Residual-current Device - Combined With Overcurrent Devices

Combined With Overcurrent Devices

Residual-current and overcurrent protection may be combined in one device for installation into the service panel; this device is known as a GFCI breaker (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) in USA/Canada and as an RCBO (residual-current circuit breaker with overload protection) in Europe. In the US, RCBOs are more expensive than RCD outlets.

As well as requiring both line and neutral (or 3-phase) input and output, GFCI/RCBO devices require a functional earth (FE) connection. For reasons of space some devices use flying leads rather than screw terminals, especially for the neutral input and FE connections.

More than one RCD feeding another is unnecessary, provided they have been wired properly. One exception is the case of a TT earthing system where the earth loop impedance may be high, meaning that a ground fault might not cause sufficient current to trip an ordinary circuit breaker or fuse. In this case a special 100 mA (or greater) trip current time-delayed RCD is installed covering the whole installation and then more sensitive RCDs should be installed downstream of it for sockets and other circuits which are considered high risk.

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