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What are ELCB and RCCB


An Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (ELCB) and a Residual Current Circuit Breaker (RCCB) are safety devices used in electrical systems to prevent electrocution.

An ELCB is an electrical safety device that trips a


circuit when it detects an imbalance between the current flowing into the circuit and the current flowing out of the circuit. This imbalance indicates a leakage of current to earth, which is a dangerous condition that can cause electrocution.



An RCCB is a type of safety device that is similar to an ELCB but operates differently. Instead of detecting an imbalance in current flow, an RCCB detects any residual current flowing in the circuit. This residual current can be due to a fault in the electrical system, such as a broken conductor, which creates a direct path for current to flow to earth. The


RCCB trips the circuit when it detects this residual current, thereby preventing electrocution.

The case of a family of three being electrocuted in the shower in Singapore sadly reminds us of the important role both ELCBs and RCCBs play in ensuring electrical safety by quickly disconnecting the power supply in the event of a fault, thereby reducing the risk of electrical shock and electrocution.


In the course of our work, we notice that there are many electrical installations not properly installed with RCD(what ELCB and RCCB are collectively known as). In fact SS638:2018 Code of practice for electrical installation specifically states that all switch socket outlets below 32A for general use must be fitted with a RCD. Below is an extract from this code of practice


It is so important that EMA imposes a demerit point if the above is not complied with. This is considered a serious violation. See 1006 below:



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