EICR testing

What is EICR Testing?

An Electrical Installation Condition Report, or EICR (sometimes referred to as ‘Periodic Inspection’ or ‘Landlord Certificate’), is the inspection and testing of electrical installations at regular intervals to check whether they are in a satisfactory condition for safe continued use.

As a guide, an EICR of your electrics should be carried out:

  • Every 10 years for an owner-occupied home
  • Every 5 years for a rented home
  • Every 3 years for a caravan
  • Every year for a swimming pool
  • Change of tenant in a rental property
  • When a property is being prepared for letting
  • Before selling a property or buying a previously-occupied property

Why is an EICR Important?

An EICR is important for the safety of those that live or work in the property being assessed.

Wires and electrical installations will gradually degrade over time, so it’s important to have them checked to ensure they don’t become a safety risk, be it danger of electric shocks, overheating or sparks; in the UK, up to seven fire incidents a day can be attributed to faulty wires.
Secondly, rental properties require an EICR by law, and you could be fined for not having one when you’re supposed to. Furthermore, it could interfere with insurance, and may be required to validate business insurance.
Additionally, it could save you money; that equipment that is overheating is drawing more energy than it needs to be, potentially costing you large amounts in wasted energy. It helps to ensure everything is up to date and running efficiently.

What Does An EICR Inspect?

  • Ensuring sockets that supply power to portable electrical equipment outside are protected by a suitable residual current device (RCD)
  • Ensure the supplier’s main earth or local earthing is within specifications and provides an adequate path to earth
  • Any electrical circuits or equipment that may be overloaded and showing signs of thermal damage
  • Potential electric shock risks
  • Any lack of earthing or bonding
  • Earthing and bonding quality
  • Tests are carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to check that they are safe
  • Testing of electrical appliances to ensure they are safe to use, or Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
  • The suitability of the switchgear and controlgear
  • The type of wiring system and its condition. For example, cables coated in black rubber were phased out in the 1960s. Likewise cables coated in lead or fabric are even older and may well need replacing (modern cables use longer-lasting pvc insulation)
  • The presence of adequate identification and notices at the consumer unit.
  • The extent of any wear and tear, damage or other deterioration to accessories, cables etc.
  • Any changes in the use of the premises that have led to, or may lead to, unsafe conditions

If anything dangerous or potentially dangerous is found, the overall condition of the electrical installation will be declared to be 'unsatisfactory', meaning that remedial action is required without delay to remove the risks to those in the premises.

The registered electrical competent person will then issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) which details any observed damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions and any non-compliances with the present-day safety standard that might give rise to danger.

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