Differences between RCDs and circuit breakers
On sale there are 3 similar in appearance, but different in purpose protection devices. People often don’t understand the difference between the two:
The circuit breaker is designed to protect the apartment wiring against overloads and short-circuit currents. The device turns off the voltage, if somewhere in the network was a short circuit between the phase and neutral wire. Or there are too many consumers plugged into the socket whose total power exceeds the allowable.
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Residual current circuit breaker also triggers on overloads and short circuits. In addition, it shuts down the apartment in case of differential current leakage. For example, if the phase wire in the water heater is frayed and touched the grounded housing.
A ground fault interrupter reacts only to leakage currents. It will not shut down the apartment in case of overload or short circuit.
How to connect the water heater to electricity errors, choice of cable, sockets, circuit breakers.
For comfortable living in the house, when you want to use hot water all the time, and not depend on the repair schedule of monopolists that can turn off the water for an unknown number of days, many people think about buying a boiler.
often than not, the choice falls on the storage water heater. They come in a variety of brands like Ariston, Drazice, Baxi, etc.д., shapes and designs. flat, cylindrical or elongated.
Installation of pipes for cold and hot water may be different, but they are all plugged into 220 V network in the same way.
Many people mistakenly think that in order to connect the boiler, it’s enough to plug the plug into the socket and not to worry about more. However, they forget that it is in the boiler, in the case of a breach of insulation, through the water may come into direct contact with electricity man.
When renovating new apartments, the boiler is usually wired directly from the switchboard. If you want to connect the water heater to the old common wiring that already has several outlets, make sure that it will hold the boiler.
In most cases, with a capacity of up to 3.5 kW the wiring should be done with a 3-core copper cable VVGNG-Ls, cross section of at least 2.5 mm2.
Three-core cable is needed to ensure a permanent connection to ground.
Automatic boiler connection choose a two-pole. Rated circuit breaker current 16A (enough for a boiler up to 3.5 kW).
For loads up to 2kW, a circuit breaker with a rated current of 10A will do.
If the water heater is connected to the socket, the socket outlet must be IP44. These are outlets for rooms with a high level of humidity.
Remember that the socket in the bathroom can be placed only in certain places. And there are areas where it is strictly forbidden to do so. Read more about this in the article “Bathroom outlet. 5 placement rules.”.
If it says that this boiler can be connected in two ways
In addition, if you need to remove the unit from the wall, with a plug, you do not need to call an electrician to disconnect it from the power. Take the plug out, take it off, move it around, do whatever you want.
Powerful boilers over 3.5 kW, should be connected only directly through a circuit breaker, socket connection is not allowed here.
The cable should be routed in such a way that it doesn’t overlap with any water pipes or places where the heater will be installed.
It is obligatory to install RCD in the water heater supply line. Safety cutoff devices. Choose it with a current one order of magnitude higher than the current of the automatic burner control.
Why is better 10mA and not more, you can understand from this table the effect of current on the human body:
The significant disadvantage here is that at 10mA protection may trigger falsely. Especially if you have a water heater hanging for more than a year and in the terminal connections are often formed this condensate and moisture.
How to check if it is a false operation or defective heater itself? Use a multimeter for this.
Switch off the automatic unit or pull the plug out of the socket and disconnect the earthing from the titanium body.
Then remove the terminal clamps from the heater itself, and using feelers measure the resistance between the body of the boiler and the heating element.
If the heating element is good, the readings on the multimeter screen should tend to infinity, that is to be about this:
If there is a breakdown and damage to the heater, they will either be zero, but more often than not they can be several hundred and even kiloOhms. The photo below is just such a variant
Very often, in many of the latest models of boiler, a RCD with a leakage current of 15mA is already built into the cable for connecting to the socket. In this case, to install an additional device against the leakage current in the switchboard may not be necessary.
But do not forget that such a built-in RCD will only protect against leakage if there is a fault in the heater itself, but will not protect you if there is a fault directly in the socket or supply wiring up to it.
How to find such and other similar malfunctions and what it can lead to, you can read in the article “Electrocution in the bathroom. 5 reasons and what to do?”
And what to do, if you are not an expert in electricity and you yourself can not or do not want to climb into the electrical box, in order to mount there all the required apparatus protection. But you still need to protect yourself.
You plug it into an existing socket in the bathroom and through it plug in the plug from the boiler cord.
Will the circuit breaker on the boiler work if you don’t have a ground connection? It will. These two systems work together to complement each other.
In the case of a leakage current on the boiler without grounding, the protection device will work only when you directly touch the tank or the water from it (with the heaters turned on).
Diagram of connection of the boiler through the socket:
A conditional circuit with no outlet directly from the panelboard:
Do not do this categorically. The outlets should be away from the heater and above the faucets. Don’t forget the safety valve and possible leaks.
The valve will trip as the last line of defence if the thermostat fails. By the way, the thermostat should be checked first, when the light bulb on the panel is not lit and the elements do not heat. Look at the position of the button on the element, it may be “knocked out.
- A common mistake when you connect the unit directly into the outlet, is the desire to turn off the device by pulling the plug at a time when the water is not heated and the heater is still running
If its power reaches 3.5kW, it can cause arcing and sparking if the contacts are broken in this way. And since the bathroom is a room with high humidity, the consequences can be unpredictable.
The heating element that is installed inside, requires water cooling. Without it, it would simply burn out and fail. So before each power-up, check that there is water in the boiler.
And in general, it is not recommended to keep titanium without water. This will reduce its service life. A full tank contains less oxygen, and therefore there is less risk of corrosion.
And the magnesium anode, which also protects against rust formation, only works when the tank is full.
These two protection devices must duplicate each other. RCD protects against leakage current, and a simple circuit breaker protects against overload and short circuits.
If the budget allows, you can install one diff instead of these two protective elements.automatic circuit breaker, it will replace both devices.
How to choose the right RCD for the water heater and other appliances in the bathroom?
Modern electrical safety requirements for the household network, whether in an apartment or a private home provide for the installation and connection of two main types of protection. The first are circuit breakers that protect the network from short circuits and overloads. The second element is a ground fault interrupter (RCD), which ensures the safety of human life from electric shock when touching live parts or the occurrence of leakage currents. Such protection is especially important in rooms with high humidity, i.e. the bathroom. Therefore, let us dwell on the question of how to choose a RCD for a water heater or washing machine.
Feedback: LBX 10A RCD. The right device for household appliances and human protection from current
Back in 2011, after repairs in the bathroom, was purchased storage water heater Thermex Flat Diamond Touch ID 80V here it is, a steel beauty, which still hangs on the wall, pleases us with a stylish design and delivers uninterrupted hot water.
When buying this helper in the store, we were offered an additional feature for a fee (I do not remember the price).RCD connection to the power cord, in other words optional.
RCD. A safety disconnect device, and it is a small and compact plastic box on the regular power cord with a plug. It is fastened as desired by the buyer.
Its function is to provide disconnection of the electric appliance from the mains in case of current leakage and jumping voltage, as well as to protect a person from electric shock in case of wiring faults.
General view of the RCD on the cable to work with the RCD.
The main requirement for the connection of the socket and the electrical wiring connected to it must be able to handle a power of at least 2000 watts, so the instructions. Also, the outlet must be grounded and located in a place that is protected from moisture.
Our tank is hanging in the right corner and the cord length of 150 cm allowed my husband to make a socket in this place, it seems that all conditions are met, as evidenced by the excellent work of the tank and RCD for 6 years.
RCD itself has this compact form from different angles.
After the optional RCD equipment, just press the rectangular button, the left round button lights up red, it is an indicator, and the work continues.
In case of a malfunction, the RCD will trip and disconnect the entire tank from the power supply.
The parameters of the device are height 8 cm, width 4 cm, thickness 3 cm.
On the panel, 3 buttons: the first round and red light, means the operation of RCD and is lit with a red indicator. The second test to test the serviceability of the device, my husband pressed it the first time the water heater. The third-biggest one is on-off.
On the outside there is a little technical information.
Type of model LBX-10, voltage, amperage and tripping current of 30 mA are indicated.
On the reverse side are the date of manufacture and precautions in English.
RCD cord can be bought separately if broken.
Its full name. LBX 10A circuit breaker for a water heater Termex.
The cable itself has information in English and Russian that still hangs as a reminder.
The manual shows how to connect the device and the function of the three buttons on the front panel.
No complaints over the years of operation of the circuit breaker and to this day, no specialists have been contacted.
Once under the plastic wiring began to burn out, closer to the socket, and the water heater was turned on, so at the first problems, triggered the RCD, the signal went off, the indicator went out and the tank is unplugged. It was safe without electric shock, to do repairs. There were no other cases to test.
The socket was replaced, the circuit breaker was turned on and the work of the tank resumed.
Such a power cord with RCD will be suitable not only for the water heater model Termex, but also its brethren.
What RCD to put and how to connect it
Immediately it is worth clarifying that there are several options for connecting RCDs to the water heater: into the socket or through an additional cable made of copper.
Connection via a plug socket is possible for appliances with a low power rating. The socket outlet must be earthed and, if installed in the bathroom, must be resistant to moisture. Otherwise, the unit of high power will heat the socket and the tightness of the plug connection to the socket will weaken. As a consequence there will be an interval in the contacts and sparks will appear.
Connection by means of an auxiliary copper cable, which is connected to the electric bill and has a safety cut-off device. There is no mains plug and the switch-off is achieved by a circuit-breaker. The circuit breaker will protect the water heater, and the users will be protected by a safety device.
How to connect a RCD is clearly demonstrated in the following video.
Causes of tripping
Technically, you do not need to use safety systems. However, for water heaters, they are mandatory attributes. This is due to the fact that the structures are made of metal, and the water itself conducts current well. The use of water heaters without protective systems is unacceptable, because it can become a threat to human life.
RCDs are disconnected for several main reasons:
- Damage to the insulation of the heating element. This is what protects the entire system from the passage of current. Any user can safely wash his hands without fear of electrocution. However, in older or low-quality models of water heaters this element can be damaged. To check such phenomena can be checked only with the help of special devices.
- Current leakage. Very often the RCD knocks out if the cable inside the boiler or the power cord itself is damaged. It is necessary to pay attention to the fact that this can happen in almost any wire. Very often the cable itself is damaged from the inside, after which the current is already fed to the metal housing. To find the cause, it is very often necessary to take the heater apart and analyse the situation.
- Tripping mechanism does not work. This very often happens with cheap products from unknown companies. They may just not turn on after several operations.
- Wrong RCD location. If the device is connected in the wrong place, then it will analyze the wrong currents. If the heater fails, the system will not protect a person against current leakage.
Power cord with RCD 16/0,03A, connector terminals, L1290mm, 230V (69971, A65151728, WTH219UN), 66598
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The difference between an earth-leakage circuit breaker and a ground fault interrupter
We must clearly distinguish between RCD (differential circuit breaker) and a residual current circuit breaker (RCCB). They have slightly different functions, they operate in fundamentally different ways and their internal structure is also different.
RCD reacts only to leakage current. Automatic circuit breaker is a more complicated device, a part of which is just a device for circuit breaker. The differential circuit breaker operates not only against the above-mentioned leakage currents, but also at short circuits and overloads in the electrical network.
In addition to the RCD there are also thermal and electromagnetic trip units, reacting to those very high currents and short circuits.
Despite the great potential of a Diffavtomat, install it in a circuit with the water heater is not necessary, in the electrical panel is already a standard circuit breaker, which together with the RCD will perform the same functions. Duplication of protective devices is not recommended
The main component of a RCD is a differential transformer with three windings (incoming, outgoing, and control). Passing through the protective device electric current excites on them magnetic currents with directly opposite poles. In the absence of leakage, when the heater is intact, the sum of currents is zero.
But in case of heating element breakage or insulation breakdown, if a person touches a bare wire (or metal body of the boiler), the electric current will start to flow through his body to the ground. as a result the sum of currents from zero to positive.
Then the balance in the transformer is disturbed and the EMF acting on the internal relay immediately opens the circuit, RCDs are activated.
For more information on the differences between RCDs and residual current devices, as well as the choice of switching device for load shedding, see this article.
Power Cord with Uzo for Water Heater
The production of American company Raidmax has been present on the Russian market for a long time, and even periodically appeared on the pages of our website in the news column, but it has never been at our site for testing. In the near future we will try to pay more attention to this.
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