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From the lights in your house to your television, computer, refrigerator, and washing machine, everything relies on electricity and requires a constant source of power.
Electricity is such a major part of our lives and we have become so dependent on it that oftentimes we overlook how risky and dangerous it can be if not used properly.
The thing with electrical installations is that, despite how good they are, they all deteriorate with time and use. You can’t expect your 30-year-old house electrics to work in the same efficient way they did when they were initially installed.
For that reason, you need to get your house electrics tested every couple of years to rule out any issues and inconsistencies.
Such tests are commonly referred to as ‘periodic inspection and testing’ and are what help keep you and your family safe from electrical hazards.
You’d be surprised to know the number of accidents and injuries that get reported due to faulty home electrics. They cause shocks and burns and, in serious cases, may even start electrical fires.
Electrical inspection and testing are designed in a way to eliminate these risks and are an important part of both home and workplace safety.
Read on to find out how to test the electrics in your home, why it is so important, and who to contact for a thorough inspection of all your electrical installations:
Before we discuss the importance of electrical inspection and testing, it is important to understand what it is and how to conduct it.
The main purpose of electrical testing is to ensure that your home’s electrical wiring is safe, functioning to its full capacity and that all the appliances in your home can continue to run without any issues.
They are carried out in both residential and commercial properties and are what may stand between you and damage and destruction caused by electrical fires.
During the electrical inspection and testing process, an electrically competent person, such as a professional electrician will:
The best way to ensure that the wiring and electrical installations in your house are safe to use is to have a reliable contractor test them out. But how would you know when to get the tests done?
According to the wiring regulations BS 7671, every domestic property’s electrical installations must be regularly inspected and tested every 5 to 10 years to rule out any defective electrical work and safety hazards.
If you are a landlord renting out your home to someone, it is your responsibility to get the electrics tested every 5 years, or whenever there is a change in occupancy, to make sure they are safe to use by your tenants.
In addition to the fixed wiring on the property, you also need to make sure that the portable appliances, such as refrigerators, microwaves, televisions, coffee machines, dishwashers, and washing machines, are safe to use.
It is recommended to conduct a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) between 3 to 12 months depending on the type and usage of the appliance.
Other than the time frames recommended by the UK government, you should get your house electrics tested if you are buying or selling the property, after major renovations, or if your house is really old.
When you plan on selling your house, you need to make sure that it is in optimal condition so that you can get the best deal out of it.
Although homeowners aren’t bound by the law to have the electrics tested before selling their house, it is recommended to avoid any delays in the conveyancing process.
Many buyers ask for an electrical installation certificate, which is a compliance certificate given at the end of an inspection. It not only gives the buyers peace of mind regarding the safety of the house’s electrics but also increases the demand for the property.
Additionally, since major home renovations have the potential to change the layout of existing electrical installations and their components, it is a good idea to get the house electrics tested after any such changes. These inspections can be especially beneficial if you are looking to sell your house after the renovations.
Another important time to consider getting your house electrics tested is if you are living in a really old house, such as one constructed in the ’40s. Old properties tend to have obsolete wiring and technology making them a hazard if used with modern-day equipment. Routine electrical inspections ensure that all the installations comply with the current wiring standards and are safe to use.
Electrical inspection and testing consist of a few simple and a few thorough testing procedures that give you a better idea of the health of your home’s electrics.
Some tests can easily be conducted by the homeowners themselves while others are better left to the professionals since they require expertise and experience to handle complicated electrical systems.
Some common ways to test whether the electrical installations in your house are up to the mark or not is by keeping your eyes, ears, and nose open to anything out of the ordinary. A few warning signs include:
If you see any of the above signs or sustain any shocks, burns, or injuries due to the house electrics, you must call a certified electrician right away who can check the current installations and make the required changes and upgrades to make them safe for continued use.
The inspection and testing process carried out by a certified electrician usually starts with a visual inspection to identify any ‘visible’ signs of electrical damage and defect and to reveal any areas that need attention.
These visual signs may include any of the above-mentioned warning signs, in addition to any missed out by the homeowners.
During the visual inspection, the competent individual takes down notes and makes a corresponding Visual Inspection Report (VIR) to provide an overall general summary of the health of the electrical system.
The Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is a comprehensive test that thoroughly checks all the fixed wiring of your electrical installations and establishes whether they are safe to use and compliant with the current regulations.
It includes checking the electrical system, such as the wiring, consumer unit, earthing and bonding, and all the other areas that could pose a potential safety risk.
During an EICR check, a trained electrician visits your home, makes a visual assessment of the house electrics, and then proceeds to carry out a series of tests on the electrical system.
To make the process easier and smoother, the electrical contractors may use an electrical inspection checklist as a guide to carry out the detailed tests.
The checklist includes different pointers related to each task with a brief explanation of what is required to be done to make it easier for the contractors to follow the SOPs. It also makes sure that no area is overlooked and left unchecked.
During the check, the electrician will classify all issues under one of three codes, Codes C1, C2, and C3, depending on the level of risk and danger that they pose.
All C1 problems are considered dangerous that need to be immediately fixed then and there and made safe. C2 issues are those that may be potentially dangerous but may be fixed at the end of the process. C3 are recommendations that are not considered unsafe and are okay for continued use.
At the end of the inspection, the certified electrician completes a multi-page report and issues a certificate of electrical compliance for safekeeping and future reference.
Getting your home electrics tested as per the electrical safety guidelines not only keeps you and your family safe from accidents and injuries but provides a range of other benefits as well.
The benefits of electrical inspection and testing include:
Your home should be your safe space where you feel the most comfortable and at peace. In addition to securing your home against threats such as intrusions and burglaries, you must also make sure that it stays safe from other threats such as electrical hazards.
Faulty electrics not only cause issues with your home’s wiring but may also result in the appliances malfunctioning and cause electrical fires in some cases.
Therefore, in order to minimise the risk, it is very important to keep a check on common warning signs such as buzzing noises, electrical shocks, flickering or dimming lights, burning smells, and frayed, damaged, or exposed wiring, and get your home electrics inspected regularly.
According to Part P of the Building Regulations, all homeowners must guarantee the safety and reliability of their electrical system and get it tested by a certified electrician in the recommended timeframe.
If you are a landlord, it becomes even more critical for you to ensure the safety of all the electrical installations before your tenants move in. The wiring, consumer units, fuse boxes, and all other electricals must remain in full working order and free from any sort of risk or danger.
The majority of home appliances work on electricity and require a safe and steady flow of current to continue working fault-free.
Electrical faults and surges may cause these items to malfunction and get damaged which, at times, may be very costly and inconvenient to fix.
To make sure that your electrical items and equipment remain safe and protected against malfunction, you must add an extra layer of protection in the form of electrical inspections and testing that will not only rectify any underlying faults and issues but will also make sure your home remains safe from electrical surges.
Although the most obvious benefit of electrical inspections is their ability to increase your property’s safety, they are also a great way to lower your insurance premiums.
As a matter of fact, many home insurance companies have made regular electrical testing a prerequisite for being covered.
This means that in the event of an issue occurring, they will not provide a pay-out unless you have proof of the safety of your home electrics.
Faulty electrics are not only unsafe but may cost you a lot of money as well. Damaged or defective wiring and installations are one of the main reasons for high electricity bills since they stop the system from working to its full capacity.
This in turn forces the outlets to work harder to provide the required amount of electricity, which results in an unnecessary amount consumed and inflated bills.
In addition to causing your bills to skyrocket, faulty electrics may also cause your appliances to malfunction, forcing you to either fix or replace them, both of which cost extra money.
By regularly testing your home electrics, you can save money on electricity bills and prevent your home appliances from malfunctioning. You may also ask your certified electrician to guide you on the best energy-saving changes to your home electricals.
To ensure that all the electrical installations in your home are thoroughly checked and that they meet the current safety regulations, you must choose a reliable and registered residential electrician who is trained to carry out the inspection:
Here’s how you can choose the best residential electrician for your electrical installations, maintenance, and inspections:
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 on 0800 612 3001 to get in touch with our professional electricians and make your home safe from all kinds of electricals risks and threats.
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