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Applying best practices in electrical installation can not only help you achieve higher efficiency, but it can also translate to better cost savings down the road since the installation will be less likely to face faults and repairs than if you opted for an installation from an unprofessional team.
A large part of ensuring the quality and safety of these installations is an Electrical Installation Certificate or EIC. These certificates are an integral part of any electrical installation that proves that the installation at a residence is according to the standards outlined in Part P regulations.
If you are looking to get work done according to the highest standards possible, then you will have to opt for a professional service that provides Part P-certified electricians who can:
Read below to learn more about EICs, their purpose, their importance, and some useful information for people seeking to obtain a valid Electrical Installation Certificate.
Electrical installations may seem easy on the surface, after all, some people might also attempt to do simple repairs themselves. However, the reality is that electrical installations are often highly complex tasks that don’t just require general knowledge about electrical circuits, but also an experienced hand!
This is why these installations are usually only performed by highly trained and more importantly, certified individuals. In the old days, there was no set standard for electrical installations. Everyone had their own blueprint for how to lay down wires and install circuits.
This, however, wasn’t a sustainable approach since a rise in short circuits, fires, and even deaths highlighted the importance of a standardised system that could not just reduce but also eliminate the risks associated with electrical installations.
These standards came in the form of the British Standards which were developed and enforced in the early 1900s. The British Standards took on the problem using a holistic approach. Instead of just focusing on the servicing side and setting standards for electricians, they also went back to the supply chain and enforced these standards on electrical equipment manufacturers as well.
Before the standards, everyone had one goal in mind: to install wires in the fastest way possible and the least cost possible. As you can imagine, things didn’t exactly turn out okay using this methodology.
Since homeowners were after lower costs, they would often source cheaper wires and equipment with subpar insulation – what is worse is that this equipment was often self-sourced without the help of an electrician!
This approach worked for some and barely got the job done for others, however, in time, the subpar standards quickly became a huge problem for homeowners. During the early 1900s, people who got electrical work done by non-certified amateurs were more likely to face severe damage to both property and life. In fact, it was due to these rising incidents that the government took special notice and put more emphasis on applying the British Standards across the board.
Over time, these standards evolved with electrical technology, and today, the British Standards are the gold standard for anyone looking to install safe and efficient electrical systems.
As mentioned above, these standards have also had a profound impact on electricians as well. For example, instead of diving headfirst into a power box, a certified individual would begin the job by thinking about two things:
The British Standards provide a blueprint for certified electricians to perform electrical tasks. This means that they must follow a set of standard best practices to ensure the safety of the system. A certified electrician will first draw up a plan on how they will approach the installation.
A certified electrician may also include the homeowner during this process to help lock in the scope of the work. Once the electrician has figured out the most efficient and cost-effective way to approach the job, they will then begin to attempt the installation using best practices to eliminate any risk to the homeowner.
Once the task is complete, the electrician will provide a certificate that will validate the installation and ensure that the work was done using British Standards and following all the appropriate protocols. You can think of this certificate as a type of guarantee!
Since electrical certificates are seen as a guarantee for the work done by electricians, homeowners can relax and have peace of mind that the electrical circuits in their home are free of faults and their overall risk of incidents related to electrical failure are close to zero.
These certificates changed the industry for the better and continue to play a pivotal role in establishing strict safety standards across the UK.
As per Part P of the British Standards, after a certified electrician has completed the electrical work in a residence, they must produce a valid Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) and provide it to the property owner.
This certificate can then be used by the property owner to take action against the team that did the installation work, should there be a serious issue or damage incurred due to a fault in the installation. So, how well do these standards work, and how often do people face issues even after they are issued a guarantee in the form of a certificate?
Well, the good news is that the chances of electrical failure, or the chances of a property owner using an EIC against the team for legal action is extremely unlikely. In fact, in the years since the advent of the British Standards and the policy for the issuance of these certificates, the overall incidence rate has gone down significantly.
The incidents that do take place, often happen due to external factors such as a surge from the backend, bad weather, or even a mistake on the property owner’s part.
Electrical Installation Certificates are required to be issued to property owners as per the law in the UK. Electrical work such as installations and even repairs, additions, or alterations warrant a valid certificate.
This best practice not only ensures the safety of the equipment, but since the work is done according to a certain standard, a different certified team can also access the system with ease and make repairs or additions without undoing the previous installation.
A standard Electrical Installation Certificate has information on all the particulars of an electrical installation. Some of the information includes the details about the installation, the details of the contractor and the team that did the installation, details about the property, the date of issuance, and of course, all the details regarding the work performed.
This includes information about even the slightest deviations from the previous installation or deviations from work done outside of regulations.
Most importantly, the certificate will also contain information about the various tests performed on the new installation. These safety tests are performed to confirm the integrity of the installation and the results of the tests are also shared in the certificate. In the event of a failed test, the electrician will inform the homeowner and log the issue in the certificate.
Of course, if the installation fails essential tests, then the electrician will attempt to fix the issue and address all the problems highlighted in the results. The electrician will then rerun the tests and repeat the process (if necessary) until everything is working as intended.
Finally, the certificate also covers an inspection schedule. This schedule covers the dates for when the system needs to be inspected for faults or issues. A certified electrician will visit the premises during a scheduled visit and perform all the necessary tests to ensure everything is working as originally intended.
If there is an issue during any of the scheduled inspection visits, the electrician will perform repairs or additions required to address the problem and then log these events in the updated certificate.
Inspection is also a crucial part of electrical installations. These inspections not only help highlight problems, but they can also ensure that the system is running optimally and isn’t costing the homeowner additional costs in the form of rising electricity bills due to an unoptimised system.
Without inspections, the system is likely to run into a problem down the road, regardless of how well the system was initially installed. The truth is, like everything else, electrical equipment is subject to depreciation.
This means that even the most foolproof of systems may not stand the test of time without minor repairs. The good news is that if you follow the schedule as intended, then you will never have to worry about electrical problems in your life. This is a testament to how the British Standards have completely changed the way electrical installations are done in the modern world.
Here are some of the most important best practices that ensure a safe and efficient electrical installation:
As mentioned above, compliance is the number one priority of any certified electrician. According to the law, the electrician will be held accountable for a faulty installation and will likely face severe legal action depending on the severity of the incident that was directly caused by their incompetence.
This is why even before a certified electrician lays a hand on the wiring, they will ensure that they follow all the necessary compliance and regulatory requirements. In other words, they will need to treat the British Standards as their bible and follow everything according to protocol.
In order to install an efficient and long-lasting electrical system, you will always need to opt for a qualified and certified person. For example, Calder Electrical provides only the most trained, experienced, and regulatory-qualified personnel for any job.
Whether it’s solar panel installation, a complete electrical overhaul, or even minor repairs – going with a qualified person from a reputable company like Calder Electrical will ensure that the installation is safe, secure, and futureproof.
A foolproof electrical installation often requires a thorough risk assessment. A risk assessment report is often created by a certified electrician before they lock the scope of the work. This assessment may involve highlighting hazards or potential issues that may jeopardise the installation and the numerous ways that these issues can be addressed.
Sourcing materials may seem like an easy job but if you opt for doing it yourself, then you are likely to get the wrong equipment (and at the wrong price). This is why you should always leave the sourcing to a professional.
Calder Electrical provides end-to-end material sourcing at very competitive rates. In other words, you can blindly trust a certified company to get you all the materials required for your job. This way, the electrician will bear all the responsibility and you will rarely have to face a problem arising from using subpar materials.
Competent and experienced electricians will always include the property owner in the planning or decision-making process during an installation. There are two reasons for this: the first has to do with locking the scope of the work to figure out the costs associated with the project – and the second has to do with minimising the risk of redoes or unplanned alterations.
If the property owner is always in the know of the changes or minute details of the installation, they can rest assured that the installation will happen exactly how they imagined it and not an electrical outlet be installed without their knowledge.
Testing is just as important as the installation! During the installation, the electrician will continuously perform tasks after completing certain milestones in the installation. This way, the electrician can address all the issues as they happen instead of tracing the problem after completing the work.
Once the installation task is complete, the electrician runs another set of final tests. These tests are performed to check the integrity and efficiency of the installation. In most cases, when installation is done correctly, the test results are always normal – but in some cases, these tests can help highlight important oversights.
The best part about following standards is that the electrician will have to make sure that the tests are redone until they yield the intended results. So, you can rest assured that the installation will be done according to the highest standards, and everything will be working optimally when you are handed the final Electrical Installation Certificate.
If you look at the Electrical Installation Certificate, you will find a section that covers the maintenance and inspection schedule. This section is another form of guarantee that ensures the safety of the electrical installation. During an inspection visit, a certified electrician will check the previous installation as well as highlight potential problems in the electrical system.
For example, if a wire that is continuously exposed to the outside environment is showing signs of deterioration, then the electrician will report this issue and provide the necessary advice to the property owner. These inspection and maintenance visits can greatly enhance the life of the electrical installation and ensure that everything is working properly and efficiently!
We have been providing electrical services to residential, commercial, and industrial properties for over 40 years and are specialists in all aspects of electrical installations, maintenance, and testing.
All our work is fully insured, and we work to meet the standards set by the NICEIC to make sure all your electrical installations meet the current regulations, and all the notifiable work is signed off by the local authorities.
If you have unplanned issues within your home or business, we can provide a call-out service to rectify and solve any problems such as circuits tripping, loss of power, broken items that need repairing, or to check if you feel something is unsafe or a potential hazard.
Our team can generate a Visual Inspection Report (VIR) to identify anything visual that does not comply with the standards or looks unsafe, as well as a full Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) where we will identify and test each circuit to make sure they are not deteriorating and are safe for use within the current standards and regulations set by the BS 7671.
We can also provide PAT testing of appliances to make sure that any items such as kettles, computers, and microwaves are safe for use in the home and workplace.
Contact us here or call us at 0800 612 3001 to get in touch with our professional electricians for more information on the best practices for safe and efficient electrical installations.
Or would like us to provide a survey and quote then please contact us and we will be happy to help.Call us on 0800 612 3001