Testing and Inspection
Fixed Wiring Testing
Electrical Installation Condition Report (Periodic Inspection Report / Fixed Wiring Testing)
In 2012 the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) was introduced to replace the Periodic Inspection Report. Each year we carry out over a thousand inspection and tests on existing electrical installations. Fixed Wiring Testing is another name for the type of testing involved in the Electrical Installation Condition Report and we are frequently asked about Fixed Wiring Testing so we've added some detailed information below.
Why Carry Out Fixed Wiring Testing?
Put simply, An EICR is based on the condition of the electrical wiring, circuits, accessories and connections and is based on Inspecting and Testing the entire electrical system within your premises. Each circuit's cable and accessories e.g. sockets, light switches, light fittings etc., will be inspected for visual damage. wear and tear etc. Then the wiring of each circuit will undergo a series of tests to make sure the wiring is safe and that the circuit is wired correctly.
The EICR will also determine if items such as earthing, bonding and incoming supply is sufficient. All this data will be contained in the EICR we forward to you.
If there are any faults found during the test they are given codes C1,C2, or C3, if a C1, or C2 code is given it would mean the installation is in an unsatisfactory condition. Code C1 faults require urgent attention - danger present, code C2 faults require attention - potential danger, code C3 faults are an improvement recommended.
For domestic premises the inspection and test can take anything from 2 hours to a full day depending on the size of the property and the number of electrical circuits to be inspected and tested. At Electric-Call Ltd we pride ourselves on carrying out a thorough inspection and test as this is what is required of us, but please be aware of companies and individuals carrying out EICR's quicker by not carrying out a thorough inspection and not undertaking all the required testing. For commercial properties there are many variables that determine the timescale required to undertake a EICR but we will be able to give you a good indication when you call us. Electricity within your premises will be limited while the testing is carried out and at some point we will require to switch off the electricity to your fuse box/consumer unit/distribution board so we can inspect and test those units and also test your main incoming earth.
Why Is Regular Testing Necessary?
By carrying out testing and inspection at regular intervals, deficiencies in your electrical systems can be identified and dealt with immediately, meaning that a problem does not persist undetected which may eventually result in fire or injury.
Any electrical installations will deteriorate with age and it is paramount that systems are maintained appropriately to safeguard households, tenants, members of staff and premises. The EICR will examine and evaluate not only the deterioration of the installation, but also its safety.
Legislation requires that electrical installations are kept in a safe condition. If regular inspection and testing is neglected - those responsible may be prosecuted under health and safety law, the lives of workforce/tenants are put at unnecessary risk, and insurance claims may be invalidated. No electrical installation, no matter how carefully designed and erected, can be expected to last forever. Deterioration will take place due to age as well as due to normal wear and tear. With this in mind, the Regulations require regular inspection and testing to take place so that the installation can be maintained in a good and a safe condition. It is now a requirement of the Regulations that the installation user should be informed of the need for periodic testing, and the date on which the next test is due. A notice, fixed at or near the origin of the installation, must state the required intervals between periodic inspections and tests.
Accessories, switchgear etc should be carefully examined for signs of overheating. Structural changes may have impaired the safety of an installation, as may have changes in the use of space. The use of extension leads must be discouraged, if only because of the relatively high loop impedance they introduce.
How Often Is Testing Required?
Legislation requires fixed wiring testing be carried out every one to five years in most work places. In compliance with the Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989, all work activities and rented accommodation must take precautions to avoid the risk of death or personal injury. Electrical Wiring Regulations also suggest time intervals for various electrical installations and these are listed at the foot of this page. It is important to appreciate that the regular inspection and testing of all electrical installations is a requirement of the Electricity at Work Regulations. The time interval concerned will, of course, depend on the type of installation and on the way in which it is used. The table below shows the BS7671 recommended intervals between periodic tests and inspections
BS7671 Electrical Regulations - Recommended intervals between periodic tests and inspections Type of installation - Maximum period between inspections and testing
- Domestic premises (general) = 10 years/Change of Occupancy
- Domestic premises (rented houses and flats) = 5 years/Change of Occupancy
- Residential accommodation (HMO, halls of residence, nurses accommodation etc) = 5 years/Change of Occupancy (some local authorities ask for HMO properties to be tested every 3 years)
- Commercial premises = 5 years/Change of Occupancy
- Educational establishments = 5 years
- Industrial premises = 3 years
- Offices = 5 years
- Shops = 5 years
- Laboratories = 5 years
- Hospitals and medical clinics (general areas) = 5 years
- Hospitals and medical clinics (medical locations) = 1 year
- Cinemas = 1-3 years (local authorities license should stipulate frequency)
- Churches = 5 years
- Leisure complexes (excluding swimming pools) = 3 years
- Places of public entertainment = 3 years
- Restaurants and hotels = 5 years
- Theatres, etc. = 3 years
- Public Houses = 5 years
- Village halls/community centres = 5 years
- Agricultural and horticultural = 3 years
- Caravans = 3 years but should be reduced to every 1 year if used frequently.
- Caravan parks = 1 year
- Highway power supplies = 6-8 years
- Marinas = 1 year
- Fish farms = 1 year
- Swimming pools = 1 year
- Emergency lighting = 3 years - although luminaries should be discharge tested every 1 year
- Fire alarms = 1 year
- Launderettes = 1 year
- Petrol filling stations = 1 year
- Construction site installations = 3 months
- Temporary installation = 3 months
Visit the Electrical Safety Council website for independent guidance on Electrical Installation Condition Report.
When and How will I receive My Report?
Results from your EICR will be documented within our ceritifcation software and a certificate will be emailed to you on completion of works once payment has been received.
What Is The Difference Between A Certificate And A Report?
A report is issued on completion of a periodic test on an electrical installation. The difference is explained below.
Certificates and reports issued in connection with an electrical installation serve completely different purposes and it is important that the appropriate type of documentation is issued after completion of electrical installation work or periodic inspection and testing.
As its title suggests, an Electrical Installation Certificate certifies that new electrical installation work complies with the current edition of BS 7671; it is not suitable for reporting on the condition of an existing installation and should not be used for that purpose.
Similarly, an Electrical Installation Condition Report is not suitable for the initial certification of a new installation, or of new work associated with an alteration or addition to an existing installation, and so should not be used for that purpose.
On completion of the initial verification of an electrical installation, or of an alteration or addition to an installation, an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) or Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate (MEIWC) should be issued (Regulation 631.1 of BS 7671 refers).
The certificate issued should be based upon the model form given in Appendix 6 of BS 7671 and should include a record of the inspection activities performed and the results of the testing carried out as part of the verification process.
Importantly, an EIC or MEIWC must not be issued until any defects or omissions revealed during the verification of the installation work covered by the certificate have been remedied (Regulation 632.4 of BS 7671 refers).
Such certification includes a declaration that the installation work has been designed, constructed and inspected and tested in accordance with the requirements of BS 7671. In short, it is a declaration that the installation is safe to be taken into service.
On completion of the periodic inspection and testing of an electrical installation, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) should be issued (Regulation 634.1 of BS 7671 refers). The report should be based upon the model form given in Appendix 6 of BS 7671 and should include a record of the inspection activities performed and the results of the testing carried out as part of the periodic inspection process.
The report details the outcome of an assessment of the in-service condition of an electrical installation against the requirements of the issue of BS 7671 current at the time of the inspection, irrespective of the age of the installation or to which edition of the Wiring Regulations it was designed. Details of any damage, defects, deterioration, non-compliances or dangerous conditions should be recorded on the report (Regulation 634.2 of BS 7671 refers).
The report contains a summary of the overall condition of the installation in terms of whether it remains satisfactory, or is unsatisfactory, for continued use. The report also provides feedback to the person who ordered the report in terms of the severity of the defects and departures observed and the urgency with which they should be addressed.
What Happens After The Inspection and Test?
After we carry out the inspection and test on your electrical system we will produce an EICR which will state if the electrical installation is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory - this decision will be based on the current electrical regulations BS7671:2011. We hope that the installation will be Satisfactory but if your installation is Unsatisfactory the PIR Report will list Observations and Recommendations to why this is the case.
Upon request we will happily offer advice as to what steps you should take next and will offer a free, no obligation quotation for any remedial works required.
If you have any questions or require further information regarding our testing and inspecting service please do not hesitate to contact us on 01494 772262 or email email@example.com