EICR and Periodic Testing
Electrician in Birmingham advice on EICR/Periodic Testing
What’s the Difference Between an EICR Test and Periodic testing?
You may have heard the terms ‘periodic testing’, ‘fixed wire testing’ and ‘Electrical Installation Condition Report’ – but what’s the difference between them and what does it all mean?
In a nutshell, the terms period inspection and fixed wire testing have now been replaced by the new term Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), although essentially, they all mean the same thing. The previously-named periodic inspection test is now referred to as an EICR test, while fixed wire testing is the method of testing that is carried out as part of the report.
What is an EICR test?
EICR involves a thorough inspection of an electrical installation by a qualified electrician. It offers peace of mind that the electrics in a building are functioning correctly and operating safely, with the ultimate purpose of preventing electrical shocks or fires.
During an EICR test, the fixed wiring within the fabric of a building is subject to in-depth testing and inspection. It differs from other forms of electrical tests, such as PAT testing and fixed appliance testing, because it is assessing the electrical condition of the building itself, rather than the appliances within it.
Why do I need an EICR test?
An EICR test will assess the condition of your electrical systems and evaluate how efficiently they are working, paying particular attention to any deterioration or defects.
As part of the testing, engineers will check the condition of the electrics against the UK standard for the safety of electrical installations – BS7671 Requirements for Electrical Installations (IET Wiring Regulations). Specific issues that can be revealed through an EICR test include:
- Any issue with circuits or equipment that might overload or overheat the system
- Areas of electric shock risks and fire hazards
- Safety issues with bonding or earthing of installations and equipment
- Potential faulty electrical work that could lead to faults or injury
How often do I need an EICR test?
How often an EICR is needed depends a lot on the size of the installation and the purpose it is used for. Large factories housing industrial plant, for example, will need to be inspected more frequently than a domestic property. However, like most things, electrics deteriorate over time and need to be properly maintained. Other factors can also come into play, such as additional loads to the system, which may require a new inspection to be carried out sooner than planned.
Depending on the nature of the premises, an Electrical Installation Condition Report should be carried out at the minimum of:
- Domestic installations – every 10 years or at a change of occupancy
- Commercial installations – every 5 years or at change of occupancy
- Industrial installations – every 3 years
- Landlord-owned residential accommodation – every 5 years or at change of occupancy
- Offices, shops and laboratories – every 5 years
There are other buildings which may require more frequent inspection, such as caravans and swimming pools. The EICR Testing team are specially trained in periodic testing and electrical testing and can advise you of the best course of action depending on your circumstances.
For larger installations, it may also be possible to carry out the EICR in annual stages, providing there is a good service history of electrical maintenance.
Any faults which arise between inspections should obviously be investigated and repaired as a matter of urgency.
As well as the obvious benefits of safety checking, EICRs can have the added benefit of assessing the energy efficiency of an electrical installation and our engineers may be able to identify measures that would lead to reduced energy costs in the long term.
Any faults found within the system will be listed in the report, including the reason for the failure, and graded in terms of their severity in accordance with EICR fault codes:
- C1 – Danger is present, a risk of injury is likely and IMMEDIATE action is required
- C2 – Potentially dangerous and remedial action is needed urgently
- C3 – Improvement to your electrical system is recommended but not required. This is the only grading that can appear on a report and still pass the EICR test.
Once your electrical system has passed the inspection fully and any urgent remedial work has been completed, you will be provided with an EICR Certificate of Safety, giving you peace of mind that your electrics are safe.
At EICR Testing, all our engineers are trained to City & Guilds 2395 Inspection and Testing Level, specifically for the periodic testing and inspection of electrical installations.
For more information about an EICR for your business or home, please contact the EICR Testing team.
Electrician in Birmingham Mr Electric serving Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sutton Coldfield, Nuneaton, Coventry, Dudley, Walsall and surrounding areas. Mr Electric unit 9 Ariane, Lichfield Road Ind.Est. Tamworth, Staffs B79 7XA