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Old 3rd May 2011, 9:08 AM   #1
bonox Thread Starter
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Default is RCD mandatory on GPO?

I had a rather large electrical group in sydney out to install a pair of 20A GPOs (flat pin) in a residential property.

Since they are primarily intended to run some heavy motors, I requested a quote for a pair of D curve breakers and whatever RCD is required to protect the pair of circuits.

Quote was sent with 2x20A circuit installation+MCB/RCD noted, which I signed and returned.

Happy fella turned up to do the installation, and left behind a pair of 20D mcb's and no independant RCD.

Upon razzing head office I was told that no-one makes a combined rcd/mcb in d curve and because i was running machinery I didn't need an rcd.

Now, since this is a flat pin gpo, i also plug my hand tools into the circuits (which is why I wanted GPO's and not round pin specials or hard wired machines) and the decision to ignore the RCD on the quote was not made in consultation with me.

My question at this point, ignoring the poor customer service, is the legallity of having a pair of GPO's with no RCD - is this allowed? My way out of the mess is to back off to a C type RCBO (the circuits are slightly over-rated anyway and the 5-10n is sufficient for the motor start anyway since they are mostly unloaded at start) or to buy a plugin RCD to use with the hand-tools. This still doesn't help me if the presence of the pair of open outlets isn't legal though.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 10:29 AM   #2
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Can you keep the D-Curve breaker and get a seperate RCD?

I'd hold them to their quote and ask them to come up with a fair solution.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 10:35 AM   #3
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i'd like that solution, which is the same pattern as the rest of the house. Will a 20A RCD handle 300A for 10 seconds? Not that it would actually see that, but i guess you need to size it to the rest of the circuit...?


Still don't know if the existing installation contravenes the regulations in nsw though.... thoughts?
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Old 3rd May 2011, 11:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonox View Post
Still don't know if the existing installation contravenes the regulations in nsw though.... thoughts?
I'm pretty sure it does - if it's a new power point circuit, it's gotta have an RCD. If it was fixed wiring to a machine, ie. no plug & socket, then it wouldn't require one.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 3:50 PM   #5
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20A isn't that heavy, add another zero and you're starting to talk :P

Seriously though, it is irrelevant what you intend to use the GPOs for, they are legally required to have RCD protection. Clipsal's RCD range for example has two and four pole available in 40 and 63A, which indicates their continuous current rating before they melt. There is no rule that says the RCD/MCB must be combined into one unit, but there is certainly one that all GPO's need RCD protection!
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Old 3rd May 2011, 4:19 PM   #6
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Any particular reason why you can't have one round pin/captive outlet + d-curve breaker installed for your plant and a standard GPO + combined RCD/MCB installed for your hand tools?

Not exactly what you wanted, I know, but it just seems heaps easier to me. Plus, even the knobs that quoted you should be able to sort that out, and at a lower price too.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 4:20 PM   #7
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a normal gpo requires a RCD but being a 20A and well its not a gpo circuit i think it doesnt.

GPO is general power outlet.

same how im 99% sure 15A aircon points don't need a gpo.

i can check my as3000 friday if need be
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Old 3rd May 2011, 4:25 PM   #8
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i used to do installs in factories. You can buy GPOs with RCDs built into them, this sounds like your best option. (machines for one gpo, hand tools for seperate gpo with rcd)
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Old 3rd May 2011, 4:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xc351 View Post
a normal gpo requires a RCD but being a 20A and well its not a gpo circuit i think it doesnt.

GPO is general power outlet.

same how im 99% sure 15A aircon points don't need a gpo.

i can check my as3000 friday if need be
No need

Clause 2.6.3.2 Other electrical installations
Additional protection by RCDs with a maximum rated residual current of 30mA shall be provided for final subcircuits sypplying -
(a) socket-outlets having a rated current no exceeding 20A

and 2.6.3.1 doesn't specify a maximum outlet rating at all, so even 15A aircon points need one. Basically, if it's possible for an unqualified person to plug and unplug from it, it needs one. Bear in mind that it's not limited to single phase outlets, 20A 3 phase outlets would be covered under this clause as well.

I'd be betting that the person you spoke to at head office has never even read AS/NZS3000.....

Last edited by sbadman; 3rd May 2011 at 4:35 PM.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 4:31 PM   #10
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As far as I know (since I last checked over a year ago) ALL socket outlets and lighting points are required to be on an RCD protected circuit.

If the new sockets are on new circuits, they MUST be on an RCD.

If the new sockets are attached to an existing non rcd protected circuit, then the circuit MUST have RCD protection installed.

If the sparky swapped a worn/broken socket with a new identical one then they dont have to be on an RCD if an RCD was not originally installed. Although it is highly recommended.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 4:40 PM   #11
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If it is a fixed piece of machinery and therefore, assuming that it will remain the only piece of equipment used of the 20A outlet, it does not legally require a RCD.

edit: but the outlet needs a label stating that it doesnt have RCD protection and that it is for a dedicated piece of equipment.

That bieng said, you asked for and paid for an RCD and one should have been installed. As previously stated RCD modules can be installed at the GPO, especially easy if a "56 series" weatherproof/captive/industrial outlet has been used.

edit2:
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Originally Posted by bonox View Post
i also plug my hand tools into the circuits
just re-read OP and as you plan to use portable equipment on said gpo's, it does require a RCD
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Old 3rd May 2011, 8:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by <BlueRaven> View Post
Any particular reason why you can't have one round pin/captive outlet + d-curve breaker installed for your plant and a standard GPO + combined RCD/MCB installed for your hand tools?
two machines = two circuits. These two points are intended to cover a pair of 4kW motors, a VFD and a welder. There's a very specific reason I wanted flat pin GPO's. I will only have a pair of machines running together, but they'll get swapped around regularly.

That said, I see no reason why you shouldn't have an rcd on any equipment with a visible and unarmoured flex lead - it may be a 5hp saw, but that doesn't mean you can't damage the lead or get an internal fault that an rcd would pick up without you having to rely on a heavy earth lead to cover until the breaker blows.

Especially when the breaker will let you put 300A through the circuit for a reasonable amount of time, it becomes a little about fire risk mitigation as well as personal safety.

Old mate in charge of the job said he'd try to find a solution a couple of weeks ago - time to remind him I think....

Thanks all for the AS feedback. Makes it even easier to argue for what I requested if the install is illegal.

Last edited by bonox; 3rd May 2011 at 8:44 PM.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 9:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbadman View Post
No need

Clause 2.6.3.2 Other electrical installations
Additional protection by RCDs with a maximum rated residual current of 30mA shall be provided for final subcircuits sypplying -
(a) socket-outlets having a rated current no exceeding 20A

and 2.6.3.1 doesn't specify a maximum outlet rating at all, so even 15A aircon points need one. Basically, if it's possible for an unqualified person to plug and unplug from it, it needs one. Bear in mind that it's not limited to single phase outlets, 20A 3 phase outlets would be covered under this clause as well.

I'd be betting that the person you spoke to at head office has never even read AS/NZS3000.....
Spot on. I was waiting for someone to bring this up. As stated a socket outlet (whether it be single or 3 phase) with a rated current of more than 20A doesnt need to be on a RCD by the regs.

Saying that, if it were a residential premises where this socket outlet was being used to supply power to different appliances, i would probably still whack it on an rcd.

Out of interest what the FLC of the motors you plan on running??

Cheers, Nick.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 10:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAAZMAN View Post
If it is a fixed piece of machinery and therefore, assuming that it will remain the only piece of equipment used of the 20A outlet, it does not legally require a RCD.
When the AS3000 refers to fixed machinery (Clause 1.4.6 to 1.4.10), I think you'll find it makes no difference to the requirement of an RCD if it is connected to the supply via a socket outlet. (refer clause 4.3.1 to 4.3.4,

If the machinery is bolted down, but you can still unplug it, the circuit requires an RCD as indicated by clause 2.6.3.1 and 2.6.3.2 as posted previously.

There is no provision for a fixed appliance (1.4.7) not requiring an RCD if it is on a socket outlet.

In fact, clause 2.6.3.1 (c) states that an RCD is required for "directly connected hand-held electrical equipment, e.g. directly connected hair dryers or tools;" when installed in residential, domestic or common areas.

Clause 2.6.3.2 (c) reiterates the RCD being required for direct connected tools.




Can people please stop inventing hearsay about these things? It's ignorant, stupid and just plain dangerous.
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Old 4th May 2011, 1:08 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by TERRA Operative View Post
Can people please stop inventing hearsay about these things? It's ignorant, stupid and just plain dangerous.
Especially after the correct info has been posted.

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