What is EICR Testing?

28th June 2019 Emily Walker

An EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report), previously called ‘period inspection report’ or PIR for short, is an official report produced following an assessment.

What does an EICR involve?

An EICR involves a thorough electrical inspection and testing for:

  • Faults
  • Adherence to the Wiring Standards
  • Adequacy of earthing and bonding
  • Damage or wear and tear that could potentially be hazardous to the occupants
  • Damage to electrical fittings
  • Identification of installations that could dangerous to humans/livestock or be a fire risk
  • Overloaded electrical circuits
  • Defective electrical work

After completing an EICR report, the testing engineer will produce a certificate detailing any damage, wear and tear or other defects. Also highlighting anything that doesn’t meet present-day standards or may be a risk. An EICR will classify issues detected and any work required, using the following codes.

  • C1 – ‘Danger is present – Risk of injury, immediate action required.’
  • C2 – ‘Potentially dangerous – urgent remedial action required.’
  • C3 – ‘Improvement recommended.’
  • FI – ‘Further investigation required without delay.’

A report featuring C1 or C2 classifications will result in an ‘unsatisfactory’ report. Your electrical engineer will provide a quote for carrying out the work required to address each of the issues outlined. Once any C1 or C2 issues have been addressed, an EICR Certificate of Safety is issued. C3 issues won’t need to be addressed immediately in order for an EICR Certificate to be issued. However, your electrical engineer will make recommendations for fixing these issues before they reach C1 / C2, this is not only the safest, but also the most cost-effective course of action.  FI use is reserved for exceptional circumstances, such as where an observation cannot be verified and the inspector believes that a danger or potential danger exists.

Why are EICRs important?

Electrical cables are usually invisible, hidden inside wall cavities and cupboards, so damage or wear and tear is not always obvious. It’s only through electrical testing that potentially hazardous faults and fire risks can be detected.

When on site, we get asked whether we can see if an electrical installation is safe or not. But, no one can ever tell if it is safe just by simply looking at it. We need to carry out electrical tests with our calibrated testers.

An EICR will aim to:

  1. Find and report any damage or wear and tear to the electrical installation.
  2. Find any areas that do not meet IET Wiring Regulations.
  3. Find any areas that could be hazardous – e.g. potential for electric shocks.
  4. Record the results of the inspection, testing and (following any required work) certify that the electrical installation is safe until the next inspection.
  5. Provide an important record to inform future inspection reports.

How often do you need an EICR?

EICR testing is not technically a legal requirement, but there are laws and regulations. Particularly for landlords (Landlords and Tenants Act 1985) and businesses (The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989), outlining responsibilities for adhering to IET Wiring Regulations (BS7671).

EICR testing is recommended for landlords, business owners and homeowners at regular intervals to prevent the risk of fire and electric shock that comes with old and faulty wiring. Recommended frequencies:

  • Landlords for rented properties –every 5 years, or each time a new tenant enters your property.
  • Businesses – employers are recommended to have a test done every 5 years.
  • Homeowners –every 10 years, or annually if your property has a swimming pool.
  • Educational establishments, hospitals and industrial buildings are recommended to have an EICR test done every 3 years.

It is also recommended that an EICR test be carried out, regardless of whether you’re a homeowner, landlord or business owner when making any changes to your property that might affect any of your electrical installations. Work such as a home or office renovation is included in this.

How much does an EICR cost?

The cost of the EICR test will depend on what your electrical engineer is testing. Wiring regulations advise testing a sample of electrical points/accessories. This is particularly important for larger installations and will help you save on cost.

Costs will vary depending on the scale of the installations, but domestic EICRs are likely to start at around £200+VAT.  You should be wary of electrical contractors offering to carry out an EICR for free – it’s likely that they will then inflate the cost of the remedial works to make their profit.  If you find a contractor who is a lot cheaper than others, it questions whether their testing is thorough enough. We often see EICR reports stating ‘LIM’, meaning limitation. This only leads to further investigation by another engineer and doesn’t particularly tell that engineer and, more importantly, the customer anything at all.

Who should carry out your EICR?

An EICR test can be carried out by a registered electrical engineer. Check your engineer is NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) registered or another approved electrical governing body. This ensures they have the training and qualifications necessary to carry out the test and inspection, also, any required remedial works.

Point Electrical EICR testing

At Point Electrical our skilled electricians have years of experience working with businesses, landlords and homeowners to carry out EICR tests. NICEIC registered and listed as Which? Trusted Traders, we guarantee a professional, high-quality service every time. Contact us for a quote or to discuss your requirements if you’re looking to have an EICR test carried out on your premises.