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Comparing the RCCB and MCCB Difference

Comparing the RCCB and MCCB Difference
An 80A RCCB being used in a residential power system
Resource: https://www.electriciansforums.net

Are you looking to understand RCCB and MCCB circuit breakers? This post about the RCCB and MCCB difference will explain everything you need to know. In addition to pointing out the function of each, we will also provide a comparison between the two, and clear up any confusion that you may have. We’ll also compare the RCCB breaker to both MCB and MCCBs.

What is RCCB in Electrical?

RCCB in electrical systems means Residual Current Circuit Breaker. This specially refers to a safety device that will trip on sensing a current imbalance between live and neutral wires. Electricians use it to detect (and react) electrical faults resulting from earth leakage current.

The RCCB function is to protect people and property from electric shock, fires, or other risks caused by earth leakage current. It essentially works by monitoring the flow of current in both the live and neutral wires. When the current exceeds a certain threshold, it trips instantly.

What is MCCB in Electrical?

MCCB in electrical circuits stands for Molded Case Circuit Breakers. This type of breaker is designed to protect a broad range of electric equipment from damage due to overcurrent faults. It monitors the current flow through the system and reacts when an abnormality occurs.

Unlike the RCCB breaker, the MCCB uses a magnetic and thermal system to detect faults. MCCBs are also used for medium-voltage applications and usually have a higher rating than MCB or miniature circuit breakers.

RCCB circuit breaker and features
RCCB circuit breaker and features
Resource: https://www.electriciansforums.net

RCCB Vs. MCCB Difference

We have already seen what RCCBs and MCCBs are. For a better understanding of the RCCB and MCCB difference, here is a side-by-side comparison of the two types of circuit protection gadgets. Note that each one of these breakers has its own advantages and disadvantages, the information which is also included in the comparison.

Working of RCCB vs. MCCB

Both the RCCB and MCCB are designed to detect faults in a circuit and react accordingly. In terms of operation, the RCCB is used for detecting earth leakage currents resulting from faults in a circuit, while the MCCB acts when it finds an abnormality such as an overload or short-circuit.

To do so, the RCCB measures the difference between neutral and line current, and reacts when it finds any imbalances. In contrast to the working of RCCB breakers, MCCBs measure the total load in a circuit to identify overloads or short-circuits. This involves a system that measures the current through a built-in thermal element and magnetic sensitivity.

Function of RCCB vs. MCCB

The RCCB is used to (by measuring incoming and outgoing current in a circuit), protect people from electrocution. It monitors and disconnects a circuit when it finds any difference between neutral and line current as a result of an earth leakage fault.

On the other hand, an MCCB will detect overloads or short-circuits in order to prevent damage to electrical components or equipment. Overcurrents or shortcircuits can cause great damage and even electrical fires, and MCCBs are safety breakers to cut off the electricity in these cases.

Rating of RCCB vs. MCCB

This is another RCCB and MCCB difference that’s worth noting. An RCCB range for current rating is usually up to 160A and up to 300 mA for tripping current, while an MCCB can be rated up to 200 A and up to 2500A or higher for interrupt current rating.

In terms of voltage, the RCCB is generally meant for residential voltages and up to around 400V. However, while the RCCB maximum rating for voltage may also vary, the MCCB is available in various ratings up to 1100V.

Application of RCCB vs. MCCB

When it comes to the application of RCCB breakers, you’ll often find it used in residential and commercial buildings. In these settings, the breaker helps protect against electric shocks, some of which may be fatal if not properly handled. As mentioned above, the breaker detects earth leakage currents.

MCCBs are more often used in industries. These are heavier systems that pose a higher risk of overloading or short-circuiting. The breaker helps detect these problems before they can cause damage. As such, you will find them in electrical panels and distribution boards.

Connection of RCCB vs. MCCB

This is yet another important RCCB MCCB difference to know about. An RCCB is connected in series with the live wire of a circuit and the neutral wire. MCCBs are also connected in series with the circuit or device that it’s meant to protect.

The MCCB and RCCB connection notwithstanding, it’s important to note that RCCBs are normally used together with either MCCB or MCB breakers. This involves placing the RCCB after the circuit breaker or between the MCCB and loads.

Difference between MCB and MCCB and RCCB breakers
Difference between MCB and MCCB and RCCB breakers
Resource: https://www.dailymotion.com

Difference Between MCB and MCCB and RCCB

In addition to the difference between RCCB and MCCB breakers, you may also want to know how these two breakers compare to MCBs or miniature circuit breakers. If that’s the case, here’s a quick comparison.

  • MCB means miniature circuit breaker: these breakers protect circuits against overloads and short-circuits. They are mostly used in residential applications, but can also be found in some light industrial settings.
  • On the other hand, MCCBs have higher ratings and are mainly used in industrial environments where medium to high-power circuits are common.
  • Finally, as discussed above, RCCB breaker uses primarily include detecting ground faults and protecting people from electrocution, both in residential and commercial settings.

Overall, each of these devices serves a specific purpose. MCBs protect circuits against overloads and short-circuits, while MCCBs are meant for high power industrial applications. RCCB breakers detect earth currents to prevent electrocution.


RCCB and MCCB breakers differ in many ways, from their function and rating to the application and connection. Each type of breaker has its function in a power system, given their different ratings and capabilities. So, unless you’re using an RCBO or RCCB with overload protection, it’s usually necessary to have both RCCB and MCB breakers (and MCCB) in a system. That way, you can ensure maximum safety while enjoying the protection that each type of breaker provides.

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