An EICR does not get registered with the local building control, like a new consumer unit, or full rewire would do under PartP. More electricians use online software, so a report is typically filed with their scheme provider - like NICEIC or NAPIT for example.
An EICR inspects and tests the fixed installation. That's the wiring for lights, sockets, cookers, showers and associated accessories. It also checks the circuit protection inside the consumer unit. PAT testing checks items like kettles, toasters, microwaves etc are safe for continued use with no damage to their flex, casing and the earth connection is fully functional.
Electrical Inspection and Testing (EICR) applies to all electrical Installations. Domestic, Commercial and Industrial locations should all be tested to help prevent electrical-related injuries.
When the Inspector completes the EICR, they typically place a stick on the consumer unit(s) stating the recommended next test date. On a new build home, it's typically ten years. On a rental inspection, it's likely to be five years. Industrial premises where there is an increased risk of the installation becoming damaged may be less.
If your buyer is going to mortgage their home, then it's highly likely the lender will insist on an EICR to be completed. Some lenders will restrict lending if any C1 (immediate danger) or C2 (potential danger) codes are noted on the report. Even when a buyer doesn't lend, an EICR is likely - moreso on older properties. If you are selling your home, an eicr is likely to be required to complete the sale.
An EICR is a condition report. It's a bit like an MOT of the electrical installation. The inspector makes notes of any observations on the day of the test and enters it on the electrical installation condition report certificate
An electrical installation certificate is paperwork to back up what the electrician designed, installed and tested a piece of work.
An electrical inspection is referred to by many names. Some I can think of are:
- condition report
- electrical safety certificate
- landlord inspection
- five year test
- wiring check
- periodic inspection
- signing off
The Inspector will list the recommended test date on the condition report. Sometimes insurance companies, trade associations (like baptist church) or legislation will have their own timeframes.
Here is an example completed eicr pdf:
When an inspector makes an observation of immediate danger, they will code it C1
When they find something that they feel is potentially dangerous, they will code it C2
If you do not agree with the codes an Inspector has assigned to your property, you could contact them directly asking why they have assigned that code to the observation.
Although it's not part of the fixed installation paperwork, most electricians will offer PAT as part of the EICR service.
If you receive an unsatisfactory report, you should ask the person carrying out the Inspection what is involved and provide a quote to complete the remedial work. Upon completion, it is common practice to receive minor works, or an electrical installation certificate referencing the EICR the remedial work has been carried out for. It's not like an MOT where you will be issued a pass certificate.
If there is no risk of the furniture being damaged, then it's likely the Inspector will move something light if it's in the way of testing a socket outlet, for example. But it's unlikely beds, wardrobes and book shelves would be moved to test a socket or switch assembly.
Electrical tests comprise dead testing (where power is removed from the circuit being tested), such as continuity of circuit protective conductors, ring end to end and figure of eight and live testing. Live tests include polarity, earth fault loop impedance and rcd testing.
If the inspector has found the test reading too high on a socket outlet, light fitting or shower assembly, they are likely to code it as FI (further investigation). Further tests may include removing power from that circuit and carrying out an R1 + R2 test. This would rule out an issue with the rcd itself, or the test meter being used to take live readings. The maximum ZS depends on the circuit protection being used.
The Inspector carrying out an EICR should be experienced with the type of Installation they are testing. They should also be up-t0-date with the wiring regulations (BS7671). Some insurers or mortgage providers may insist they belong to a trade association (like NICEIC or NAPIT).
The cost of an eicr will generally depend on how many circuits need testing, how many distribution boards are present and if it's a commercial or domestic property.