When is Re-wiring Necessary?
If a property hasn’t been rewired in the last 25-30 years, it will probably need upgrading, whether partially or fully, to ensure it complies with current safety standards. Given the sheer volume of electrical devices used in modern households compared to the 1980s and 90s, the existing wiring might be under strain from a high level of electricity usage, and could potentially be dangerous. A full or partial rewire might also be required if you’re planning major renovation work that would be defined as a ‘material alteration’ by the Building Regulations. This will usually include an upgrade of the fuse board. In the case of room extensions and attic or garage conversions, any new wiring will need to comply with Part P (Electrical Safety) of the Building Regulations, and existing wiring in those rooms will also need to be improved to ensure it can safely carry additional loads.
How Often Should I Test My Electrics?
Like anything, electrical installations in the home are subject to deterioration, ageing and general wear and tear. This is why electrical tests should be conducted on a regular basis. British Standard BS 76719 (IET Wiring Regulations) advises that homeowners, landlords and businesses test at the following intervals: Homeowners – an electrical test is required once every five years. Businesses – employers should have a periodic test undertaken every five years.Landlords – it is recommended that landlords test their properties once every five years, or when there is a change of tenancy. If in doubt get it tested and checked out!
Electrical Testing, What’s Involve?
EICR – Electrical Inspection Condition Report will check if your home’s electrical installations have any faults that are unidentifiable with a simple visual check. A number of faults could occur, such as electrical circuits overheating or becoming overloaded during use. If an electrical circuit is not installed properly – for example, without bonding or earthing to secure the electrics safely – it could potentially lead to a fire or shock hazard. Electrical testing will pinpoint any defective electrical work in your home’s system.
Warning signs and thing to look out for !
look for damaged light switches and sockets, broken cables and scorch marks that result from the overloading of the power outlet. Inspect the residual current device (RCD) for the circuits that operate gardens and bathrooms. These visual checks should be carried out at regular intervals between the more thorough periodic inspections.
Getting an – Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR)
Once completed you’ll be given a certificate by your testing engineer. Called an Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR). The report will outline any deterioration, damage, defects or other dangerous aspects of your electrical system, plus anything that isn’t aligned with current safety standards or could place people at risk.
If the test comes back negative, the EICR will be recorded as “unsatisfactory”, indicating that work is required immediately to remove the risk to anyone who is living or working in the property. The report will also show which electrical system(s) failed the periodic test. Any required work is classified using specific codes:
C1 – this means ‘danger is present’, there is a likely risk of injury and action is required immediately.
C2 – potentially dangerous with remedial action needed urgently.
C3 – improvements to your electrical system are recommended. This is the only code that can appear on an EICR and still pass the test & be deemed satisfactory.