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What's the difference between a safety switch and a circuit breaker?

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The main difference between a safety switch (or RCD) and a circuit breaker (often referred to as a fuse) is a safety switch protects people from electrical accidents and the circuit breaker protects wiring and electrical systems in your home.

Difference between a safety switch and circuit breaker

What does a safety switch do?

Safety switches monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit and detect imbalances in the live and neutral wires which can occur when the current is travelling through something else (like a person) potentially causing an electric shock. The safety switch instantly activates reducing the risk of electric shock by switching the power on that circuit off within 0.03 of a second.

Safety Switch
Safety Switch

Find out more - safety switches

What does a circuit breaker do?

A circuit breaker or fuse provides protection for the electrical circuits in your home. Cutting the power when it detects a high current fault or overload such as when too many appliances are plugged into a power point.

Circuit Breaker
Circuit Breaker

RCD or fuse - understand the differences

One safety switch may not be enough

Victorian legislation states that a safety switch must be installed on the power point circuit and the lighting circuit of new homes, however, many older homes are still without the protection of a safety switch or only have coverage on the power point circuit.

Electrical safety regulators are now recommending homeowners and landlords install a safety switch on each circuit including lights, air conditioning, oven, hot water system and pool equipment circuits to provide full electrical protection for residents.

Protect your family from electrical accidents by installing a safety switch. Contact our licenced Melbourne electricians on 1300 360 215 or complete our service request form today.

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