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RCBOs (known as residual current devices or RCDs)

Additional requirements relating to the supply of RCBO’s designed to be permanently fixed to household or similar electrical wiring in Victoria.

ESV has imposed additional requirements on the supply of RCBOs (known as RCDs) designed to be permanently fixed to household or similar electrical wiring in Victoria

Suppliers must undertake additional testing and verification that will ensure their products still operate satisfactorily if there is a defect in the installation or if the product has been installed incorrectly.

The requirements are listed in the document Additional testing and verification requirements for RCBOs. Once suppliers provide evidence to ESV that their products meet the new requirements they can then apply to be included on an approved product register that will be published on the ESV website.

Any products that do not meet these new requirements will be prohibited from sale. Read the prohibition notice – supply of RCBOs.

The additional requirements have been imposed following a fatality in August 2016 in which it was found that a commonly used RCBO failed to operate. Further investigation involving a number of brands found that when there is 240V present on the load side of the device and there is a current leakage fault the RCD module is damaged rendering the RCD protection inoperative.

The two failure modes relating to the installation are:

  1. The device is installed in the opposite direction to the one indicated by the manufacturer
  2. There is a defect in the installation downstream from the device and there is 240V present on the load terminals when the device is in the off position.

ESV is currently compiling a list of RCBOs that comply with our additional testing and verification requirements. This list will be published as it becomes available.

Contact ESV

If you require further information, please contact ESV’s Equipment Safety Division on 03 9203 9700 or at