Electrical Installation Condition Reports - What you need to know

What is an EICR?

An EICR is an Electrical Installation Condition Report (previously known as a periodic inspection). 

 

It provides an assessment of the condition of an electrical installation, based on the requirements of the current edition of the regulations (BS7671 IET Wiring Standards).

 

It is important to note that while an existing installation may have been constructed in accordance with an earlier edition of the regulations, and may not comply with the current edition in every respect, it does not necessarily mean that it is unsafe for continued use or that it requires upgrading. It would not result in an unsatisfactory report being issued on this basis alone. 

Why do I need an EICR?

The main purpose of an EICR is to detect and report on any issues that may

impair the safety of your electrical installation, helping to ensure: 

 

  • Safety of persons against electric shock and burns.

  • Protection against damage to property.

 

Most home insurance policies state that they will not cover claims for loss or damage as a result of lack of maintenance. Therefore, a lack of electrical reports or certification may invalidate your policy and cause problems in the event of an electrical fire. If you are unsure, we would strongly recommend that you contact your own insurer for clarification.

What does an EICR involve?

A typical inspection involves a visual inspection, which will identify any visible signs of defects, damage or deterioration, potential causes of damage to the wiring systems, and also the absence of protective devices such as RCDs, isolation switches, and bonding of conductive parts to Earth.

Checks include:

  • Consumer Unit (main fuse board)

  • Sockets

  • Light fittings and switches

  • Cables

  • Earthing and bonding

  • Signs of wear and tear

  • Visible signs of burning/scorching/overheating

  • Safety devices including RCDs

  • Bathroom safety (including suitability of current using equipment for the different bathroom “zones”)

  • External wiring to garden supplies.

It also includes testing of circuits which:

 

  • Identifies loose connections (Continuity of conductors) 

  • Identifies faults and potential damage to the wiring system (Insulation Resistance)

  • Confirms the correct connection of the live, neutral and earth conductors (Polarity)

  • Confirms that the circuit breaker (fuse) will be capable of successfully interrupting the current that would flow in the event of a fault. (Earth Loop Impedance/Prospective Fault Current/Prospective Short Circuit Current)

  • Confirms that, in the event of a fault, the RCD will trip within the required times and thereby avoid the risk of fatal electric shock.

Before Inspection and Testing commences, it is important to speak to your electrician and agree the extent of any limitations on the testing taking place. Our recommendation is to keep the limitations to a minimum, in order to ensure that the report is as thorough as possible. 

How often do I need to have an inspection carried out? How do I know if an inspection is due?

BS 7671 IET Wiring Standards recommend that an electrical installation should be inspected, tested, and a report issued, at intervals of no more than 10 years.

However, an electrician will use their professional judgement to determine whether or not this is an appropriate timeframe or if it needs to be reduced to ensure the ongoing safety of the installation. 

This will depend on factors such as the type and condition of the installation, the age of the property and the purpose for which the property is used. 

 

You will be able to find this information on previous electrical certification issued by your electrician. Alternatively, a label should have been fixed to the consumer unit (fuse box) detailing when the last inspection took place and when the recommended date for re-inspection is. If there is no record of an inspection having been carried out, it must be assumed that one has not taken place in the last ten years and should be completed as soon as possible.

 

Government guidelines state that Landlords must be able to prove that electrical installations and fixed appliances are safe. From 1st June 2019, a law for electrical installation checks to be carried out at least every 5 years or with a change of tenancy is being introduced. If you are unsure if your rented property currently requires an electrical inspection, you should be able to obtain this information from your Landlord or letting agent. 

How much does an EICR cost?

The length of time required to carry out a thorough EICR varies, depending on the size and age of the property, how much documentation is available from previous electrical work, the standard of work that has previously been carried out and accessibility to all parts of the installation.

 

For this reason, we do not have a standard charge for carrying out EICRs, and each inspection is carried out on an individual basis, usually on an hourly rate.

This way we can be confident that our electrical inspections are comprehensive, accurate, and give a true reflection of the condition of your electrical installation. 

 

If you wish to discuss your requirements and obtain an estimation of the length of time an EICR would take for your property, please contact us. 

  

Who can carry out an EICR?

When choosing a contractor to undertake the inspection and testing of an existing electrical installation, it is important to find somebody who is experienced and competent in carrying out inspections. They should:

  • Have sufficient knowledge and experience of electrical installation matters to avoid injury to themselves and others.

  • Be familiar with, and understand the requirements of the current edition of BS 7671 including those relating to inspection, testing and reporting.

  • Be skilled in the safe application of the appropriate test instruments and procedures.

  • Have a sound knowledge of the particular type of installation to be inspected and tested.

Sadler Electrical are NICEIC registered and we have annual inspections to confirm our competence in carrying out this type of work. We have full scope registration which allows us to carry out EICRs in both domestic and commercial properties. 

 

It is important to note that not all electricians are qualified to carry out Electrical Installation Condition Reports. If you are uncertain, it is recommended that you contact the Competent Person scheme they are registered with, to seek advice.

What will my EICR tell me?

The report will provide you with a full summary of the condition of the electrical installation in your home and determine whether or not it is compliant with the current edition of the BS7671 IET Wiring Regulations.

It will record any observations and make various recommendations where improvement may be necessary or beneficial to improving safety in your home.

 

Generally, an EICR will provide codings against the condition of the installation. The classification codes are as follows:

Code C1 - This code indicates that danger exists, requiring immediate remedial action. The persons using the installation are at immediate risk.

 

Code C2 - This code indicates that, whilst an observed deficiency is not considered to be dangerous at the time of the inspection, it could become a real and immediate danger if a fault or other foreseeable event was to occur in the installation or connected equipment.

 

Code C3 - This code indicates that, whilst an observed deficiency is not considered to be a source of immediate or potential danger, improvement would contribute to a significant enhancement of the safety of the electrical installation.


Lim – This code indicates that a code could not be given due to limitations set, or because a part of the installation was inaccessible for inspection (operational limitations)

FI – This code indicates that further investigation is required in order to allocate a classification code.

You are under no obligation to have any of the issues fixed, though it is recommended that corrective action to rectify any C1 and C2s is completed as soon as possible.

What other paperwork should I receive?

When we complete Electrical Installation Condition Reports, we produce certificates, based on the model British Standard forms in BS7671 IET Wiring Standards. 

In addition to this document, we send you further information about any observations made, and a detailed circuit chart so that you have a clear overview of your electrical installation. This includes information about every circuit inspected, what items are on each circuit and where they are located. 

Make sure you retain all electrical certification and documentation that you are provided with, as you will need to produce copies if you move house and it is a useful reference in the future, especially in the event of carrying out additional work or alterations, or in the event of a fault.

Example consumer unit circuit details

What do I do if I don’t have copies of previous inspection reports?

Depending on when previous inspections were carried out, you may be able to obtain a copy of an old report. Most scheme providers require the contractor to retain copies of all certification for up to 20 years so it may be worth checking. 

 

Certification from previous inspections and work carried out can be hugely beneficial as it means that test results can be compared and verified, as well as providing valuable circuit information.

Moving house

Homeowners are often asked to obtain an EICR as part of their house sale. 

 

If you are purchasing a property, ensure you request copies of all electrical certification so that you are fully aware of the condition of the installation before you buy. Ask if an EICR has been carried out within the last ten years and whether the report is available. If there is any uncertainty regarding this we would strongly recommend asking for it to be carried out before you purchase the property.

 

If you are selling a house, we would recommend that if you have not had an EICR carried out within the last ten years, you have a report completed and the documentation ready to hand over, in order to avoid delays in the sale of your property. 

 

If you would like Sadler Electrical to review any paperwork to confirm it is all in place and satisfactory, please get in touch. 

Our Testing & Inspection Services include:

  • Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICRs)

  • Certification reviews

  • Visual inspections 

 

We are happy to give free advice over the phone so please do not hesitate to contact us.

Office: 01832 226041 or Mobile: 07968 585182

Sadler Electrical Contractors Ltd

©2019 by Emma Burrows & Robert Sadler