What is a Periodic Electrical Inspection ?
Periodic Electrical Inspection or Periodic Electrical Testing, is a comprehensive inspection of your home’s electrical systems and installation. This is also known as domestic EICR testing or an Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR)
Unlike businesses and landlords, homeowners aren’t required by law to conduct a periodic electrical test, although it is often required as part of the buying or selling process. It’s also good practice to regularly check the safety of your home’s electrics, similar to how you would service a boiler or a car.
How Often Should I Test My Electrics?
Like anything, electrical installations in the home are subject to deterioration, ageing and general wear and tear. This is why electrical tests should be conducted on a regular basis. British Standard BS 76719 (IET Wiring Regulations) advises that homeowners, landlords and businesses test at the following intervals:
Homeowners – an electrical test is required once every ten years. If there’s a swimming pool on your property, that should be tested every year.
Businesses – employers should have a periodic test undertaken every five years.
Landlords – it is recommended that landlords test their properties once every five years, or when there is a change of tenancy.
What Does Periodic Electrical Testing Involve?
A periodic electrical test will check if your home’s electrical installations have any faults that are unidentifiable with a simple visual check. A number of faults could occur, such as electrical circuits overheating or becoming overloaded during use. If an electrical circuit is not installed properly – for example, without bonding or earthing to secure the electrics safely – it could potentially lead to a fire or shock hazard. Periodic testing will pinpoint any defective electrical work in your home’s system.
A trained electrician can also carry out a visual check of your property, providing you with a quick analysis of how safe it is. A visual check will look for damaged light switches and sockets, broken cables and scorch marks that result from the overloading of the power outlet. It will also inspect the residual current device (RCD) for the circuits that operate gardens and bathrooms. These visual checks should be carried out at regular intervals between the more thorough periodic inspections.
Once a periodic test is completed, you’ll be given a certificate by your testing engineer. This is commonly called an Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR). The report will outline any deterioration, damage, defects or other dangerous aspects of your electrical system, plus anything that isn’t aligned with current safety standards or could place people at risk.
If a periodic test comes back negative, the EICR will be recorded as “unsatisfactory”, indicating that work is required immediately to remove the risk to anyone who is living or working in the property. The report will also show which electrical system(s) failed the periodic test. Any required work is classified using specific codes:
C1 – this means ‘danger is present’, there is a likely risk of injury and action is required immediately.
C2 – potentially dangerous with remedial action needed urgently.
C3 – improvements to your electrical system are recommended. This is the only code that can appear on an EICR and still pass the test.
When your electrical system has fully passed the periodic inspection and any urgent remedial work is complete, you will be supplied with an EICR Certificate of Safety, giving you reassurance that your home electrics are safe.
For more information about periodic electrical testing for your home, give CTA Electrics a call today on 07810 398 536