What is an EICR?
EICR is acronymous for Electrical Installation Condition Report.
Think of an EICR as a sort of MOT for a building. As the mechanic would do when he checks your car, an electrician will check and inspect your property to help identify any faults, damage or defects which could require fixing in order that the electrics will function in an effective and safe way.
Basically, as the name suggests, it’s an assessment of the condition of your property’s electrical installations.
How long does an EICR take?
You can expect an EICR to take around 3-4 hours in total, although this is dependable on the size of the property and the number of circuits in it.
It’s impossible for an electrician to tell you prior to seeing the property exactly how long the EICR will take, as he doesn’t know what he might find when he is carrying it out.
Can anyone do an EICR?
An EICR should be carried out by a competent person such as an electrician or electrical engineer with experience of the particular type of electrical circuit.
Insurers may ask for relevant accreditations such as NICEIC. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so to make sure that your EICR is acceptable and valid, check that your electrician is appropriately qualified prior to them carrying out the work.
What will happen during my EICR?
The electrician will perform several visual tests and carry out some live testing.
The contractor will need access to things like plug sockets, your consumer unit (fuse box), switches and light fittings. The testing does not cover electrical appliances like your fridge or television: These should be tested separately with PAT (portable appliance testing).
Most of the testing is done will your electrical system is live, although you can expect a brief power outage on a circuit whilst it is being tested.
If it’s important to maintain power during certain parts of your day (for example, WiFi whilst working from home), then speak to your electrician to ensure that they are aware, and you can work out a suitable testing time to align with your daily activities.
Do I receive a certificate?
Yes, a full and detailed report will be written up for you. You can receive a hard copy of the report if you so choose to, but it is more common nowadays to receive the EICR electronically. This makes it convenient and easily accessible.
Who needs an EICR?
To reduce risks of electrical shocks, fires and the like – all buildings with electrical installations should be tested to ensure the systems are working safely.
If you are a homeowner, you will find that you will be asked for an EICR amongst other things from your home insurer, if they are a reputable one.
When buying or selling a home, whilst it is not a legal requirement, it is common and accepted practise to request such documents.
Is an EICR a legal requirement in England?
Yes, and no.
There is now a legal onus on all landlords as per the new regulation. However, there are no legal requirements for homeowners. That being said, it is recommended to have your electrical installations checked regardless of legality as it is a matter of safety for yourself, your family, or the residents of your property, and can prevent otherwise avoidable accidents.
What are the new rules for landlords and EICRs?
The new regulation came into effect on 1st June 2020 and requires landlords to have the electrical installations in their rental properties inspected at least every 5 years.
It is a requirement to present the tenants with a copy of the relevant and up to date EICR within 28 days of the tenants’ request or of the inspection itself.
If the local authority also chooses to request a copy, the landlords must present it within 7 days of receiving such a request.
Still got questions?
It can be confusing to find the correct information online, so getting advice from the mouth of a qualified and experienced electrician can be invaluable.
Please feel free to get in touch if you have more questions and one of our experts can walk you through your options.