Periodic Testing and Inspection – Part P 17th Edition

WHAT ARE the Requirements of BS 7671:2008

New installations must be correctly installed and comply with current legislation. In addition electrical installations can deteriorate with age. This is due to many factors; for example corrosion, wear and tear and damage. Because of this deterioration electrical testing and inspection is required.

The majority of installations in domestic properties have at some time had some wiring alterations. From experience we have found that most of these changes to have been faulty, wired incorrectly, not complying to the regulations and potentially Highly Dangerous.

In this section we look at

  • Why Do You Need Certification
  • Minor Works Certificate
  • Electrical Installation & Certification
  • Periodic Inspection & Test Certificate (Electrical Installation Condition Report)
  • What Happens When an Inspection & Test is Carried Out

Why Do You Need a Certificate

All work covered under the banner of Part P needs to have an electrical certificate. These basically prove to whom ever purchases your house in the future that the electrical works undertaken have been tested and have been proven to be safe. There are 3 major types of certificates…

  • Minor works certificate
  • Electrical Installation certificate
  • Periodic Inspection and Test Certificate (Electrical Installation Condition Report)

All certificates include details explaining what the results contain… if in doubt please ask.

A Minor Works Certificate

The minor works certificate is only to be used for additions to an electrical installation that do not extend to the introduction of a new circuit e.g. the addition of a socket-outlet or a lighting point, to an existing circuit.

Electrical Installation & Certification

The Electrical Installation Certificate is to be used only for the initial certification of a new installation or for an alteration or addition to an existing installation where new circuits have been introduced.

Typically used for new builds, re-wires, anywhere a new circuit has been installed.

Where this type of certificate has been issued, the work will need to be registered with the local authority. Requelec will liaise with the Competent Persons Scheme who will usually do this. They will send confirmation in 4-6 weeks, together with a warrantee if required, that guaranties the work for a period of 6 years against poor workmanship.

PERIODIC INSPECTION AND TEST CERTIFICATE:(Electrical Installation Condition Report)

When people require their electrics to be checked, they often call it different things.

  • An electrical safety check
  • An electrical survey
  • I need my electrics checked
  • Can you inspect my electrics?
  • Are my electrics safe
  • Have I got dodgy electrics?
  • Can you look at my electrics?
  • An electrical safety report
  • An electrical safety certificate
  • A Landlords electrical safety certificate
  • EIC electrical certificate.

What they are asking for in all these cases is an in-service, inspection and more importantly, a test of their electrical installation. This is known  in the IEE wiring regulations – a Periodic Inspection Report or (Electrical Installation Condition Report)

A periodic inspection is ideal to assess the condition of an installation prior to selling, buying or renting a property… or just for peace of mind. However, the IEE Wiring Regulations recommend that a Periodic Inspection Report should be considered for the following reasons:

  • A change of occupancy of the premises
  • A change of use of the premises
  • After alterations or additions to the original installation
  • Because of significant change in the electrical loading of the installation
  • Where there is reason to believe that damage may have been caused to the installation.

What happens when an inspection and test is carried out? A series of visual checks are carried out on the electrical installation.

  • Circuit breakers will be checked to ensure they are of the correct type and rating to protect the outgoing cable.
  • The cables will be checked for current carrying capacity and voltage drop. Signs of damage, burning etc. will be looked for.
  • 10% of all sockets, switches etc. are opened up and inspected. If there are any non-compliance’s found then all of the accessories are then checked.

The Inspection is followed by the tests.

  • 100% of the installation is tested.
  • Several electrical measurements are recorded on the report including continuity of circuit protective conductors, main and supplementary earth bonding, continuity of ring final circuit conductors, insulation resistance, polarity, earth-fault loop impedance, RCD tests including trip time in milliseconds, correct operation of switches and isolators, prospective fault current.

The installation is then declared satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

Many installations are found to be satisfactory but are to older regulations and would benefit from being upgraded. If this is the case then we would advise you of the best way to comply with current standards.