The difference between a circuit breaker (MCB) and a RCD

14th January 2018

MCB’s and RCD’s are both devices used to protect users and equipment from any abnormal electric current in an electrical circuit by isolating the electrical supply. But, what is the difference?

MCB stands for Miniature Circuit Breaker, and is an electrical switch designed to automatically work to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by overcurrent. Its basic function is to interrupt current flow (break the circuit) after a fault is detected.

An RCD, which stands for Residual Current Device, is designed for human safety, and can often be life-saving. It prevents or minimises the risk of injury from an electric shock if you were to touch anything live (bare wires etc). The RCD works by detecting an imbalance in the circuit, and automatically cutting off all power before injury or electrocution can occur.

RCDs offer a level of personal protection that fuses and circuit-breakers cannot.

For more information or advice on fuses, circuit breakers and electrical devices, please don’t hesitate to give us a call! 0113 292 6123.