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RCBO prohibition

Update on the prohibition of RCBOs

Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) has continued the prohibition compact RCBOs for the next 10 years.


The new prohibition starts on 2 July 2020 and expires on 30 June 2030.

ESV has imposed additional requirements on the supply of RCBOs in Victoria.

Suppliers must undertake additional testing and verification to ensure their products still operate satisfactorily if there is a defect in the installation or if the product has been installed incorrectly.

The prohibition applies to all compact RCBOs even if they are integrated in other electrical equipment such as preassembled switchboards.

The prohibition does not apply to DIN mountable RCBOs that are greater than 110mm in length and DIN mountable RCBOs that have a short circuit breaking capacity of 10kA or greater. The prohibition also does not apply to RCBOs fitted into Portable Residual Current Devices (PRDCs).

However, all RCBOs that are marked or marketed as being for household or residential use are covered by the prohibition regardless of their length or short circuit breaking capacity.

If a RCBO covered by the prohibition is not on the list, it cannot be supplied or installed after 2 July 2020.


ESV’s investigation into RCBOs was instigated by a fatality in August 2016 in which it was found that a commonly used RCBO failed to operate.

ESV has identified two situations where 240V can be present on the load side of an RCBO when it is in the open position:

  • The device is installed in the opposite orientation to the one indicated by the manufacturer
  • The RCBO is installed in the correct orientation, however there is a defect in the installation downstream from the device and there is 240V present on the load terminals when the device is in the ‘off’ position.

The prohibition addresses this issue by ensuring that only RCBOs that do not have this design issue may be supplied in Victoria.

Prohibition notice – supply of RCBOs

Section 63(1) Prohibition of Supply of Electrical Equipment

I, Marnie Williams, the Director of Energy Safety, under section 63(1) of the Electricity Safety Act 1998 prohibit the supply of the electrical equipment specified in this notice, effective 1 July 2020.

Prohibited electrical equipment

  1. Subject to paragraph (2), the supply of all Compact RCBOs is prohibited unless the brand and model of RCBO passes the additional testing requirements and is listed on the Energy Safe Victoria website as having complied with the additional verification requirements.
  2. This prohibition does not apply to the supply of a Compact RCBO that is fitted within a PRCD.

Additional testing requirements

The new requirements for RCBOs where suppliers must undertake additional testing and verification are set out in Additional testing and verification requirements for RCBOs.

RCBOs that meet ESV’s additional testing and verification requirements

Examples of RCBOs: RCBOs of similar construction (pictured), may only be supplied if listed on ESV’s website.

  • List of RCBOs that comply with ESV’s additional testing and verification requirements.

ESV advises that compliance with the additional testing and verification requirements and the consequent listing on this website does not give any indication of the quality of the product. It is not to be taken as a product endorsement by ESV or a confirmation that the product meets all requirements of the Electricity Safety Act 1998, the Electricity Safety (Equipment) Regulations 2019 or any associated Australian standards.

It is critical that electricians installing RCBOs follow the manufacturer’s instructions and test all installed RCBOs before they are placed in-service. The RCBOs should be tested twice (test button pressed, RCBO reset and then test button pushed a second time ensuring the RCBO operates after each test) before the new installation is completed and commissioned.

If a RCBO covered by the prohibition is not on the list, it cannot be supplied or installed after 2 July 2020.

RCBOs prohibition Q&A

Contact ESV

If you require further information, please contact ESV’s Equipment Safety team on 03 9203 9700 (select option 2) or at