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residual current deviceA circuit breaker that trips when there is a difference between the amount of current in the hot side and the neutral side. Also called a "ground fault circuit interrupter" (GFCI) and an "appliance leakage current interrupter" (ALCI), the current imbalance implies a leakage to ground or another circuit. Residual current devices (RCDs) are typically built into a wall outlet and are required for wet areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens, where electrical appliances can come in contact with water.
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ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
ground fault protection in areas where personnel are at high risk of receiving electrical shocks (for example, in damp locations); makes use of a device designed to trip at a ground current in the milliampere range, i.e., very much below currents that are normally harmful.A type of
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.