An electrical installation condition report inspection (often abbreviated to EICR) is the formal description for a thorough test of your electrical system. It is like having an MOT done on your electrics
and just like an MOT it can give you confidence that your home or workplace electrical installation is working properly and safe. Also, just like an MOT, a EICR can sometimes uncover a problem that you were
not aware of but which requires electrical work to make it safe. It is very different from the 'free' electrical inspections offered by some utility companies as a way of selling their uncompetitive installation services.
An Electrical Installation Condition Report can only be conducted by an electrician who holds the City & Guilds 2391 Inspection and Testing qualification (or its equivalent), and has access to properly calibrated test equipment. It is unlikely that your Uncle's mate who 'has been a sparky on the railways/in a factory/down the mines etc etc for 30 years' will be able to do this, or have the right equipment. Similarly building site electricians who hold the Electrical Certification Scheme (ECS) Gold card are not qualified to do this unless they also hold the 2391 or equivalent.
This test will usually take place in about a day and will provide you with a complete picture of the safety and quality of all your electrics - lighting points, sockets, fans, cookers etc.
The electrician will use specialist test equipment to pass measured amounts of current through your wiring and socket outlets which must be within certain tolerances to be safe. There is no mess and just minor inconvenience as your electric system will be turned off for much of the day. After the on site testing is done, the test report should be written up by your electrician and a written copy of the EICR provided to you.
Official guidance now suggests that you have a EICR to test your electrics at least every:
10 years for a new domestic installation, and every 5 years after that
5 years for a commercial installation
3 years for caravans
1 year for swimming pools
Other instances when an EICR inspection should be carried out are:
When a property is being prepared to be let
Prior to selling or buying a previously occupied property.
You can contact Red Kite Electrical to commission an EICR on your home or other premises. As a guide the likely cost is between £150 and £250, depending on the size and complexity of the installation.