What is fixed wire testing?
Wiring runs from the consumer unit (fusebox) to every point in your home where it is used. This includes sockets, lights, ponds, sheds, outside lights, showers, burglar alarms etc.
The wiring is routed either under the plaster or under floorboards or other routes and can be attacked by rodents, or be degraded by heat from central heating pipes, or other general wear and tear or simply get old.
Whilst some faults are noticeable like your iron starts smoking and stops working, other faults lay waiting for the right conditions before they appear, this can result in fire or electric shock.
A full EICR ( Electrical Condition Report ) using Electricians with higher level of training than average Electricians and adequate experience of report writing will help you manage the electrical safety in your home.
This is carried out for a few reasons
- You may be buying a house and want to know the condition of the wiring before you commit
- You may be renting a house out and want to be able to assure a tenant the wiring is safe
- You may be selling a house and want to reassure a buyer all is well
Testing involves removing samples of lights and sockets etc and both visually and electrically testing the wiring. Numerous readings are taken throughout the property.
Full testing will require access to every room without restrictions such as obstructions by furniture.
Access to the loft and under floors is not required.
You can apply your own restrictions to the test by agreement and these will be recorded on the report.
How often does my wiring need testing?
Recommended Frequency between full fixed wire testing varies depending on property type.
For domestic properties the maximum recommended frequency is 10 years.
A further consideration is the age and condition.
So for example the wiring in a normal house that was built 10 years ago should be in decent condition and hence first test is when it reaches 10 years old, next test is 10 years later at 20 years old and again at 30 years old.
However if reasons to increase the frequency are seen this will be recommended by the Electrician.
However once a domestic property is over 30 it is time to plan to rewire at some point in the future it may last another 10 years but more than likely the requirements of 30 years ago are going to mean you’ll want to increase numbers of sockets etc.
Try to imagine putting money into an old car upgrading it to have the features a new car has - is it worth it?
The purpose of carrying out a fixed wire test or “Periodic Inspection Report” as it was officially termed until it was more recently renamed “Electrical Installation Condition Report” is simply to verify the installation is “safe” to continue in service ( being used).
That is wise to have, but In reality what a lot of people ought to be asking for is an opinion on when they should be planning to rewire so that they don’t spend lots of money on decorating and then find a rewire is necessary.
Don’t be under any illusions that your decorator will tell you if they find dodgy looking wiring when they decorate round your sockets or light switches - they aren’t going to put themselves out of a job are they?
Brian has over 30 years experience and is often called for simple advice and will also have a look if required – It maybe the best investment you make as Brian is also knowledgeable in many other areas eg energy efficiency so more than likely the small cost of the visit will be paid for by the advice provided.
Can I tell if my home has been tested already?
If it has been tested a label with the wording in the one below should be fixed to the Consumer unit (fusebox).
How much does a full domestic EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) Cost?
How much do you pay for an MOT on your car ? £40 how long does that take ? ½ hour and you take your car to them!
The Electrician on the other hand is likely to take 4 hours plus at your property, another half hour travelling to your property, half hour travelling back , and another hour filling out numerous pages of technical information.
Some landlords / estate agents expect this important and higher skill to be carried out for £50 – including picking up the keys and dropping them off again.
Some Electrical companies respond to this by saying yes, however it is a loss leader and results in numerous “faults” being found that need repairs to make the job pay more than you pay your window cleaner.
If your car MOT was done in half an hour for £5 you would expect the garage to “find” work that was needed ? Electrical testing is the same.
Brian’s advice is don’t fall for it ! Pay cheap pay twice, pay peanuts get monkeys and don’t monkey with electrics !
The cost will depend on the time that it is going to take, is your home a 1 bed flat or a 5 bed house ?
Have a look at your consumer unit, is there just the 1 or more, for a guide to the price of an EICR in Huddersfield allow £40 then add £15 per fuse or Circuit breaker that is in use. (some may be spare and no need to test)
So a house with 4 circuits is going to be 40 + ( 4 x 15) = £100 , and a house with 6 circuits is going to be 40 + (6 x 15 ) = £130.
If you have more than one consumer unit add another £20 per consumer unit.
An Alternative but not a replacement for an EICR is a Visual Check - This can often inform you of the age and likely condition of the wiring, if you already suspect the wiring is old and want confirmation a visual check in the Huddersfield area can be done for £35.
To book an EICR or visual check phone 01484 664301 or phone / text 07979397834, or email me.
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