We have several laws to follow to ensure that the workers and the public living around the system are safe. These legislations make it necessary for electrical contractors to test electrical systems regularly. Electrical compliance certificates confirm that the installations you have done recently meet the code of standard. For this purpose, hiring qualified inspectors makes the task easy for you. The Electrical compliance inspector tests the system and documents the results for future use.
Types of Electrical Compliance Testing
It is vital that the testing be based on the type.
Initial Inspection for New Electrical Installations
BS 7671:2018 states that every new installation must be inspected before going into service. It further says that you must test it to verify that the facility complies with the standards.
You can hire a competent electrician for a full inspection to complete the requirement.
If it is a new system, you will satisfy the needs of the Electrical Installation Certificate. However, you will go for Minor Electrical Work Certificate if further changes to an existing system.
Periodic Inspection and Testing
Regulation 621.1 of BS 7671 narrates that you will carry out periodic system inspections according to the rules. With its help, you will check whether the system can still provide good services.
The above regulation relates to the already installed systems. You will combine visual testing with a full inspection for this situation. Also, you will need to fulfill the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) requirements.
Types of Certificates
Following are the types of certificates you should document in inspection, either owner or inspector.
- New electrical installation: Installation Certificate and Building Compliance Certificate
- Replacement Fuse Box or Consumer Unit: Electrical Installation Certificate and Building Compliance Certificate
- Alterations to existing systems in bath, sauna, or shower: Minor Electrical Installation Certificate and sometimes Building Compliance Certificate
- Alterations to existing systems in the kitchen or outdoors: Minor Installation Certificate and sometimes Building Compliance Certificate
- Checking damage or deterioration to circuits over time: Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
Caption: Certified Electrical Appliances
What is the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)?
EICR reports determine whether the system is still doing its job efficiently or not. To fulfill the standards, you will inspect the current wiring, circuits, and devices in the same network. Then, you will determine the results for the state of the entire building. In the end, you can conclude that if the system is good to go, you might be altering it.
There are different types of EICR, each for a specific environment. You can select one based on the type of device and when you last inspected the electrical circuit.
- Commercial EICR reports are for educational institutes, gyms, shops, and offices. Here, it would be best to inspect the electronic equipment once every five years. In case of using premises for entertainment, test after every three years.
- Industrial EICR reports are for warehouses and factories. You need to carry out the test every five years.
- Domestic EICR reports are for residential areas. You will test after every five years in the case of rental properties. In the case of a private dwelling, you will repeat it after every ten years. Also, provide the latest test report to the buyer when selling the property.
Caption: Electrician testing household equipment
Why do you need a Certificate of Compliance?
A compliance certificate proves that the electrical contractors have done everything to secure the system. Although it is not a legal requirement, it can be evidence of many things. Such as
- It can tell that electrical distribution systems all over a building comply with the code.
- While purchasing a property, you can request to see the certificate to check whether the circuit functions correctly.
- Certification can also confirm that the wiring design of a building meets safety standards. It is crucial in situations with a fire due to circuit boards.
When do you need to get an Electrical Compliance Inspection?
Electrical Compliance is important to avoid equipment failures. Hence, it would help if you were certified the electrical circuits during the below occasions.
Before Buying a House
A complete survey before buying a house is critical to check the previous wirings. Moreover, correcting all the issues will be hectic, and the repairs may be costly. Hence, inspections can help you detect the faults before you move into your new house.
Sometimes, it can help you negotiate the prices in case of detected faults. So, always ask your dealer or the previous property owner to provide you with the compliance certificate.
After Buying a House
Even if you are satisfied with installing the house you bought, your duty does not end here. Instead, you have to inspect regularly to keep the system maintained. Following are some tips to consider after buying a house.
- Keep the system regularly maintained.
- Get the compliance certificate after every inspection
- Install safety switches to protect from faulty wirings
- In case of any electrical problem, contact your proprietor immediately
- Report the electrical accidents to your relevant electricity provider
Having issues with the current property
As the house grows old, the wirings start to have some wear and tear on them. It can result in the start of power issues regularly, such as blowing of fuse, etc. With the help of a detailed test, you can identify overloading defects and get them repaired on time. Additionally, you need to consider testing if
- Your house is older than 25 years
- The property has old installations
- You have fixed some of the damages on your own
After A Heavy Storm
Caption: A Heavy thunder and storm
In some parts of the world, residents might often experience major storms. If that is the case, lightning and heavy flood will severely impact the electrical systems. In addition, the current imbalance may cause damage to the residents.
If you live in such areas, you need to take precautions on time. You should perform a complete compliance test and repair faults on time.
How to conduct an Electrical Certificate of Compliance inspection?
The steps to fulfill the requirements of the certificate include
- Check if you have earthed the electrical equipment properly
- Ensure that the main circuit breakers comply with the standards
- Testing whether the sockets, switches, and lighting circuits are still working. There may be some old sockets that need replacement.
- Check whether the wiring is in its best condition. If not, you may need to change the old wiring.
- Moreover, it is essential to check the insulation state of a wire. So, check for torn insulation as well and fix them.
- Inspect whether the switch box has appropriate warning signs and labels.
- Check if the fuse box has a suitable protective device fitted in it. Also, check the rating of the trip switch.
- Ensure that the system is getting real input power from the power plant. It is because the circuits often blow due to changing power values.
- Check for any wear and tear on the electrical components.
- Finally, ensure that you are using the electrical devices to their fullest. Furthermore, the installation is not loosening up with time. If there are the slightest changes, it is time to repair or replace them.
Caption: Wire Testing
Who Should Perform Compliance Inspection?
To overcome compliance challenges in a system, you might need an opinion from an expert. Therefore, choose an accredited person to validate the method according to the standards. The inspector can be either a private electrician or part of a well-reputed company.
Some laws worldwide also require that an eligible person sign off the certificate of compliance. It is to ensure the system’s reliability along with the inspection procedure. Additionally, if any problem occurs after the test, the inspector will be responsible for the loss. Thus, you have to choose a suitable person for this critical job.
Electrical compliance tests ensure that the electrical installations are working without any faults. You can get a certificate issued by a qualified electrician for the proof of compliance test. Moreover, you need to renew the certificate after a certain period, depending on how critical the system is.
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