Testing of electrical leads and residual current devices (RCDs)

The testing of electrical leads and residual current devices (RCDs) used in circuses, travelling shows and other temporary installations is a requirement of the Health (Public Buildings) Regulations 1992 (external link).

How often should these be tested?

Electrical leads and RCDs should be tested every 12 months, in accordance with AS/NZS 3760.

Once a test has been carried out a tag should be fixed to the device. The tag should identify who carried out the tests and when they were done.

Where equipment is hired, installed and used by a hirer (dry hire) AS/NZS 3760 requires the organisation hiring out the equipment to test and tag equipment every time it is hired. When equipment remains under the control of the equipment owner then the 12 monthly tests apply.

Required tests

Electrical leads (single and three phase):

  • check that the insulation is in good order
  • check that the plug sockets and plug tops attached to the cord are the correct rating
  • check the continuity of each conductor
  • check that the conductors are correctly connected (correct polarity).

Residual current devices (RCDs)

Test 1 – Residual non-operating current

A current between 40 to 50 per cent of the rated tripping current should be passed between active and earth for 5 seconds. The RCD should not trip.

Test 2 – Tripping current and time test

A current equal to the rated tripping current of the RCD should be passed between active and earth. The RCD should trip within its specified time, which is usually 30 milliseconds.

Notes

  • The recommended tripping current is 30 milliamps.
  • Testing instruments are readily available from electrical wholesalers.
  • In addition to the above RCD tests, the inbuilt test facility should be operated each time that the unit is in use.
  • Portable outlet devices require a combination of all these tests.

For new electrical leads a date of purchase tag in lieu of testing is acceptable.

More information

  • For information about organising an event, or information related to a public building, contact the relevant local government Environmental Health Services where the event or building is located. Refer to the online local government directory (external site) for contact details. Ask to speak to an Environmental Health Officer. 
  • For events or public buildings located in Kings Park, Rottnest Island, or locations not within a local government district, contact the Environmental Health Directorate by emailing Public.Events@health.wa.gov.au or call 9222 2000

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Public Health