One of the biggest things that put homeowners off having any type of electrical work done is whether it will cause disruption in the home. The last thing that anyone wants is a parade of contractors coming into their personal space and potentially damaging their home.
The good news with an EICR is that the disruption to your home, and to your day, will be minimal. Unlike larger electrical jobs like rewiring, carrying out an EICR is simple and often relatively quick.
The electrician will arrive at your home and talk you through the process. Your electricity supply will need to be turned off during the test and while this is a disruption, it is a minor one that is necessary to the test. Turning off the power will allow your electrician to better identify if there are any defects or problems.
This is done by testing the circuits and the electrician will test these against strict standards laid out by the UK Standard For The Safety Of Electrical Installations. These circuit tests will give the person conducting the test a good idea of how well the system will react in the event of a fault.
In addition to this, the electrician will also conduct a visual test, similar to the one we discussed in the previous section of this guide. This will involve looking over various aspects of the external system including outlets, wires, the consumer units and light fittings, among other things. These aspects of the system may show signs of damage such as scorch marks or exposed wiring that indicate repairs need to be undertaken. Some of the things that will be looked at in detail are as follows:
- How adequate the earthing and bonding is.
- The consumer unit will be checked over. There are still properties that feature a very old unit which will typically need to be replaced. You can tell prior to your Electrical Installation Condition Report whether your electrician is likely to suggest a consumer unit replacement by looking at its features. Older units may feature cast iron switches and a wooden back. These units are not designed to handle the pressure of the modern electrical system and are considered a hazard.
- Any switches or fittings that are outdated will likely need to be replaced as well. This is something that is typically seen in older properties and again, these fixtures are not designed to work with modern electrical systems. Similarly to the visual appearance of your fuse box, you might look at some of these fittings to determine their age. Things your electrician will be looking out for are; braided ceiling cord for ceiling roses, black switches, switches that are fitted into a skirting board, around light switches and round pin sockets.
- Modern cables are always coated in PVC, however, there are still many homes and properties that have older cables coated in black rubber which was phased out back in the sixties. Your electrician will suggest that these are replaced. Furthermore, some homes still feature even older wiring that may feature a fabric cover, again, you will be advised to replace these.
- One of the key factors that an electrician will look for when carrying out an EICR is whether the use of the property has changed since the last check. For example, if a residential property has been converted into a commercial premises or vice versa, the current electrical installation may no longer be fit for purpose and may need to be replaced or updated.
- Any equipment that has degraded, deteriorated or otherwise sustained damage will be noted and you will be advised to have this replaced.
Many people are also worried about the duration of the EICR. While this type of test may take anywhere up to four hours to complete, it is important to keep in mind that it will be four hours well invested in your safety and that of your home. However, the length of time that your EICR takes to complete will vary depending on factors including the number of circuits and the size of your property. This is something that your electrician will discuss with you at the time of the test.
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