Hot Showers: How Short-Circuit Breakers (RCBOs) Prevent Electrocution

Instant hot showers have become an essential commodity for households nationwide as it eliminates the need for one to wait for the water to heat up.

Despite their undeniable utility, cases of many individuals falling victim to electrocution have been on the rise.

Kenyans online have raised alarm over the pertinent issue, highlighting the safety hazards resulting from using the commodity.

“My friend had just been electrocuted on Thursday while using the hot shower. Currently, we’re transporting the body to the morgue,” one user stated on his social platform.

A photo of a multi-temperature shower head.


To curb these cases of fatalities caused by electric shock, Kenyans are installing RCBOs to prevent overload and short-circuit.

RCBO stands for Residual Circuit Breaker with overcurrent protection and is a nifty device that protects electrical circuits by triggering a disconnection whenever an imbalance is detected. The device is often placed on a fuse board.

To put it into perspective, the device protects from two types of faults; residual current and over current. Residual current occurs when there is a break in the circuit caused by faulty electrical wiring.

On the other hand, overcurrent is an overload caused by multiple devices being connected or a short circuit in the system

Also known as sjort-circuit breakers, RCBOs are efficient in disconnecting the circuit when there is a residual current or overcurrent detected.

Advantages of RCBOs

RCBOs provide a higher level of safety by combining the functions of a Residual Current Device (RCD) and a Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB) in triggering a disconnection.

This means that the device can easily detect earth faults and provide protection against electric shocks.

The device further offers selective tripping capabilities, meaning that in the event of a fault, only the affected circuit is disconnected, while the rest of the installation remains operational.

According to electricians, this selective tripping helps in isolating the issue and hence reduces downtime.

The device is also easy to install by fitting into the standard electrical panel. It’s, however, advisable to contact a professional to install the device

RCBOs cost between Ksh400 – Ksh1,800 depending on brand, quality, and size for the application and equipment that it will be used on. 

A Residual Circuit Breaker with Overcurrent Protection device.



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