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Thread: RCD Breaker Vs GFCI Breaker

  1. #1
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    RCD Breaker Vs GFCI Breaker

    Greeting all,
    I am confused between RCD Breaker and GFCI Breaker. I have seen and heard RCD breaker and I have heard about the GFCI socket too.

    In most of SCOP OF WORK in projects, it is asked whether for RCD breaker or GFCI Socket and I have never heard about the GFCI Breaker.


    Can anybody tell me the difference between GFCI Breaker and RCD breaker

  2. #2
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    I believe the difference is sensitivity.
    The RCDs I have seen come with trip charismatics from 30 am to 300 ma.
    GFCIs have maximum of 5 ma if I recall correctly.
    At my age, I'm accustomed to restaurants asking me to pay in advance, but now my bank has started sending me their calendar one month at a time.

  3. #3
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    I believe they are essentially the same thing. You have to pay attention to the trip level, as there are different Ground-fault breakers: Trip level for personnel (GFCI) safety is set at 5 mA. Trip level protection for equipment (GFEP) is set at 30 mA. I believe that the RDC is somewhere near the GFEP values.

  4. #4
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    Yes, I have right now with me a catalog of RCD breaker with <10mA trip.

    But I want to know only difference between GFCI breaker, not GFCI Socket, and RCD breaker.


    Is there anything exist by the name of GFCI breaker, not GFCI socket.

    So, if anyone can advise me, i will appreciate it very much.

  5. #5
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    GFCI breakers are commonplace with all US panel manufacturers.
    They are more expensive that GFCI receptacles (which I assume is a socket) and therefore not as commonplace.
    To meet standards their trip rating is 5 ma or less, a lot lower than RCDs
    At my age, I'm accustomed to restaurants asking me to pay in advance, but now my bank has started sending me their calendar one month at a time.

  6. #6
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    The GFCI breaker has "Class A" Protection, with trip value set at 5mA +/- 1 mA.

    The so-called "socket" has the same level of protection.

  7. #7
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    GFCI is the term normally used in the USA.
    As others post, the standard trip setting is about 5ma which gives good protection against electric shock.
    GFCIs are available either to fit in a panel, or built in to a recepticle/socket outlet. The ones built into an outlet, also protect any downsteam outlets on the same circuit, if correctly wired.

    RCD is the term normally used in the UK, and the most common trip rating is 30ma though many other ratings exist.
    A UK type RCD normaly only protects against leakage to earth/ground, and does not protect against overload or short circuit, a fuse or MCB must also be employed to protect against short circuit or overload.
    A combined earth leakage and overload protective device is available, these are known as RCBOs.
    A UK RCD built into an outlet does NOT protect downstream outlets.
    The common 30ma trip current does in practice give good (but not total) protection against shock, especialy as they normally trip at about 20/25ma, and are faster acting than USA GFCIs.
    Last edited by broadgage; 02-01-10 at 05:24 AM. Reason: typo

  8. #8
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    Reno, Nv.
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    Rcd

    A GFCI breaker typically is part of a load center or panelboard system. 5ma is for personnel protection, other ma trip values are available for equipment protection purposes.

    An RCD, or residual current device, is usually a separate panel mount device (such as a DIN rail mounted mini circuit breaker) and is designed specifically for equipment protection. Heat trace would be a good example of an application where equipment protection was required and must be tailored (30ma, 100ma) to the installation. Although RCD's may have a 5ma protection rating, I do not believe that they are rated for personnel potection.

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