Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
An EICR (Electrical installation condition report) can be known by different names such as periodic inspection, electrical homebuyers report or Landlords safety report and is much like a boiler service or a car MOT for your electrics.
Being one of the most used things in our day to day life, it is unsurprising that issues arise in your electrical installation. Some issues may be obvious like a switch or socket stops working but others can be much less obvious so how do you know that you and your property are ok to use your electrical system safely?
I and infact most other Electricians would suggest carrying out an EICR on your home AT LEAST every 10 years and AT LEAST every 5 years for a business premises, maybe less depending on other requirements or circumstances, an EICR is also recommended if you are having you consumer unit/fuse board upgarded
In Eltham, Sidcup, Lee Green & Plumstead many properties are over 50 years old meaning many may still be using the existing systems installed at that time.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD A TEST BE CARRIED OUT?
Testing frequency varies but below are an example of frequent intervals between testing:
Domestic properties – BS7671 states a recommended inspection interval of no more than 10 years between inspections, electrical regulations are constantly updating and safety is improving all the time so an inspection will let you know what improvements (if any) can be made.
Rented properties – Rental properties have a recommended date of no more than 5 years or each time a new tenant occupies the property, it is the responsibility of the Landlord to ensure that the electrical installation is safe and maintained during the duration of the tenants stay as outlined in ‘Landlord and Tenants Act (1985)’
Businesses – Although no legal requirement is set for a business to have an EICR carried out, in some instances an insurer will insist upon having an Electrical inspection carried out and where places of business commonly allow members of the public or staff in to their property will also ensure that your duty of care has been carried out if anybody was to be harmed due to an electrical issue.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
Some signs that your properties installation or at least part of it are old and may need a Local Electrician to carry out an EICR on your behalf:
- Sockets are installed directly on to skirting board
- Lights are installed close to windows in rooms
- Older round pin sockets (or light switches), braided flex hanging from your lighting ceiling roses, brown (or black) switches
- Old wooden backed fuseboard with pull out fuses or cast iron switches
- Black rubber cable or Lead cable
- No earth cable within your light switchesand/or light fittings
Other things that you can look out that may indicate potential issues are:
- Cracks in sockets, switches or other electrical accessories
- Any difference in operation – ie – switch is a bit harder to press or plug will not go into a socket easily.
- Any black marks around electrical accessories (may indicate burning)
- Appliances working sporadically (may also indicate a burnt out switch)
- Signs of green goo on any cables.
(Cable burnt inside shower isolation switch)
WHAT IS AN ELECTRICAL INSPECTION?
An electrical inspection will be carried out by a Qualified local Electrician and is a report on the current condition of your electrical installation, usually an EICR will be commissioned due to occurrences such as:
- Buying a new home
- Landlord requires their property to be tested for rental purposes
- An issue has become apparent so the homeowner is conscious of what else may be wrong
- A business requires It for insurance purposes
Whatever the reason for carrying out an EICR, it should be carried out by a local, reputable Electrician, included within your EICR you will have a page or pages showing any issues found with a code beside them, they will be:
C1 – the most severe code and indicates immediate danger is present within the installation.
C2 – not immediately dangerous but requires attention as it is deemed a safety risk
C3 – A recommendation that would improve your installation
FI – Further investigation required such as a fault is apparent but would require further testing to verify exactly where it is.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
The cost of these reports varies from contractor to contractor with some using it as a cheap introduction as a way to get their foot in the door and then inflate the remedial works to repair any issues they have found.
Costs vary widely as does the amount covered in the report, some contractors will quote to test a lower proportion of the Electrical installation, this will obviously give you less of an idea of the actual condition due to the limited amount of testing carried out.
Some contractors do carry out cheap inspections as a way to get their foot in the door and then inflate the remedial works to repair any issues they have found.
We often get calls from Local landlords or homeowners in Eltham, Greenwich, Plumstead, Swanley, Sidcup & Lee Green who have had an inspection carried out and are now presented with a costly bill to repair any issues, unfortunately in this instance we cannot accept another contractors EICR as we have no way of verifying the extent to which the testing has been carried out.
EXAMPLE COST ANALYSIS:
An EICR carried out may cost £200 for your home, that would cost £20 a year or £1.66 per month across 10 years, that’s nearly half the cost of a cup of coffee from a coffee shop, a worthy investment for your safety and peace of mind!
Registered, local Electrician in Eltham, Sidcup, Swanley, Plumstead & surrounding areas
If you would like advice or a quote for any electrical requirements at your home in Eltham, Lee Green, Swanley, Greenwich Plumstead, Sidcup or surrounding areas then please contact your Local Eelctrician Billy from Toca Electrical Services Ltd on 020 8819 1481 or visit our contact page to arrange a survey visit to your property.