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How To Turn An RCD On And Off

This web page explains how to find and turn a domestic electrical RCD on and off to connect, or remove, the supply to an electrical circuit.


Follow the advice on this web page to ‘reset an RCD’ - the procedure is the same.


Step 1 – Find The RCD ‘Domestic Unit’

The RCD domestic (consumer) unit will usually be in an ‘out of the way’ place, for instance next to the electricity meter, at the back of a kitchen unit, in an airing cupboard, the cupboard under the stairs.


See below for 4 pictures of an RCD domestic (consumer) unit.


RCD domestic unit RCD domestic unit


RCD domestic unit RCD domestic unit



Step 2 – Find The Correct RCD

The RCD domestic (consumer) unit contains multiple RCDs.


RCD with domestic unit


The image on the above shows an RCD domestic (consumer) unit (top) and an enlarged RCD (bottom).


The RCD will be about 2 inches (5cm) by 1 inch (2.5cm) and will have a ‘standard’ toggle switch (the ‘main’ switch) and a push-button ‘push-button’ (test) switch.


Each electrical circuit in a house has an RCD; each RCD will remove, or connect, the electrical power to a circuit.


The electrical circuit each RCD controls should be written on the RCD domestic unit next to the RCD.

If the circuit each RCD controls is not written on the domestic unit you will have to switch each RCD off in turn to find the correct RCD.


Step 3 – Turn The RCD On And Off

To remove, or apply, the power to a circuit, switch the main toggle switch, see the image below, to the opposite position.



  • Main toggle switch up connects electrical power to a circuit.
  • Main toggle switch down removes electrical power from a circuit.

RCD with parts labelled


Electricity can kill – if turning an RCD off to work on a circuit always double check that there is no power in the circuit:


If working on an electrical socket connect an appliance, for instance a lamp, into the socket and check the lamp does not work.

  • If working on a lights circuit check that the lights do not light.
  • Whatever the circuit you are working on double check that there is no power before starting work.


Judge Electrical Limited
15 Mulberry Court, Huntington, York, YO32 9TU
Telephone 01904 764845 (Landline), 07919 033113 Mobile)
Email info@judgeelectrical.co.uk
VAT No. 852917405. Company Number 6359328