Earth leakage protection and the difference between an RCD and an RCBO

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What is earth leakage protection and what’s the difference between a RCD, a RCCB and an RCBO?

Earth leakage protection

Earth leakage protection is a technology which works by monitoring the current flowing through the conductors. If the current becomes unbalanced between active and neutral, it indicates some current is flowing elsewhere and that a short circuit and current leakage is present. The device shuts off the power very quickly to prevent the danger of an electric shock. In Australia, earth leakage devices have been mandatory for all power circuits since 1991 and all lighting circuits since 2000. Many lives have been saved across the world since their introduction.

What is an RCD or RCCB?

An RCD or RCCB is a Residual Current Device or Residual Current Circuit Breaker – an earth leakage protection device. This is the device which monitors the flow of current and detects any residual (i.e. an imbalance).