliese 581C

    Whilst trying to justify some sort of reason for a perfectly healthy electrical system,it was suggested that Granny could tumble down the stairs in the dark and meet her maker ( her faulty Teasmade failed to make the late night cuppa)

    The moral of the tale is that Granny should not rely on a single Rcd or she may be safer drinking squash

    When one Rcd was the norm,the terrible danger should have been made known to the 100% who managed to survive ;)
     
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  17. spinlondon
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    spinlondon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Harlow Essex
    Not aware that one RCD has ever been the norm?
     
  18. Flanders
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    Flanders Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Tamworth
    Ive seen a lot of house on tncs supplys with one main rcd , some i know were built in the early 90s when the 16th addition had just com out.
     
  19. spinlondon
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    spinlondon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Harlow Essex
    One RCD covering everything, or just one for down stairs sockets?
     
  20. Ian1981
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    Ian1981 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North east
    Coding is down to the inspector of the installation.
    If you feel strongly that a rcd main switch gives potential danger then code it.
    If you think it's inconvenient at best but isn't a safety issue note it on the eicr.
    An rcd tripping causing loss of power to the upstairs lighting can still occur with a dual rcd db yes hopefully the upstairs sockets aren't effected and a bedside lamp can be used for lighting.
     
  21. Des 56
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    Des 56 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Gliese 581C
    Then you never lived in my part of the world to see in the early seventies
    If there happened to be any sort of circuit breaker it would have been a voltage operated elcb
    The Rcd that replaced these were fitted to almost every household electrical system that existed in that location
     
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  22. HandySparks
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    HandySparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Hampshire
    Business Name:
    Neish Electrical Services
    Quite.
    Loads of houses on a TT supply with one upfront ELCB or RCD.

    If total loss of power is regarded as a significant safety issue, then emergency lighting or an automatic-start backup generator should be installed to cater for power cuts. Or a UPS fitted to specific items of essential equipment.
     
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  23. Specialist
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    Specialist Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Yep: Front end ELCB or RCD covering the whole installation was the norm down here too, still lots of them in daily use.
     
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  24. driverman
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    driverman DIY

    Location:
    England
    OP, are you referring to a domestic installation?
    On a distribution system, many installations use a RCD as main isolation switch.
     
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  25. electric al
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    electric al Regular EF Member

    Location:
    sheffield
    Err how can a bedside be used and how can the sockets not be affected ?? The point is the rcd is the main isolator switch and also controls all circuits !
     
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  26. Ian1981
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    Ian1981 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North east
    Talking about a dual rcd db and that you can have up lights on one rcd and up sockets on the other thus if rcd protecting up lights trips then at least a bedside lamp can be used on the upstairs sockets so there can be some light.
    Read it again!
     
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  27. electric al
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    electric al Regular EF Member

    Location:
    sheffield
    IMG-20170421-WA0000.jpg IMG-20170421-WA0000.jpg
     
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  28. electric al
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    electric al Regular EF Member

    Location:
    sheffield
    Picture of one such installation I visited
    Just today
     
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  29. Ian1981
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    Ian1981 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North east
    I'm lost!
    I was referring to a dual rcd consumer unit I would have to go and read through the entire thread again to see what context I brought this up with.
    Hope you commented on lack of circuit identification tho :)
     
  30. electric al
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    electric al Regular EF Member

    Location:
    sheffield
    Yeah good idea - re read the thread .
    The convo wasn't about a dual rcd .
     
  31. Ian1981
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    Ian1981 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North east
    Na thread was a week ago we've all moved on since!
     
  32. electric al
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    electric al Regular EF Member

    Location:
    sheffield
    Always best to stick to the point . Seems you like to throw the odd Spaniard in the works . Still there ? Move on fella
     
  33. Ian1981
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    Ian1981 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    North east
    Like this thread, I already did "move on"
     
  34. electric al
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    electric al Regular EF Member

    Location:
    sheffield
    Be relevant then . Commenting on Australia in a geography exam , when the
    Question is about China will get you marked down lol
     
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  35. MrLights
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    MrLights Aldo the Haldo

    I've never ever used RCD's in a domestic installation. Split load 2 RCD boards are not for me! 100A main breaker/isolator with RCBO's is the only way. AMEN :eek:
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  36. i=p/u
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    i=p/u Trusted Advisor

    Double pole
     
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