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Electrical Testing

The periodic inspection has now changed to an Electrical Condition report

What is a periodic inspection? An inspection and series of tests to make sure your electrical installation continues to conform to the national safety standard. A periodic inspection will

  • Reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded.
  • Find any potential electric shock risks or fire hazards.
  • Identify any defective electrical work.
  • Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding.

Tests are also carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to check that it is safe. A schedule of circuits will also be provided, which is invaluable for a property.

Why is a periodic inspection needed?Electrics deteriorate with use and age - and electricity can be deadly. So it’s vital that people aren’t put at risk.

How often is a periodic inspection required? Your electrics should be tested every:

  • 10 years for a home.
  • 5 years for a business.
  • 3 years for caravans.
  • 1 year for swimming pools.

Other instances when a periodic inspection should be carried out are

  • When a property is being prepared to be let.
  • Before selling a property or when buying a previously occupied property.

Who should do it and what happens? A suitably qualified electrician, who will check the electrics against the national safety standard, should carry out all periodic inspections. The inspection should meet BS 7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations (IEE Wiring Regulations). That’s the technical name for the 850 regulations that are checked in this test.

The inspection takes into account all the relevant circumstances and includes the following

  • The adequacy of earthing and bonding.
  • The suitability of the switch and control gear. For example an old fusebox with a wooden back, cast-iron switches, or a mixture of both will need replacing.
  • The serviceability of switches, sockets and light fittings. All of these may need replacing: older round-pin sockets, round light switches, cables with fabric coating hanging from ceiling roses to light fittings, black switches and sockets mounted in skirting boards.
  • The type of wiring system and its condition. For example cables coated in black rubber were phased out in the 1960s, likewise cables coated in lead or fabric are even older and may well need replacing (modern cables use safer pvc insulation).
  • That residual current devices are used for sockets that may be used with outdoor electrical equipment.
  • The presence of adequate identification and notices.
  • The extent of any wear and tear, damage or other deterioration.
  • The changes in use of the premises which have led to, or may lead to, problematic wiring. Pirbright Electrical contractors will provide a periodic inspection report (PIR) as part of the periodic inspection.
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