What are Electrical Installation Condition Reports?
The majority of homeowners buy and move into a new property without having the electrics checked, commonly incorrectly assuming that checks are included in the home survey report. Many then discover that there are electrical problems in their home. These normally could have been avoided through an Electrical Installation Condition Report by a registered Electrician.
EICRs are required is in rented accommodation every 10 years. It is recommended in all domestic homes every 10 years to check the condition of the electrical installation and ensure there is no deterioration. EICRs may also be required due to:
- Installation age (the older the installation the more often an EICR should be carried out)
- Property type e.g. if there is a swimming pool, the recommended interval between an EICR is 1 year, however only the parts of the installation relating to the swimming pool would need to be assessed.
- Environmental Conditions
- Misuse of the installation such as vandalism
- A new tenancy in rental properties, or a property sale.
Types of condition report
There are two types of domestic electrical installation condition report:
- Visual condition report – this does not include testing and is only suitable if the installation has recently been tested
- Periodic inspection reports – tests of installations to find any hidden damage
During an EICR, an electrician makes electrical observations giving each one a recommendation code. The observations describe a defect or omission within the electrical installation. Each observation is given a code according to the level of severity.
How old is my electrical installation?
There are some clear signs that can help you tell the age of equipment in the electrical installation in your home. Some important signs indicate installation prior to the 1960s and out of date equipment:
- Fixed cables coated in black rubber
- Fixed cables coated in lead or fabric
- A fuse box with a wooden back, cast iron switches, or a mixture of fuse boxes
- Older round pin sockets (or light switches), braided flex hanging from ceiling roses, brown/black switches, or sockets mounted in or no skirting boards
- Light switches on the walls or in bathrooms
Electrical installations can get damaged at any age and it’s normal that they experience wear and tear. An electrician can check their condition and ensure they are still safe.