Prohibition of Type AC RCDs
As stipulated in AS/NZS 3000:2018 Wiring Rules clause 126.96.36.199.2, Type AC RCDs must not be installed in Australia from 1 May 2023. This change is due to the increased use of electronics, solar energy generation and other similar products with a high direct current (DC) waveform component.
Only Type A, Type B or Type F RCDs may be installed from 1 May 2023. Type A RCDs are the most suitable replacement designed to operate on both residual sinusoidal alternating current and residual pulsating direct currents. This requirement also applies to builders’ power pole supplies as they’re regarded as an installation, and electronic components used by the building industry are plugged into these poles.
The following symbols can be found on an RCD to indicate the RCD type:
From 1 May 2023, Type AC RCDs must not be installed in any of the following circumstances:
- New electrical installations.
- New final sub-circuits.
- Alterations to an existing final sub-circuit that requires an RCD to now be installed.
- Existing equipment containing RCDs that is connected to fixed wiring and energised for the first time at a new location, including:
- building and construction sites;
- demolition sites;
- shows, carnivals and similar events; and
- fixed or “hard” wired transportable structures.
This means a Preliminary/Notice of Completion submitted for any of the above circumstances from 1 May 2023 will require the fitting of the Type A RCD to help with the protection of circuits containing both AC and DC operated equipment with electronic components.
It is not mandatory to replace existing Type AC RCDs that have been installed in a permanent location, tested and certified prior to 1 May 2023, even if they are not yet energised.
When replacing electrical equipment with an equivalent item in a permanent location, such as socket outlets; luminaires; heating; cooling and the like, you are not required to replace the existing RCD provided the correct operation is ensured.
RCDs must be marked with the regulatory compliance mark (RCM). This is in addition to any other marks which indicate the RCD type, such as the Type A symbol above.
The RCM looks like this:
Marking with these approval marks is evidence that the RCD complies with the applicable Australian Standards for RCDs. Only RCDs that are marked with the RCM or an approval number may be used in electrical installations in Australia.
This is important to ensure that RCDs meet minimum safety and quality standards and are appropriate for use in Australia.
Be aware that some RCDs and other electrical equipment that are sold online may not comply with Australian Standards. It is always recommended to only purchase electrical equipment, such as RCDs from reputable retailers that offer a recall guarantee. Never purchase or install RCDs unless they are marked with either the RCM or relevant approval number.
If you are unsure whether an RCD is compliant, request a copy of the certificate of conformity from your wholesaler or supplier before purchasing or installing. You can also search the model number on the Electrical Equipment Safety Scheme register at www.eess.gov.au.
Updated 12/05/2022 – in WA only RCM marking is accepted in accordance with EESS approval requirements.
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