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How Often Should A Domestic Electrical Installation Be Tested?

All domestic electrical installations should be inspected and tested regularly to make sure they’re in a satisfactory condition to be used safely. These safety checks are known as periodic inspection and testing.

This periodic inspection of electrical installations must be carried out by a registered electrician who will check the condition of the electrics against the UK standard for the safety of electrical installations referred to as BS 7671, which details the Requirements for Electrical Installations (IET Wiring Regulations).

How often should a domestic electrical installation be tested? Find out all you need to know here...

How often should electrics be tested?

Periodic inspection should be conducted on a regular basis for both residential and commercial properties, and should be tested at the following intervals:

Homeowners: a periodic electrical test is required every ten years, and if your property has a swimming pool this should be tested annually.

Businesses: a periodic electrical test needs to be undertaken every five years.

Landlords: whenever there’s a change in tenancy it’s recommended that properties are tested but every five years is the legal requirement.

Caravans: a periodic inspection is required every three years.

What does a periodic inspection reveal?

A periodic inspection will:

  • Determine whether any circuits or equipment is overloaded

  • Identify any potential fire hazards and electric shock risks

  • Find any defective electrical work

  • Highlight and earthing or bonding issues

  • Provide a schedule of circuits

How is the inspection carried out?

A trained and qualified electrician will initially carry out a visual check of your property offering a quick analysis of how safe it is. This will cover damaged light switches and sockets, broken cables, or scorch marks that result from the overloading of power outlets.

Then further checks will be made on:

  • The serviceability of all switches, sockets, and light fittings. If older round-pin sockets or cables with fabric coating are present, or sockets mounted in skirting boards these will be noted as needing replacing.

  • The adequacy of earring and bonding.

  • The type and condition of wiring where cables coated in lead, fabric, or black rubber will need to be replaced by modern cables with PVC insulation.

  • The suitability of the switch and control gear. Old fuse boxes with wooden backs and cast-iron switches will need to be replaced.

  • The sockets that are used to supply portable electrical equipment for outdoor use ensuring they’re protected by a suitable residual current device.

  • The presence of adequate notices and identification.

  • The extent of any damage, deterioration, and wear and tear.

  • Any changes in the use of the property that may lead to unsafe conditions.

What happens next?

Once your periodic test has been completed your testing engineer will give you a certificate known as an Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR). This report will outline any deterioration, damage, defects, or other dangerous aspects that aren’t aligned to current safety standards.

The report will also show if any electrical systems failed the periodic test and required work will be classified using specific codes.

C1: this indicates a dangerous situation where there’s a likely risk of injury and immediate action is required.

C2: remedial action is needed urgently for potentially dangerous issues.

C3 improvements are recommended - this code can appear on the EICR and the test still be passed.

When your electrical system has fully passed the periodic inspection and urgent work has been completed you’ll be issued with an EICR Certificate of Safety.

Looking for an electrician in Farnborough?

Electrical installation will be one of many services and projects offered by approved contractors. And you’ll be able to arrange periodic testing of all of your electrical systems whenever you need to.

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