Inspection and Testing

NAPIT PART P 24 Hour Electricians serving Peterborough and the surrounding area.

 

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Web Site last Updated

13 November 2012

        

A Electrical Installation Condition Report of a property consists of, a visual inspection of the electrical installation, and live and dead testing of the installation by a suitably qualified electrician. On completion of the visual inspection and testing of the installation, a Electrical Installation Condition Report is issued. This states if there are any faults, and if the installation is safe to use at the time of the test. If electrical faults are found, a price or quote for rectifying these faults will also be received. It should be remembered that all electrical installations, should be tested & inspected at regular recommended intervals.

Periodic testing & inspection does not have to be completed by a part P approved Company under part P of the building regulations, and can be completed by anyone qualified to complete a test & inspection. SCN Electricals Limited have obtained the 2391 testing & inspecting City & Guilds Certificate, and are qualified to complete Electrical Installation Condition Reports.

If there are any faults found during the test they are given codes C1,C2, or C3, if a C1, or C2 code is given it would mean the installation is in an unsatisfactory condition. Code C1 faults require urgent attention, code C2 faults require improvement, code C3 faults require further investigation. All installations that fail a test & inspection and require remedial work, should be given a retest after the remedial work is completed.

Main reasons for test & inspections
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BS 7671 states every electrical installation should be periodically tested & inspected
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Electrical installations deteriorate with use and over time and can put users in danger
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To detect electrical faults which could cause shock or burns to humans or livestock
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Check if the installation is safe to use
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Check if there is protection against damage to property by fire or heat arising from a defect
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Before a new tenant moves in
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Before selling a property for a mortgage application
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Change of use of the property
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Additions to the installation which could cause overloading
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Alterations to the installation which could cause harm or damage
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Problems reported about the installation such as fuses blowing or tripping
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If there has been flooding or water damage due to a leak
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After a fire or electrical fault to the whole or part of the installation
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If it is reported there has been an electrical shock received

How often should one be completed

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Domestic installations every 10 years or change of tenant or owner
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Commercial installations every 5 years or change of occupancy
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Educational installations every 5 years except for fire & emergency lighting
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Residential accommodation every 5 years or change of occupancy
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Offices every 5 years or change of occupancy except for fire & emergency lighting
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Caravans every 3 years

What happens during the testing & inspection

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Details of the installation are noted as well as the owners name and address
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The type of installation domestic, commercial, Industrial
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Type of supply single phase or 3 phase
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Number of fuse boards or consumer units it has
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Number of circuits
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Number of fixed appliances, lights, plugs, etc
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Type of heating, cooking and water heating appliances
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What's on each circuit and what should not be
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Checking for defects visually
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Dead testing of each circuit to obtain test readings to check safety & conformity
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Live testing of each circuit to check against regulations and check safety & conformity
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Check cables are installed correctly and in safe manor
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Check correct cable sizes are used throughout
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Check main earthing conductor is present
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Check if any gas pipe is earth bonded and installed correctly
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Check if main water pipe is earth bonded and installed correctly
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Check fuse or MCB is of correct size
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Check if all metal light switches, light fittings, and other metal accessories are earthed
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RCD's are working correctly to the correct tripping value

These are just a few of many things we do during

a periodic test & inspection of an installation

How long will it take

How long a Electrical Installation Condition Report takes depends on many factors, but most normal 3 bedroom terrace houses, take between 2 & 4 hours to complete. The regulations state all electricians must complete a minimum of 10% checks of an installation, but it is down to the owner and the contractor how far the testing is permitted. The contractor and the owner decide how far checks are made and for what price, normally electricians do not lift floorboards or carpets.

A limited amount of dismantling is done to complete visual inspections & testing, again this is discussed with the owner to decide how far a test & inspection should go. If faults are found within an installation, we are required to go further than 10% or let the owner know more testing & inspecting is required.

The time stated above to test & inspect a 3 bedroom property, is an approximate time most electricians would take. If you employ an electrician to conduct a test in a property, and it takes less than 2 hours, it is not being done properly. Even the smallest of properties will take about 2 hours to complete, so if it has been done quicker, we would question the integrity of the report and the person carrying it out.

The NICEIC have been around for many years, and on the whole are a very good organization. Electricians come in all shapes and sizes, but the main thing is, some are better than others. All Napit members are vetted and tested for competency on their work, where with NICIEC it is in the person in charge of certification and testing. All organizations have a good and bad element, but it does take time to find the bad ones out.

What determines the time and price of a Electrical Installation Condition Report

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The size of the property overall, you can have a 3 bed semi or a 3 bed mansion
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The amount of switches, plugs, light fittings etc within the property the more testing
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How many floors it has, the property could be on many levels
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How many fuse boards or consumer units the installation has then more testing will be needed
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How many circuits it has, the more circuits it has the more testing required
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If it has an RCD this will need testing, and all RCD circuits will require testing
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If not able to test all areas or no electricity a retest will be required, additional cost
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Number of rooms in property, least amount of rooms means less testing
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Heating type if storage heaters, there will be 2 consumer units and more testing needed
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If occupied or vacant, if vacant it will be cheaper as it will be done quicker
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If old certificates available this can help make a test quicker and so cheaper

In 2005 I asked the NICEIC two questions, how long will it take to complete a Electrical Installation Condition Report of a 3 bedroom terrace house on two levels. The answer I received was a minimum of 4 hours approximately. I also asked how much would it cost to complete one, the answer I received was this. In Peterborough approximately 75 to 135 and 170 or more in London, of course this will vary with different Companies or tradesmen. The prices will of changed with some Companies as this was over 4 years ago, and regulations have changed.

Many Companies or tradesmen quote a very low price for a Electrical Installation Condition Report, just so they can get a foot in the door and also get the remedial work afterwards. Then they will more than likely charge higher rates to complete any work required, knowing that almost every property will require remedial work.

Some Companies that employ apprentices and electricians or sub-contractors to do Electrical Installation Condition Reports, can afford to go in with a low price. This is because the cost of a Test less the labour price, would still mean the Company would make money. The question you should always ask is, who is doing the testing and are they qualified to conduct a Electrical Installation Condition Report. Ask to see proof of there qualifications if in doubt.

Important Information Required For The Test

Before calling for a Electrical Installation Condition Report to be completed please obtain the information below, which we will need for the certificate, this could save you additional costs and problems later.

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Name and address of the owner this is information for the certificate
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Contact phone number again for the certificate
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The electricity suppliers details such as EDF or southern electric, for certificate
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Where the fuse board or consumer unit is, and how many in case not visible
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Is there parking close to the property and if a parking permit is required
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Type and size of property, how many levels, if out buildings
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What type of heating it has, central heating or storage heaters
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How many fuses or MCB's ( determines how many circuits )
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Is there any is any old certificates for the installation, please make them available
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Is it an occupied or vacant property and if any animals are in the property
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Is there a credit electricity meter for the installation or is it a quarterly meter
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State the reason for the test & inspection required for the certificate
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Is there any reason why the power can not be turned off for an hour or so
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Is there tropical fish or other reason for being careful about how long power is off
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Is there any specific time the power has to be turned on by
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When is the best time to complete a test & inspection AM or PM
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Is there any other special requirements for the property or its inhabitants

Please make all switches & points accessible

in all areas, this will save time & costs

Many of the answers to these questions are information for the certificate, some are to help us conduct the test safely for us and anyone present, but some are to help us price the test & inspection fairly.

Also Important For The Test

Please make available all keys to obtain entry to all areas for the test & inspection, and make any parking permits available for the date of test. Please make sure any electrical credit meters have credit on them, as you will be charged if we have to return due to not being able to conduct a full test if no power is available.

You can pay in advance to book a test & inspection before the date of the test, but we do not give out full reports until full payment is received in cleared funds or cash. If paying by cheque or after the test date, you will not receive the report until clearance of full payment. This is due to some past clients obtaining reports, without paying the test fee required. .

What happens after a test & inspection

You will receive a Electrical Installation Condition Report this is what it says it is not a certificate, If there was faults found you will also receive a price from us to complete the electrical work (remedials ), and you will need to have a retest to obtain a satisfactory Electrical Installation Condition Report from us. Once you have the satisfactory report certificate you will need to have the installation retested, at the interval noted at the next test & inspection date, which will also be stated on the fuse box or consumer unit.

 

Your Safety is at risk if you do not have your property tested and inspected at regular intervals more details on request.