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Inspection & Testing

Inspection & Testing is carried out after new electrical work and will usually provide you with a Minor Works Certificate or Electrical Installation Certificate, it is also recommended periodically to ensure your wiring is safe. This used to be referred to as a Periodic Inspection (you might have a sticker on your fusebox advising when this was last done and when it should be done again) The terminology has since changed to EICR - Electrical Installation Condition Report
Electrician testing light fitting

How often is a periodic inspection required?

  • 10 years for an owner-occupied home
  • 5 years or tenancy change for a rented home
  • 3 years for a caravan or mobile home
  • 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 or a change of tenancy
  • Before selling a property or buying a previously-occupied property

These times are a guide and generally for a newly rewired or new build property, when the inspection is carried out the electrician will make a decision on the recommended retest time based on the condition of the installation.

After the inspection has been completed you will be issued with a report (EICR) on the condition of the electrical installation, although this will be described as Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory, it contains detailed information on whether the installation is suitable for continued use and may have particular observations coded as follows:
  • C1 - Danger Present
  • C2 - Potentially Dangerous
  • C3 - Requires Imporvement
  • FI - Further Investigation Required
  • C1 indicates there is a Danger Present and immediate action should be taken, the electrician should not wait to issue the paperwork, the defect should be rectified or the circuit isolated immediately
  • C2 indicates that although the defect is not currently dangerous, under fault conditions it could pose a hazard to users of the installation
  • C3 - indicates that the defect, whilst 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. This is often due to new regulations that have been put in place since the original installation
Forms on clipboard
The EICR will check the electrical installation against the requirements of BS7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations (IET Wiring Regulations), which is the national safety standard for electrical installations, and contains around 850 Regulations. The EICR will take into account all relevant circumstances including the following factors:
  • Adequacy of earthing and bonding
  • Suitability of the switchgear and control gear
    • Consumer Unit
    • An old fusebox with a wooden back
    • Cast iron switches
    • An untidy mixture of such equipment is likely to need replacing
  • Serviceability of equipment - Switches, Socket-Outlets and light fittings
    • Older round pin sockets
    • Round light switches and braided flex hanging from ceiling roses to light fittings
    • Black switches
    • Sockets mounted in skirting boards may require replacing
  • Type of wiring system and its condition
    • Cables coated in black-rubber
    • Cables coated in lead or fabric
  • Provision of residual current devices for socket-outlets & Circuits in Bathrooms
  • Presence of adequate identification and notices
  • Extent of any wear and tear, damage or other deterioration
  • Changes in use of the premises which have led to, or might lead to, deficiencies in the installation
You should read your EICR and seek advice about any defects or items raised on the report if you are unsure what should be done, any repairs do not have to be carried out by the same company and an Electrical Minor Works or Electrical Installation Certificate will act as evidence that the repairs or alterations have been carried out without having to have another EICR carried out.