Householders are advised to have an electrical installation test every 5 or 10 years (depending on the electrician and condition of the installation). This seldom happens.

The test is an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) – this is a test being asked for by more and more legal advisors and purchasers, usually with the Vendors being asked to foot the cost.  The sooner this is booked in to be done, the better.  Delays could hold up the sale/purchase of the property.

A visual inspection cannot discern the condition of cables or circuits – only testing by a qualified electrician can.   Age of the installation, alone, is not a good indicator of safety.

A visual inspection can indicate the following –

Is there presence of RCD protection?  If not the outcome of an EICR will be unsatisfactory unless RCD protection is provided to and external circuits or internal sockets that can be used for external appliances (lawnmowers etc)

Also RCD protection needs to be provided for circuits within a bathroom – shaver/lighting/shower/towel rail or any cable traveling through the bathroom. – although the need for RCD protection here can be replaced by the provision of supplementary earth bonding within the bathroom. to all potentially conductive points.

An EICR will either declare there are no issues concerning safety or list error classification codes of C1 ,C2 or FI (further investigation required )  which will render the test outcome as “unsatisfactory” – or C3  which are recommendations and can form part of a “satisfactory” report.

The larger the property, the greater the cost will be for electrical upgrades.   It is always sensible to request a full Electrical Installation Condition Report if there is no evidence of one having been done within the last 10 years.


Disclaimer:   Anything posted in this Blog is for general information only and it is not in any way intended to provide any advice, legal or otherwise, on any general or specific matter that you can rely on.  You should always seek your own legal advice.