FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is an Electrical Installation Condition Report?

An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) formally known as a periodic inspection or landlord report, is a document that is produced following the assessment of the electrical installation within a property. It must be carried out by an experienced qualified electrician.

In laymen’s terms, think of it as an MOT of the fixed wiring within your property.

Having your property tested regularly will ensure the safety of the tenants and reduce the likelihood of future faults within the property.

Subject to being passed in the Houses of Parliament, it’s likely that it will become law that a let property must be tested by a qualified person every 5 years.

 

When does an Electrical Installation Condition Report need to be carried out?

Each time the installation is tested, it will have been noted within the report, and most probably on a sticker on the consumer unit when the installation should next be tested, this is at the discretion of the previous tester.

For let properties as of July, subject to being passed in the Houses of Parliament, it will become mandatory that the property must be tested at least every 5 years.

 

Why do my light bulbs frequently blow?

There is a number of answers for this and all of them can contribute to making the life time of a lamp (bulb) last longer.

The most common reasons are things such as the quality of the lamp, the heat within the lamp and the frequency that it is being used.

It is advised that a quality LED lamp is used – these run at a lower temperature so reduce heat loss and have a much higher estimated life span than an older style lamp.

 

Is my fuseboard unsafe?

The regulations for electrical installations do change, so if your consumer unit was not installed this year (2020) its likely that it would not meet current regulations – that is not to say its unsafe, as it should have been installed to meet the most up to date regulations at the time it was installed.

Whilst additions and alterations can be made to an existing consumer unit to bring them up to current regulations, it may be a costly exercise. When producing an electrical installation condition report, an installation can be deemed as ‘satisfactory’ as long as it meets the standards of the regulations of the time it was installed.

 

Does my fuseboard need an RCD?

It is advised that nearly all circuits are covered by a 30mA RCD. In some cases, this is not the case but for the most part it is.

An RCD, or residual current device, is designed to monitor the current flowing through the live and neutral conductors supplying a circuit. Under normal circumstances the current flowing will be equal, if this is not the case the RCD will operate and cut the supply to the circuit.

An RCD will pick up short circuits and neutral to earth faults. An older style rewireable fuse (3036) will only pick up a short circuit fault.

 

Why does my RCD keep tripping?

Its likely that in some capacity you have a fault within a circuit covered by the RCD.

If you cannot reset your RCD, try turning all of the individual breakers off, switching on the RCD and turning the breakers back on one at a time – this can help narrow down the fault to one circuit but can sometimes be inconclusive.

Faults tripping an RCD are often – but not always – caused by water ingress. Water getting inside external lighting fittings or sockets, issues with heating systems or appliances that use water. If you have an RCD fault but cannot locate it, we can help.

 

I’m buying an old home, does my house need rewiring?

It is advised that houses are rewired approximately every 25-30 years.

Like anything, cables can deteriorate and over time, with continued use and especially excessive use, the cables, and more commonly the insulation surrounding them can become unsafe. That being said, an older property may not need rewiring.

It is advised that when buying a property, you request a copy of the most recent electrical installation condition report, of which will have the information from the last date it was tested. If you cannot obtain one, it is recommended you have one done as this will conclusively give you a detailed document of the installations safety.

 

I want to install a smart thermostat to my heating system, can this be done?

It is often quite simple to install a ‘smart’ thermostat such as a Hive or Nest to your heating system, although advised this is carried out by a qualified and competent electrician.

 

I want a smart home, can this be retrofitted?

It is often an easy task to add smart technology to an existing installation, a lot of manufactures are producing retrofit switches, sockets and lights to allow the home owner to do areas at a time.

Equally, if you are renovating the property, it is advised to prepare for a smart home with additional wiring, even if you do not think you can afford it currently. We work closely with smart home installers, and would highly advise looking into the options to ‘future proof’ your domestic or commercial property.

 

Can I control my lights from my phone?

Many manufactures are now producing products that allow the property owner to control things from their phone. Lights and blinds being the most common.

There are a number of cheaper brands that do this with your lights, such as Phillips Hue and the Aurora AOne system.

Lutron and Rako for lighting control would be classed as middle ground to a smart home, and Control 4 or Creston would be at the higher end of the market for a full system.

We can tailor for each of these, so if you’d like to know more, please get in touch.