EICR’s or Electrical Installation Certificates are commonly known by various names; Periodic Inspection Report, Landlord Safety Test, Fixed Wire Test to name but a few.
So why would you need an EICR carrying out?
Landlord Safety Report
When renting out a property, it is the landlord’s legal obligation to ensure the electrical installation is safe and maintained in a safe state throughout the period that the property is let.
An HMO or house of multiple occupancies should have an EICR carried out every 5 years at a minimum unless required more frequently by the licensing authority.
Perhaps the easiest way to comply with this is to have a suitably qualified electrician, such as ourselves Pegasus Electrical Limited carry out a full EICR at the property.
By getting ourselves to carry out the work you can be sure that if any required works are carried out a Satisfactory Electrical Safety Certificate will be issued, therefore complying with your legal obligation to ensure the rented property is safe.
Further Visual Inspections should be carried out during property inspections and during any change of tenants.
More information can be found on the Electrical Safety First website, Landlords – Your electrical safety obligations.
EICR For Insurance Company.
There are instances when an insurance provider will require a property to have a valid EICR in place in order for the policy to be valid.
This is often the case for commercial properties where the cost of an EICR is vastly outweighed by the potential losses which may be incurred by a claim where the initial fault was poor electrics.
Other times we have carried out electrical inspections after a claim, for example after a burst pipe the insurance provider may insist the customer has an EICR to ascertain just what damage has resulted from the water leak. Without these inspections, the wiring may remain in a damaged condition resulting in an unsafe installation.
If you operate a business where the public has access to your premises it is highly advisable if not an actual condition of the insurance, that a fixed wire test is carried out.
By having the EICR carried out you can mitigate any potential risk to the public of electric shock.
Electrical Report For Homebuyers
Buying a house is a huge financial obligation, with the cost of a house rewire averaging around £3500 before the costs of making good and redecorating.
By requesting an EICR on the property before exchanging contracts the buyer can establish the age and safety of the house wiring.
If the inspection does recommend that works are carried out as a priority ( classification codes C1 and C2 ) then these should be completed before purchasing. At the very least the homebuyer should be able to obtain accurate quotes using the electrical report to enable the cost to be deducted from the asking price of the property.
Any C3 codes ( improvement recommended ) may mean the homebuyer is in a position to negotiate a contribution to the works if not the full cost.
With the need for more and more detailed surveys when purchasing a property, it is no surprise that surveyors are passing the buck so to speak with regard to electrics.
Some recommendations from house surveyors can be found at Home Electrical Survey reports.
It appears that many surveyors now recommend an EICR is carried out if any wiring appears old, the sight of a rewireable consumer unit is often enough to flag the installation and recommend the EICR by itself.
One interesting point when carrying out these inspections is the extent of limitations, in general, the buyer pays for the Inspection but doesn’t actually own the property.
As such it quite right the owner may not wish for any accessories to be removed, or other disruption by a potential but not guaranteed buyer.
The Electrician carrying out the EICR may well have to act as a negotiator between the two to ensure the inspection is as thorough as possible whilst meeting the requirements of the seller.
Electrical Report For Homesellers
Though not an actual legal requirement for selling a house, the lack of a valid EICR may be a dealbreaker.
With the average cost of an EICR in Manchester being £150 it certainly pays to have the EICR in place to reassure buyers that the home wiring is safe and satisfactory.
With the housing market slowing down, any advantage the home seller can extract will be appreciated.
The EICR will prove to a potential buyer that the house wiring is safe and one less thing for them to worry about.
Instead of waiting for a surveyor to potentially request an Electrical Inspection it pays for the home seller to be proactive and get everything lined up and ready to go.
Sadly all good things come to an end, whilst house wiring can easily last 40 years or more there comes a time when it pays to upgrade the electrics.
It is recommended that an EICR is carried out on a domestic property every 10 years, the inspection will locate any issues.
Insulation degradation can be a leading cause of faults and fires in a house, the insulation test carried out by the inspector will give an accurate value on the adequacy of this insulation.
Are you experiencing frequent faults? tripping circuit breakers or fuse wire blowing? Do your lights go off or your sockets stop working?
With more and more appliances being used in houses, are your electrics up to it?
The easiest way to ensure the safety of residents and the property is by having a straight forward EICR carried out.
Completed in approximately 5 hours the owner will be presented with a detailed but an easy to read document reporting any immediate concerns, along with any recommendations.
There is no obligation to have any of the works carried out, though if an unsafe condition is noted the electrician may issue a Danger notification. This means the homeowner is aware of the situation reported on the EICR and fulfils the obligations of the inspector with regard to notifying the owner of the potential dangers.
What Is Inspected During an EICR
During the inspection, it is helpful if the area around the consumer unit is cleared and any furniture hiding accessories are moved or the electrical inspector made aware.
Please ensure the installation address and postcode is correct, we travel from Manchester and our scheduling software uses the address to calculate travel time to ensure we are not late.
It is our preferred practice to do an initial walk round to look for obvious deviations or immediate safety issues such as exposed live parts.
We would then progress to capturing the information and testing the whole of the consumer unit.
Next up would be removing 20% of the accessories and checking for issues such as overheating or damaged cables.
All metal accessories would be checked for earth or CPC continuity from the MET to the accessory.
We would then take all the information we had gathered during the EICR and start to run through the 70+ items to be considered. Due to our experience in carrying out electrical inspections we usually have a list of four or five instances which may apply to each item.
We will systematically run through each item and see if any of the instances apply in this EICR.
This gives us a very in-depth summary of the condition of the installation.
The whole point of an EICR is to compare the electrical installation with a benchmark.
To ensure consistency that benchmark is the current edition of BS7671 or BS7671:2018
Just because your wiring does not comply with the current electrical regulations doesn’t make it unsafe.
Certain conditions do result in an unsafe or unsatisfactory installation whilst others result in a recommendation of improvement.
There are usually 9 pages of inspection and testing which make up the full domestic EICR.
Some of the items tested along with the visual electrical inspection are :
- Reason for the report
- Installation address
- Description of the premises
- Age of wiring
- Age of alterations?
- Are installation records available?
- Extent and limitations of the inspection and testing
- Summary of the condition of the installation
- Earthing arrangements
- Number and type of conductors
- Nature of the supply conductors
- Supply protective device
- Means of earthing
- Details of an installation earth electrode
- Main protective conductors
- Main switch – Location-BS(EN)-No of poles
This is followed by over 70 individual items which should be checked and marked with an outcome.
These classification codes as they are known are
The consumer unit or fuse board should be 100% inspected during the EICR, the tests carried out on each circuit may include
- Circuit description
- Type of wiring
- Installation method
- Overcurrent protective device BS (EN)
- Rating (A)
- Breaking capacity (kA)
- RCD if present (mA)
- Live (mm2)
- CPC (mm2)
- r1 (line)
- rn (neutral)
- r2 (CPC)
- Insulation Resistance Live-Live
- Insulation Resistance Live-Earth
- Max measured EFLI
- Disconnection time (ms)
- RCD test button operation
Many faults are all but impossible to see visually, the inspector uses his knowledge of inspection and testing along with his calibrated test meter and his current publication of BS7671 18th Edition to establish just what condition the installation is in.
EICR Observation Codes and their meaning.
Once complete you may find that your EICR contains observation codes.
It is important to understand just what each code means and what may need to be done to mitigate the issues.
Observation Code C1
The danger is present, high risk of injury, immediate remedial action is required.
As the definition explains this code means there is an immediate risk of electric shock or serious injury.
Often used when live parts are exposed to the touch or may come into contact accidentally with persons or livestock.
It is a high-risk situation, the person ordering the EICR now have a duty of care to ensure the risk is dealt with at the earliest opportunity.
It is not deemed acceptable to suggest these issues are dealt with via ongoing maintenance schedules.
When we find a C1 code we would immediately contact you the client and inform you of the C1 code, we would follow up with a dangerous situation report via email or personally delivered.
By creating this “ paper trail” we are in effect protecting ourselves from any possible litigation should the issues not be corrected and an accident occurs.
We may isolate the affected circuit if possible to mitigate any risk.
In certain situations the C1 code is so serious it would endanger the inspectors themselves, in that situation the EICR would be halted until such time as the danger has been removed.
So to recap, the C1 code is the most serious EICR observation code we may come across and should be addressed ASAP.
Observation Code C2
Defined as potentially dangerous, urgent remedial action is required.
The use of this code tells us a potentially dangerous situation may occur but no live parts are present.
Usually, this code is used during the EICR when something else must occur to enable the deviation to create a dangerous situation.
We would not normally notify the client immediately but would rely on the observations section of the report.
The need to rectify the issues is still urgent and if present the inclusion of a C2 observation code will mean the overall report will be classed as Unsatisfactory.
Observation Code FI
Further investigation required without delay.
This code is used where the potential for an observation code may be C2 or C1 but without further detailed investigation, the outcome cannot be ascertained.
As this further work may not fall within the scope of the original inspection, there may be a need to get permission from the client before proceeding.
An observation code of FI would again mean the inspection summary would be unsatisfactory.
Observation Code C3
Probably the most common observation code used. Improvement is recommended as the installation may not comply with current BS7671 but does not represent a danger.
The overall EICR will be satisfactory. The client can decide whether to have the works completed but again needs to take into account their duty of care.
Observation Code LIM
A limitation as it suggests is some part of the inspection which has not been carried out.
Limitations may be such things as inspection of cables concealed, cables at height or in places not accessible.
Limitations should NOT be used to enable an unsatisfactory inspection to be reported as Satisfactory.
Who Should Carry Out An EICR?
As an EICR is not a legal document as such but may have legally binding consequences, at present anyone can carry out an EICR.
Whether or not they should depend on many things, their competence, their qualifications, experience among others.
An EICR should only be carried out by a skilled and competent electrician, not all electricians can or should carry out EICR’s.
Electrical Inspection and Testing requires a separate skill set than just installation.
It is important for the inspector to have the knowledge to interpret the readings he gets and know exactly what he is looking for.
We have been carrying out EICRs in Manchester for many years, our inspectors are all qualified and our company is registered with NAPIT to carry out these Electrical Safety Inspections.
How Much Is An EICR?
The cost of an EICR can vary greatly between contractors, this is primarily because the level of inspection actually carried out can vary as well.
Typically guidance dictates that 20% of accessories are removed and inspected because this is time consuming many companies will inspect as little as 5%.
Others will inspect 80% which inflates the price whilst not really providing much value.
In general, a 20% inspection is carried out with the understanding that if issues are identified that percentage may need to be increased.
We carry out a 20% inspection of accessories and 100% inspection of the consumer unit/fuse board. That is we test EVERY circuit in the house that can be found. There are instances where circuits have been removed or hidden away and cannot be found, we then fill out the EICR accordingly and note this.
So back to the original question: How Much Is an EICR?
Our current domestic electric installation certificate prices are:
- 1 Bedroom property £99
- 2 Bedroom property £119
- 3 Bedroom property £129
- 4 Bedroom property £139
EICR’s and Pegasus Electrical Limited
EICRs is what we do!
We have been carrying out EICRs in Manchester for over 15 years now and have built up a vast knowledge of installations and their nuances.
Our inspectors carry the latest multifunction calibrated testers along with Tablet computers, this enables us to carry out the inspection and in most cases complete the certificate on site.
The completed EICR can be emailed from the device straight to the client along with any other information or photos which may be required.
We operate a cloud-based booking and scheduling system which means we can easily meet the needs of our customers.
After all customer satisfaction and accurate EICR’s are our specialities.
So if you need an EICR in Manchester please get in touch.