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RCD Residual Current Device Nelson

Posted on 20 July, 2014 at 21:50 Comments comments (0)

Installing RCD Safety Switches in your meter box or distribution board and testing them regularly is a small investment in money and time. It will provide long term protection for you and your family against serious injury and death.

Every day activities such as screwing shelving into a wall or using an electrical appliance can turn deadly without the protection of a RCD Safety Switch. Every year New Zealand people are killed in preventable home electrical accidents each year and many more are hospitalised with serious injuries.

What is a RCD Safety Switch?

Safety Switches or RCD’s (Residual Current Devices) provide a fast power cut- off in problem situations. Electrical hazards are often hidden and can be difficult to identify, such as a small hole in an extension lead or a power board damaged internally. Electrical accidents occur in an instant and RCDs are the only device that can protect you and your family from these hidden dangers and give you a second chance. 

How does an RCD Safety Switch work?

An RCD Safety Switch protects by constantly monitoring the current flowing in the Active and Neutral wires supplying a circuit or an individual item of equipment. Under normal circumstances, the current flowing in the two wires is equal. When an earth leakage occurs due to a fault in the circuit or an accident with the equipment, an imbalance occurs and this is detected by the RCD, which automatically cuts off the power before injury or damage can result.

RCD Safety Switches are extremely sensitive, disconnecting in under 20 milliseconds of detecting a leakage current. This stops the flow of electricity through someone’s body to earth. Importantly, this response time is much faster than the critical section of the cardiac cycle and therefore significantly reduces the risk of death or serious injury. RCDs also protect against fire caused by faults in appliances, tools and wiring. If these faults go undetected they could cause a fire or personal injury.

Safety Switch Types

There are four main types of RCD Safety Switches:

1. Meter box mounted RCD Safety Switches

These are generally located alongside circuit breakers in the main meter box or distribution board of the residence.

2. Combination RCD Safety Switches and Circuit Breakers

These devices protect the electrical circuits and appliances as well as preventing electrocution and are an attractive option for retro-fitting into existing meter boxes with little or no spare space.

3. Portable RCD Safety Switches

These attach to a power board or extension lead and only protect the circuits of appliances connected to them. They are essential for people using power tools or electrical appliances outside that are not protected by a meter box RCD or power point RCD.

4. Power Point RCD Safety Switches 

Are fitted to a power point and can be distinguished by the test button on the face plate. They must be fitted to the first power point after the meter box. They are suitable for protecting electrical appliances in specific areas such as bathrooms and workshops.

Checking if your house has RCD Safety Switches installed

RCD Safety Switches are required by law in Nelson and are to be fitted by a licensed registered electrician at the origin of the power and lighting circuits which will be at the main meter box or distribution board for the residence. They can be identified by the test button on the front of the device. 

If you are unsure whether you have RCD Safety Switches installed in your home in Nelson, you can contact Payless Electrical and we can send you a qualified registered Master electrician to supply and fit your RCDs.

What is the difference between an RCD Safety Switches and a Circuit Breaker?

An RCD Safety Switch looks similar to a Circuit Breaker but it has an additional test button. Many homes already have circuit breakers installed, however circuit breakers only protect against overloading and short circuits they do not prevent electrocution.


Testing your RCD Safety Switches 

To ensure that the RCD Safety Switches fitted to your home perform correctly, they must be tested at regular intervals. AS/NZS 3760 2010 recommends that each RCD be tested every three months or if using a portable RCD a push button test should be performed before each use by the operator.

To test your RCD Safety Switch press the ‘test’ button on the front of the device and then release it. The button will only test the RCD if an electricity supply is connected.

Pressing the test button will simulate an earth leakage fault and indicates whether the device is operating correctly. When an RCD Safety Switch operates all power is lost to the equipment, power point or circuit protected by the RCD. To restore power simply move the “on/off” switch back to the “on” position. Electrical clocks and timing devices may have to be reset.

If your RCD Safety Switch fails to operate contact Payless Electrical and we can arrange for a qualified registered electrician to test your RCD and replace if necessary.

Payless Electrical Nelson will provide a registered licenced electrician to assess if your RCD Safety Switches meet the regulations. However, you can do a simple check to determine if your residence is protected in accordance with the new legislation as follows.

Plug a small lamp into a power point and make sure it works. Leave it turned on.

Make sure that electricity is connected to the property and the main switch is in the on position. The lamp should be on.

Turn off all electronic equipment (computers and televisions) etc

Push the test button on each RCD Safety Switch. Do not hold your finger on the test button. The RCD Safety Switch should operate (turn off). If it does not operate, it must be checked by an electrician.

After pushing the test button and the RCD Safety Switch have turned off check that the small lamp is now off. Also check that all the lights and power points do not operate. To do this, plug the small lamp into all the power points and turn the power point on. If the lamp turns on a licensed registered electrician must be engaged to correct the wiring.

When finished testing, turn the RCD Safety Switch back on and check that the lamp works when plugged into a power-point.

Nuisance Tripping

In most cases of RCD Safety Switch tripping it will concern appliances or situations that involve at least one or a combination of three conditions, all of which requires a licensed electrician to rectify.

1. Moisture causing electricity to leak to earth in an appliance or within premises wiring.

2. A heating element that is either faulty or drawing sudden electrical surges.

3. An appliance with an electric motor that is either faulty or drawing sudden electrical surges.

If you have trouble with constant or intermittent RCD Safety Switch tripping or if you wish to have RCD Safety Switches installed in your house, contact Payless Electrical and we can arrange for a licensed registered Master electrician in Nelson to come and assist you.


Kitchen Lighting design and install Nelson

Posted on 13 July, 2014 at 0:55 Comments comments (0)

Kitchen Lighting

Kitchen remodels are one of the most popular home improvement projects in the nation for good reason. Fewer areas of the home can benefit from upgrading old, outdated equipment and systems (plumbing, electrical, etc.) like a kitchen can. Aside from replacing old appliances with new ones that function better and making the room more pleasing to look at, replacing and reworking fixtures, work spaces, cabinetry, and other kitchen components can really turn a room into something unique and well-suited to the needs of your particular household. It doesn't hurt, either, that homes with newly remodeled kitchens are both easier to sell and often recover a significant amount of construction costs in added market value!

Kitchen Lighting Basics

Homeowners who renovate their kitchens often breeze past one of the most important concerns: the kitchen lighting. It's a common oversight because many homeowners mistakenly believe that they have to forego adequate kitchen lighting in order to use this room in a modern way. With good design, common sense, and some of the latest lighting technology, your kitchen can remain the center of life in your house while providing plenty of light for your work.

There are three major types of kitchen lighting:

Ambient lighting is the general light in the room. Good ambient light allows you to work safely in most areas of the kitchen and provides the overall lighting feel for the space.

Task lighting provides higher and more focused levels of light to a particular work area, keeping in mind the essence of getting the light to where you need it. This is mostly found in closets, pantries, cabinets, or drawers. Task lighting takes advantage of small light sources and makes specific jobs much easier.

Accent lighting is even more focused and highlights objects or areas you want to show off, such as artwork, glassware, or special pottery. Though this kind of kitchen lighting isn't meant to make your workspace a more functional place, it can add an aesthetic touch to the room that will enhance the space and bring your newly remodeled kitchen to life.

Know Your Kitchen Lighting Options

There are many new products and ideas that can help you enhance the charm and form of every aspect of your kitchen; lighting might seem like a "no brainer" but it can be trickier than you think. The problem is that even well-informed homeowners might not know about all their options. In most cases, getting a little help from a electrician will give you a far better idea not only of what's available, but of how newer products (and older products, as well) are likely to perform and hold up.

Reviewing all the possibilities with a lighting designer, a knowledgeable interior decorator, or a registered New Zealand electrician can actually save you money and hassle in the long run. These professionals will be happy to help you discover how to provide the best light for the least money and will be able to provide excellent advice on products or brands that they've seen work well in the past.

If you are looking for an Electrician in Nelson Payless Electrical can design and install all your lighting and power needs.