Electrical Installation Condition Report – EICR
What is an EICR?
An EICR is a term used to describe an electrical inspection and stands for electrical installation condition report. Others may have heard these electrical safety checks referred to as a landlord electrical certificate, however they have the same meaning. Just as you may get your car serviced, it is also recommended that your electrical installation is also inspected by a qualified electrician. Failing to maintain your electrical installation can be a hazard to both the property and the people within it. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE), claim that 1000’s of incidents are reported to them each year and there are probably 1000’s more which go unreported.
Do I need an electrical safety check?
If you are a business owner or landlord, then it is your legal obligation to ensure that the electrical installation within your property is safe and fit for purpose. For a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) it is currently required by law that an EICR is carried out every 5 years. This requirement is expected to be passed on to all landlords by the 1st of July 2020. After this date, landlords are expected to have until the 1st of April 2021 in which to get an EICR carried out by a qualified electrician.
What is tested in an EICR
When having an EICR carried out, there are a number of areas your electrician will want to check in order that an EICR can be carried out successfully. Below are a list of areas your electrician will likely want to inspect;
Consumer Unit (main fuse board) – Check that there is no obvious signs of damage and carry out relevant test.
Sockets Plugs – Check for any obvious signs of damage and carry out relevant test, such as RCD trip times.
Light fittings – Similar to above.
Light switches – similar to above.
Earthing and bonding – Check that gas and water bonds are to the correct size and in the right location.
Kitchen – Test any ovens and sockets while checking for any signs of damage.
Bathroom – Test any showers and ensure any lighting is fit for purpose.
This list is by no means comprehensive and every property will inevitably be different from the next. However, it has been constructed to give some idea of what is involved an what an electrician will be looking for.
How much does an EICR cost?
Good question and a bit of a tricky one! On many larger installations, it is acceptable to just test a sample of the final circuits such as lighting and sockets. This sample can go as low as 10%, obviously, this can give a misleading view of an installation and is not recommended.
Typically, this can lead to one contractor pricing for testing 10% of the circuits whilst another more thorough contractor may test 90-100% of the circuits. For this reason, it is important to check what percentage your chosen contractor will be testing when comparing prices. Another way in which some electricians all to commonly price an EICR, is to price it very cheap and then make the price up on any remedial works. It is therefore crucial that you consider each price and not instantly accept the first low quote that you get offered.
So, back the original question, how much will an EICR cost?
At Care Projects, prices for a Domestic Electrical Condition Report start at £120 plus vat for up to six circuits with additional circuits charged at £20 plus vat per circuit. A typical three-bedroom property will take around four hours to complete. Call us today to discuss on Plymouth: 01752 214980
I’ve had an EICR carried out but what do the codes mean?
Observations are recorded on your Fixed Wiring Report, also known as as an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). They are things which are wrong with your installation and need rectifying. They are coded according to their danger level, using the codes C1, C2, C3 and FI.
A (C1) observation means ‘ Danger present. Risk of injury. Immediate remedial action required.’
A C1 represents an immediate threat to the safety of your tenants, employees, customers or guests and should be rectified or made safe as soon as possible.
An example of a C1 defect would be accessible live conductors due to damage, poorly modified enclosures or removed maintenance panels.
Once a C1 threat is identified, your electrician will notify you or the responsible person immediately,of the risk of injury that exists. Depending on the problem identified, the electrician may have to isolate the circuit until the issue has been resolved.
A C2 code is not as severe as a C1, but is still a potentially dangerous defect. They may not pose an immediate threat but are likely to become a danger in the future. A C2 is described as ‘Potentially dangerous – urgent remedial action required.’
The phrase “potentially dangerous”, in the C2 code is designed to point towards a risk of injury from contact with live parts after a sequence of events. A sequence of events could mean that an individual may gain access to live parts through a day to day task that would not usually be expected to give access to live parts.
A C3 code is described as ‘Improvement recommended.’
This means something has been identified which does not comply with the latest regulations but isn’t actually dangerous. For example, the installation may not comply with the current version of the regulations or may have damaged fittings which do not have exposed live parts. A C3 code in itself, should not warrant an overall unsatisfactory report.
An FI observation code is described as ‘ Further investigation required without delay.‘ This means that your electrician has observed something whilst carrying out the testing. For example, insufficient test results that are outside the usual characteristics. This might not have been covered in the report so they have noted it separately as code FI.
Unsatisfactory EICR Report
You will need to address C1, C2 and FI faults on your report in order to achieve compliance with electrical safety regulations. However it’s always good practice and usually well worthwhile considering rectifying all faults on the system. You aren’t obliged to use the same electrical contractor to test and to carry out remedial repairs and you do not need to have the whole installation re-tested after the repairs have been completed. You should however insure you obtain a certificate for additional works carried out.