It is recommended that you should have a full electrical inspection carried out every three to five years dependent on previous inspection advise. This examination investigates the state of the electrical wiring throughout the property and thoroughly checks the safety of the electrical installation.
Once this is done and processed an ‘Electrical Installation Condition Report ‘ will be than issued electronically. It will declare if the electrical installation is safe or if any remedial work is required to ensure it meets current safety standards.
Who should carry out the periodic inspection and what happens?
Periodic inspection and testing should be carried out only by electrically competent persons, such as registered electricians. They will check the condition of the electrics against the UK standard for the safety of electrical installations, BS 7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations (IET Wiring Regulations).
The inspection takes into account all the relevant circumstances and checks on:
The adequacy of earthing and bonding.
The suitability of the switchgear and controlgear. For example, an old fusebox with a wooden back, cast-iron switches, or a mixture of both will need replacing.
The serviceability of switches, sockets and lighting fittings. Items that may need replacing include: older round-pin sockets, round light switches, cables with fabric coating hanging from ceiling roses to light fittings, black switches and sockets mounted in skirting boards.
The type of wiring system and its condition. For example, cables coated in black rubber were phased out in the 1960s. Likewise cables coated in lead or fabric are even older and may well need replacing (modern cables use longer-lasting pvc insulation).
Sockets that may be used to supply portable electrical equipment for use outdoors, making sure they are protected by a suitable residual current device (RCD).
The presence of adequate identification and notices.
The extent of any wear and tear, damage or other deterioration.
Any changes in the use of the premises that have led to, or may lead to, unsafe conditions.
The competent person will then issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report detailing any observed damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions and any non-compliances with the present-day safety standard that might give rise to danger.
If anything dangerous or potentially dangerous is found, the overall condition of the electrical installation will be declared to be ‘unsatisfactory’, meaning that remedial action is required without delay to remove the risks to those in the premises.
How often is a periodic inspection required ?
Your electrics should be inspected and tested every:
10 years for an owner-occupied home.
5 years for a rented home.
3 years for a caravan
1 year for a swimming pool.
Other times when a periodic inspection should be carried out are:
When a property is being prepared for letting.
Before selling a property or buying a previously-occupied property.
What are the process of an EICR ?
This is where the electrician will survey the electrical installation before he/she commences with the electrical testing. The visual inspection will highlight broken or cracked devices, where devices may have been installed in the wrong location, or if there have been overloading or over heating problems.
Electrical testing with the use of electrical test meters, including:
Continuity testing: a test to check if there are any badly connected conductors (wires)
Insulation resistance testing: this test is to make sure that the electrical insulation material surrounding the conductors is intact.
Polarity: this test is to check that the connection are connected in the right sequence
Earthing arrangement testing: this check is to make sure that the earthing arrangement complies with regulations and that all connections are sound.
Earth fault loop impedance testing: this test is to check that if a fault did occur, that the system meets requirements to cause a disconnection of the supply within the time limit specified
RCD testing: on modern electrical systems RCD’s and RCBO’s are regularly fitted, these devices react to electricity missing from the circuit or installation such as when a person is receiving an electric shock as the electricity passes through his body to the ground (earth).
What does the electrical codes mean?
The codes used to determine whether there are non-compliances or issue with the electrical installation and are numbered C1 to C3. These codes will be entered on the Electrical Installation Condition Report, along with a description of the nature of the fault, and will determine whether a ‘Satisfactory’ or ‘Unsatisfactory’ report will be applied to the installation.
Code C1 ‘Danger present’: There is a risk of injury and that immediate remedial action is required to remove the dangerous condition.
Code C2 ‘Potentially dangerous condition’: Urgent remedial action required, this should declare the nature of the problem, not the remedial actions required.
Code C3 ‘Improvement recommended’ This code more often than not implies that while the installation may not comply with the current set of regulations, complies with a previous set of regulations and so is deemed to be safe although this safety can be improved upon.
Who can carry out a EICR ?
EICR should be carried out only by a NICEIC, ELECSA, or NAPIT registered electricians who can check the condition of the electrical systems against the UK standard for the safety of electrical installations, BS 7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations (IEE Wiring Regulations).
“Electrical Certificates(EICR) | Periodic Inspection | London | Mr Engineers”.www.mrengineers.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-02-24.
“Commercial Electrical Certificate | EICR | London | Mr Engineers”. www.mrengineers.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-02-24