What is a periodic Inspection?
A Periodic Electrical Inspection or EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) is an inspection on the condition of an existing
electrical installation, to identify (in order of priority) any deficiencies against the national safety standard for electrical installations.
A periodic inspection will:
- Reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment is overloaded Find any potential electrical shock risks and fire hazards in your electrical installation
- Identify any defective DIY electrical work
- Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding
Why is a periodic inspection needed?
Every electrical installation deteriorates with use and age. It is important for the person responsible for the maintenance of the installation to be sure that the safety of users is not put at risk, and that the installation continues to be in a safe and serviceable condition.
According to Government statistics, each year on average 10 people die and about 750 are seriously injured in accidents involving unsafe electrical installations in the home.
What’s involved in a periodic inspection/EICR?
An EICR Test & Periodic Inspection takes on average about half a day to complete for a three bedroom house.
We inspect all circuits, an amount of points from each circuit, earthing to and from the distribution board,
Including the earth cabling to the mains gas & water,
And take various test readings from the mains position and around the property,
Then check readings against parameters defined within recent BS7671 regulations (currently 18th edition February ’20).
If the full timescale has lapsed (5 years for rented houses) then all circuits will need to be tested & inspected.
Up to date EICR electrical test & inspection reports are required by all rented properties and buildings used by the public.
People buying property also find them useful for safety, and sometimes for financial leverage.
We provide Test and Inspection Reports / EICR on Domestic, Commercial, & Industrial Installations.
All Certification and Reports generated digitally and emailed as PDF upon completion.
Please contact us for a competitive quote
What is a Residual Current Device, and why does the RCD Trip ?
Also known as :
RCCB (Residual Current Circuit Breaker)
ELCB (Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker) although mostly a reference to the older obsolete Voltage operated device
RCBO (Residual Current circuit Breaker with Overcurrent) a combination of MCB (Miniature Circuit Breaker) & RCD
Now a requirement for all 13 Amp socket outlets, and some cables buried within walls.
A Residual Current Device is most common in domestic distribution boards.
Larger than the other individual Circuit Breakers, it usually controls several circuits at a time,
and has an integrated ‘Test Switch’, sometimes yellow in colour.
Residual Current is an excess of current leaking from either the Live or Neutral to Earth.
An RCD Switch simply measures the incoming current (Live) against the outgoing current (Neutral).
In a healthy electrical installation (with lights and appliances on) the incoming and outgoing current are evenly matched.
And the RCD Switch stays on.
In an unhealthy electrical installation, with an imbalanced Incoming or Outgoing current leaking to Earth (electrical fault)
the RCD Switch turns off, and usually refuses to go back on again !
Likely common causes can be damaged cables or appliances, or damp ingress into cable joints or appliances.
In the event of a Fault, The first step that a professional electrician will take is to isolate / remove all the appliances from the sockets.
Irons and kettles are known offenders, as are washing machines with internal leaking, and defrosting fridges and freezers dripping on the rear compressors and motors.
Why does my house require Earthing Works when all I’ve asked for is an extra socket ?
(Call outs with like for like repairs can be completed, but usually whilst advising the customer on how the installation can be made safer)
BS7671 (Currently 18th Edition July ’18) requires that all extraneous metalwork within a building is at the same potential,
before any new electrical installation works can be carried out.
This is achieved by running an earth cable to both the mains gas and mains water and earth clamped at their point of entry into the building. Earth Clamps are then used to make connections between both hot and cold water pipes at sink positions.
This is to make sure that if any part of the electrical installation develops a fault and comes into contact with any part of the pipework,
the pipework doesn’t remain live, and the Circuit Breaker or RCD Trips !
Possible causes can be a poor electrical connection resting on pipework beneath the floorboards,
Or a faulty metal kettle that’s been stood to boil on a metal draining board.
Why does my house or building Not have an earth to the mains water, is it safe ?
( BS 7671 : 2018 No longer requires an earth to a water supply if the incoming pipe is plastic, although the following does still apply )
This is an increasingly common practice in new buildings, where the majority of the pipework is plastic,
with only a small amount of copper pipework (usually making the final connection to bath’s & sinks).
This type of plumbing system is usually of such high impedance to the earthing, that it’s not considered to be of any importance.
This is referred to as the 22K Rule.
To test if the plumbing system complies with this rule, a meter with a long trailing lead is used.
With one end connected to the main earthing terminal, and the other connected to the copper pipework.
500 Volts is applied with an insulation tester,
if the meter reads more than 22,000 Ohms, the pipework is not considered to be an extraneous-conductive-part.
As the final method of construction of the plumbing system is probably unknown to the electrician at the time of wiring,
this type of installation should possibly be slightly more rarer than it actually is !
A lesser known fact is that Water is actually an Insulator. It’s the impurities within it that conduct electricity.
Recommended Initial Frequencies of Inspection of Electrical Installations
Type of Installation
Restaurants & Hotels
Village halls & Community centres
Agricultural & horticultural
Change of occupancy/1 year
Maximum period between testing
Change of occupancy/5 years