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An EICR is an Electrical Installation Condition Report and is also known as a Periodic Inspection(PIR).

An EICR comprises of visual inspections and electrical testing to determine if the existing electrical installation is safe for continued use.

Am I required by law to have an EICR?

On April 1st 2021 it was made mandatory for all landlords to a successful EICR. Failing to do so can potentially put their tenants at risk of danger due to electrical faults.

How long does an EICR last for?

A successful EICR should last for a maximum of 5 years in the rented sector. The landlords must provide a copy to the tenant and to the local authority if they require it. The EICR must be carried out by an competent and qualified electrician at an interval of every 5 years to comply with the requirements.

Some EICRs may last less and is determined by the competent electrician during they inspection and testing process. Reasons may vary however they will determine as they see fit if they do not believe the installation is up to standards of safety.

What can I expect during the process?

When done correctly you will find the electrician opening a minimum of 10% of accessories such as sockets, switches and lights etc. Power will be turned off at times and you may find the electrician taking photos for evidence to add to their certificates. The electrician will definitely be opening the cover of the board and have a good inspection and ensure all connections are tight.

What problems will an EICR identify?

Some common causes of failures on EICRs that the competent electrician may pick up is the consumer unit/fuse box is not equipped with RCD protection, the board is not metal, there are holes in the board or accessories, cracked sockets and switches, no earthing on the lighting system and many other potential issues. An important and common reason for failure can be the lack of earth bonding of gas and water pipes.

This will all be noted down on the EICR and coded to their respective level of danger.

The following codes are what you will expect to see on the report:

C1 - Danger present. Risk of injury. Immediate remedial action required. (For example, a fuseboard cover is missing and can be reached easily) – Unsatisfactory report will be issued.

C2 - Potentially dangerous – urgent remedial action required. (For example, a socket is cracked however no access to live parts. This can become worse over time and needs to be fixed as soon as possible) Unsatisfactory report will be issued.

C3 - Improvement recommended. (For example, gas and water pipes are earthed however the correct labels are not available or a cable behind a light switch is not sleeved to identify as a live cable.) A satisfactory report can be given if there are no C1 and C2 observations.

FI – Further Investigation Required without Delay – An unsatisfactory Report will be issued.

Is an EICR needed for new tenants?

An EICR is also required to be carried out prior to a new tenant occupying a premises.

Is the EICR the same as an EIC?

An EICR is an Electrical Installation Condition Report and reports only on an existing installation. This will only either be Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory for continued use.

An EIC is an Electrical Installation Certificate. This must be provided by the competent electrician who carries out a new installation such as a consumer unit, full rewire or alteration. There is no Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory as this will be a new install.

A Minor Works certificate is required for smaller jobs such as changing of a socket or light fitting to an existing cable.

How long does the process take?

An EICR is a process that can potentially last from several hours to a whole day which is dependant on how many circuits on the consumer unit, the size of the property, the amount of defects observed during the process and many other factors. It is important to know that it needs to be done properly with no time restriction.

If there are limitations in place such as agreed with the client and impractical ones such as inspecting cables below floorboards or within plastered walls then these will be recorded in the final report.

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