Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
I am buying a new house and the building surveyor has recommended that I ask an electrician to carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) on the property?
A. When the building surveyor carried out the general survey of your property, he probably noticed that the consumer unit had not been updated in the past twenty years, or may have found old wiring or sockets.
I would recommend you have a domestic electrical installation condition report.
I am a landlord and have been told that I should have the electrical installation in my property inspected every five years, is this right ?
A. Yes it is right, the government is very serious about improving the standard of the electrical installation in properties in the private rented sector, The best time to have an EICR carried out is when the house is empty. From 1st April 2021 every private rented domestic property will need to have an EICR carried out.
A periodic electrical installation condition report (EICR)
Periodic electrical inspection and testing of your electrical installation is very important. We advise all domestic electrical installations should be tested every five years.
Modern breaker/RCD consumer units have sensitive trip switches installed that need to be tested regularly. We use electrical test instruments to assess your electrical installation and determine if further electrical maintenance is required.
Landlord electrical reports and safety inspection in the private rented sector
- The regulations came into force on 1 June 2020, they apply to new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and existing tenancies from 1 April 2021
- The electrical installation should be inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified competent person.
- Ensure national standards for electrical safety are met. BS7671 IET Wiring Regulations.
- The landlord should supply a copy of this report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises
I advise all homes that are being let to tenants are tested regularly and a logbook is kept. It is the landlord’s responsibility to supply a safe domestic electrical installation for tenants.
I advise that a full periodic inspection, test and EICR is carried out every five years and interim checks every twelve months.
(EICR) Observations and codes
Understanding the EICR coding system is very important. The majority of the properties that are inspected will have a list of C3 codes (Improvement recommended) and some will have C2 codes (potentially dangerous).
Some inspectors will want to see that all the electrical circuits in the property are protected with an RCD and will give a C2 code (potentially dangerous) if they are not installed.
In the majority of domestic properties in the UK the circuits will be buried behind plasterboard or in plaster at a depth less than 50mm. The IET wiring regulations state that all circuits that are buried in the wall at a depth that is less than 50mm should be protected by an RCD (residual current device). This is why you will see a C2 code and an unsatisfactory / fail outcome for the EICR.
Where an insulation resistance measurement between live conductors connected together and Earth results in a reading of less than 1 MΩ, a classification code C2 (‘Potentially dangerous’) should be recorded on the EICR.
An Electrical Condition Report is not an Electrical Installation Certificate, it is an individual document that lists the tests carried out and the standard of the electrical installation at the time of the visit. If your installation requires attention a code will be given for each observation.
Most of the properties that have not been inspected in the last ten years will get a list of C3 codes and improvement will be recommended. A C2 code is more serious and will make the electrical installation unsatisfactory. FI codes mean that further investigation is required. C1 codes are rare but need immediate attention.
Fault finding service after the EICR
During the test procedure, some electrical faults may be found. The faults may not be causing any problems, but it is best to get them rectified if possible.
Ring main continuity fault – A common fault that is found quite often. There will be a break in the line, neutral or circuit protective conductor (earth wire) on one of the socket circuits. This is usually because someone will have changed a socket and not installed the new one correctly with loose screws..
High ZS (earth loop impedance) – Poor connections usually cause high ZS readings on socket outlets.
RCD protection – A Residual Current Device (RCD) should protect all of the circuits in your property (some rare exclusions apply). This has been one of the most important changes over the past few years. Many consumer units will only have RCD protection on 50% of the circuits.
Landlords Guide to Electrical Safety (PDF Download)
I had my garage converted and the electrician did not sign off the work with an electrical certificate, can you help?
If you had a garage conversion the electrician may have just extended the existing garage power and lighting circuits and may only need to supply a minor works certificate for the work. You could have an EICR carried out by an independent electrician, but I would advise that you contact the electrician who carried out the work first.
I had my house rewired and I am now selling it, the buyer’s solicitor has asked for the original Electrical Installation Certificate, but I never had one. Will an EICR be OK?
I would ask your solicitor to ascertain if a new EICR would be sufficient before you have an EICR carried out. An EICR is not an electrical installation certificate. The rewire may not have been submitted to building control by the electrician.