What is a Periodic Inspection ?
Electrical Installations will deteriorate over time, therefore, should be inspected and tested to make sure they are in satisfactory condition. Such safety checks are commonly referred to as ‘Periodic Inspection and Testing.
On completion you will be issued with an Electrical Condition Report (EICR).
How Often will I need a Periodic Inspection ?
Your electrics should be inspected and tested every:
- 10 years for a home owner.
- 5 years for a rented home.
- 5 Years for Schools, Offices & Shops
- 3 years for Industrial
- 1 year for Theatres, Restaurants & Hotels
- 3 years for a caravan
- 1 year for a swimming pool.
What will the inspection identify?
- If any of your electrical circuits are overloaded
- Find any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards.
- Indentify any defective electrical work.
- Reveal any lack of earthing or bonding.
Tests will also be carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to check they are safe.
Who Should Carry Out the Periodic Inspection?
Periodic inspections are best left to an experienced electrician or electrical engineer who holds a City and Guilds 2391 – Inspection, Testing and Verification of electrical installations with relevant experience in the installation types being tested.
What Happens During a Periodic Inspection?
The NAPIT Approved Contractor will check the electrical installation against the requirements of BS7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations ( IEE Wiring Regulations) – as amended, which is the national safety standard for electrical installations, and contains around 850 Regulations.
The period inspection will take into account all relevant circumstances including the following factors
• Adequacy of earthing and bonding
• Suitability of the switch gear and controlgear e.g. consumer unit e.g. an old fusebox with a wooden back, cast iron switches, a haphazard mixture of such equipment is likely to need replacing
• Serviceability of equipment e.g. switches, socket-outlets and light fittings e.g. older round pin sockets, round light switches and braided flex hanging from ceiling roses to light fittings, black switches, sockets mounted in skirting boards may require replacing.
• Type of wiring system and its condition e.g. cables coated in black- rubber, black-rubber was phased out in the 1960s or cables coated in lead or fabric are even older and may need replacing (modern cables use pvc insulation)
• Provision of residual current devices for socket-outlets that may be used to plug in electrical equipment used outdoors
• Presence of adequate identification and notices
• Extent of any wear and tear, damage or other deterioration
• Changes in use of the premises which have led to, or might lead to, deficiencies in the installation.
The Approved Contractor will provide an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) as part of the periodic inspection.
Will testing cause a lot of disruption to the power?
A short power outage can be expected on each circuit within the system. But because most of the testing is carried out whilst the system is still live, these outages can be planned around your daily activities.
What is a periodic inspection report?
A periodic inspection report (PIR) now called an Electrical Installation Condition Report is a formal method of recording the findings of the inspection, on at least three pages for domestic installations and six pages for larger installations.
Example of Periodic Inspection Report
The main purpose of a PIR is to report on the safety condition of an existing installation. Box E on page 1 should describe the overall condition as either ‘satisfactory’, in which case no immediate remedial work is required, or ‘unsatisfactory’ which means remedial work is required to make the installation safe to use. Where a PIR describes the installation as ‘unsatisfactory’, the next thing to look at is Box F on page 2 `Observations and Recommendations for Actions to be Taken’.
This is where any departures from BS 7671 are recorded, and a code to indicate the urgency of the action needed is given.
- Code 1 Requires urgent attention
- Code 2 Requires improvement
- Code 3 Requires further investigation
- Code 4 Does not comply with BS 7671
Code 1 indicates a dangerous, or potentially dangerous, condition that requires urgent attention to make the installation safe. Once you have had an electrician do the necessary remedial work, an appropriate certificate would be issued to confirm that the remedial work has been carried out in accordance with BS 7671.
The electrician will give you a summary of the inspection in the report, which will give a clear indication of the condition of the electrical installation, taking into account all relevant circumstances.
What happens after a periodic Inspection?
If the Periodic Inspection Report recommends improvements to the installation, we at EMS will provide a quotation for the remedial work to be carried out.