If you had an electrician in Medway quoting for electrical works in your home, they may have mentioned that RCD protection is required to be installed for the works to comply with the current electrical regulations.
But what's an RCD and what's the point of having it?
According to Electrical Safety First,
“Government statistics show that electricity causes more than 20,000 fires a year – almost half of all accidental UK house fires. Each year, about 70 people are killed and 350,000 are seriously injured due to an electrical accident in the home” [….] “It’s easy to make an electrical circuit work – it’s far harder to make the circuit work safely”.
Those statistics are really daunting and by having your electrical installation protected by an RCD it reduces significantly the chance of you becoming part of the statistics.
RCD stands for Residual Current Device and its job is to monitor imbalances on the electricity flow that goes through it and subsequently through your installation.
If something goes wrong and you may start getting electrocuted, what is actually happening, is electricity chooses that easiest path to the earth (that's your body).
When this happens it creates an imbalance to the flow of the electricity through the RCD which causes it to trip, and this is happening in less that 40ms, that's 0.04 seconds or less, in this time electricity will still give a small kick but nothing that can cause any serious harm to a healthy human.
Without all the technicalities, the job of the RCD is to protect you and your family from the dangers of electric hazards. Something that the older fuseboxes can't do, although sometimes it may still trip or burn this is not something to count on as their job is only to protect the wiring and not the user, that's you and your family.
Before I close this article I feel that must address the popular misconception ''It's working fine for the last 20,30,50 years so this means everything is fine'' and that's a mistake a lot of home owners in Medway do. The old fuseboxes are unable to detect a lot of the faults that may exist in your electrical installation and basically is an accident waiting to happen.
When you upgrading your old fusebox to a new 18th Edition consumer unit, part of the job is to test the quality of your installation that sometimes may revile some serious issues, which an RCCD would have detected early enough for you to call your local Medway electrician to rectify them.
Electrical safety is constantly changes and gets better and better so you can feel safer inside your own home. The 18th Edition of the wiring regulations came into full effect on January 2019 and upgraded the level of protection even more.
Will get into more detail about the changes that the 18th Edition brought on my next article.