Concept

Residual-current device

Summary
A residual-current device (RCD), residual-current circuit breaker (RCCB) or ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is an electrical safety device that quickly breaks an electrical circuit with leakage current to ground. It is to protect equipment and to reduce the risk of serious harm from an ongoing electric shock. Injury may still occur in some cases, for example if a human receives a brief shock before the electrical circuit is isolated, falls after receiving a shock, or if the person touches both conductors at the same time. If the RCD device has additional overcurrent protection integrated in the same device, it is referred to as RCBO. An earth leakage circuit breaker may be an RCD, although an older type of voltage-operated earth leakage circuit breaker (ELCB) also exists. These electrical wiring devices are designed to quickly and automatically isolate a circuit when it detects that the electric current is unbalanced between the supply and return conductors of a circuit.
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