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What is the purpose of an EICR? (Electrical Installation Condition Report)

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 18th March 2013

An EICR is an Electrical Installation Condition Report. It is a formal document that is produced following an assessment of the electrical installation within a property.  It must be carried out by a Part P Registered Electrician who has a good working knowledge and experience of electrical installations.

There are many reasons why a householder might request an EICR and indeed they are highly recommended where proof may be required to show an electrical installation is safe.  One of the more common reasons an EICR is requested is in rented accommodation where an EICR is the most straightforward and least time consuming method of proving an electrical installation is safe.

An EICR is also recommended in all domestic homes every 10 years to check the condition of the electrical installation and ensure there is no deterioration, however there may be reasons why an EICR would need to be done more often.  Typical reasons include:

Age of the installation (the older the installation the more often an EICR should be carried out)

Type of property.  For example, if the property has a swimming pool, the recommended interval between an EICR is 1 year, however only the parts of the installation relating to the swimming pool would need to be assessed.

Environmental Conditions

Misuse of the installation such as vandalism

Change in usage of the domestic premises.  This could be change of occupancy in rental properties, or a property is being prepared to be sold, or the property is being purchased.  It is highly recommended that an EICR is carried out with each change of occupancy in rental properties to ensure the property remains electrically safe.  Equally, requesting an EICR on a property that is being purchased is the best way to find out if work needs to be carried out on the electrical system.

Any concerns the householder has about the condition of their electrical installation.

Whilst there is no legal requirement to have an EICR carried out in any situation, an EICR provides peace of mind that a home is electrically safe and they are not expensive to carry out.  In the same way as a boiler would be serviced every year, consider having an EICR carried out at the recommended intervals, the yearly cost of an EICR is extremely low when compared to the cost of an annual car service or annual boiler service but yet could save a sizeable sum of money as an EICR would pick up on a potential problem before it became a serious, costly issue.

During an EICR, an electrician may make a number of electrical observations and will give each one a recommendation code.  The observations describe a defect or omission within the electrical installation.  The electricians will code each observation according to the level of severity.  The observations will be written in a clear way and are not in any way a sales tool.  The customer would then be able to source competitive quotes for the works recommended should they wish to do so.

For an EICR to work most effectively, Trade Skills 4U recommend having an EICR at the recommended intervals as described by a 17th edition electrician or domestic installer and have the work carried out as recommended for the property to remain electrically safe.