Residual Current Devices - Clarification

In a previous e-News, some confusion was generated by the wording contained in the below article. 

The article has since been updated to clarify the requirements directly relating to the installation of RCDs in residential properties that are coming up for sale, rent or lease.

It is a requirement under the Electricity Regulations 1947 to ensure that when a residential property comes up for sale, rent or lease, the property must have a minimum of two RCDs installed, protecting all light and power circuits. The interpretation of this has been that if all circuits are protected and were installed compliant to the Wiring Rules at the time of installation the requirements of the Electricity Regulations 1947 were met.

It has come to NECA WA's attention that EnergySafety has been conducting audits on rental properties and issuing orders where more than three circuits are protected by one RCD, even though the installation would have complied with the Wiring Rules at the time of installation.

NECA WA sought clarification from EnergySafety and received the following response:

  1. If contractors are carrying out electrical installation work at any property, the work must be carried out in accordance with the most current version of the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules; and 
  2. If contractors are engaged to check the compliance of an electrical installation at a residential property prior to lease or sale, they must inform their customers of the requirement to ensure RCDs are installed in accordance with the most current version of the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules, prior to lease or sale. This will ensure that compliance with the Electricity Regulations 1947 - Part IV Residual current devices is met.

In addition to this NECA WA sought legal opinion and the opinion has confirmed the EnergySafety position.

Therefore, if members are conducting compliance checks for residential properties that are for sale, rent or lease, they must ensure the RCDs are compliant with the current version of AS/NZS 3000. This requirement also applies when conducting compliance checks on existing tenancies.