What is EICR?
An Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR) is an official document that is produced following an assessment of electrical installation. It must be carried out by a qualified electrician or electrical contractor.
When an EICR is performed on the property the contractor will need to disconnect the installation from the mains electrical power supply. Depending on the size of the property this can take anywhere from an hour or two to a whole day, some larger installations especially commercial or industrial installations can take days or even weeks.
The contractor needs to switch off and disconnect the power for reasons of safety and also for the purpose of being able to apply the correct test to the relevant electrical circuit. The disconnection of the power supply is of course going to be an inconvenience for those that are using the building at the time, especially if the disconnection of the power impacts on the running of a business or other critical operation.
What does an EICR consist of?
An EICR will pick up any potential problems before they can become a serious, or even hazardous. The test will follow along the lines detailed below:
This is where the electrician will survey the electrical installation before they commence with the electrical testing. The visual inspection will highlight broken or cracked devices, where devices may have been installed in the wrong location, or if there have been overloading or over heating problems.
Electrical testing with the use of electrical test meters, include:
Continuity testing: a test to check if there are any badly connected conductors
Insulation resistance testing: this test is to make sure that the electrical insulation material surrounding the conductors is intact.
Polarity: this test is to check that the connection are connected in the right sequence
Earth fault loop impedance testing: this test is to check that if a fault did occur, that the system meets requirements to cause a disconnection of the supply within the time limit specified
RCD testing: on modern electrical systems RCD’s and RCBO’s are regularly fitted, these devices react to electricity missing from the circuit or installation such as when a person is receiving an electric shock as the electricity passes through his body to the ground (earth)
During an EICR, the inspector may make a number of electrical observations and will give each one a recommendation code C1 C2 or C3. The observations describe a defect or omission within the electrical installation.
C1 = Danger Present, Immediate Remedial Action Required, There is a risk of injury and that immediate remedial action is required to remove the dangerous condition.
C2 = Potential Danger Urgent Remedial Action Required, Potentially dangerous condition: Urgent remedial action required, this should declare the nature of the problem, not the remedial actions required.
C3 = Improvement Recommended, This code more often than not implies that while the installation may not comply with the current set of regulations, complies with a previous set of regulations and so is deemed to be safe although this safety can be improved upon.
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