Caravan Electrical Certs

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Jippo, 12 Jul 2010.

  1. Jippo

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    Hi everybody,

    I have been recently told that by Law i must have some sort of electrical test/inspection certificate for my own caravan. Is this true and if so what is the certificate called and who can issue the certificate?

    Thanks for any help
     
  2. maguire

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    Do you let it then yes ( up here in jockland anyway) if not yes you should for you own piece of mind. I take it it is a static ?
    DM
     
  3. Jippo

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    I have a static and a tourer caravan. Who can carry out and issue the certificate?

    Ta.
     
  4. maguire

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    In my opinion anyone who is qualified to carry out electrical installation condition reports it is to all intents an electrical installation both are in fact although a different approch in required on tourers due to dual voltages one LV your mains power, tother ELV your battery 12V normally and there is alot more gubbins to sort out which you are using I would only ever do my own as I cannot call myself experienced in this tourers that is
    DM
     
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  5. ericmark

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    The question as to who can test is more complex than one may think. I was in college and was asked to get my laptop PAT tested before I could use it on college premises. So next day I presented them with paperwork. At which point it was no longer required. Seems lecturer did not like me using my laptop and he was using it as an excuse.

    The same it seems happens on caravan sites. They are short of hook-up points so ask for certificates so they can reduce the amount of caravans that they need to supply.

    If you downloaded the forms from IET website and filled them in. Even if you never tested a single item likely most camp sites would accept it. However it when things go wrong that it become a problem as then you need to claim from insurance. Now we start to see the trail. Person testing needs PII insurance maybe PLI will cover need to read the policy. The caravan needs to be insured and the insurance company needs to accept that the person who did the test was qualified and insured.

    The site owner has same problem. It's not him who needs to accept the document but his insurers and so to ensure it is accepted by all you really need an Electrician who is a member of one of the schemes and has a numbered pad with scheme providers logo on it so that the site owner is assured it was completed by some one accredited as having the skills and insured.

    In theory the certificate is only valid while connected to the supply it was tested on. For Porta cabins we had to re-test each time they arrived on site. The ELI will change from site to site and some did have pre-part filled in forms with the cabins with R1 + R2 values etc pre-filled in. We had to complete the form and sign only for bits we tested.

    So for touring caravans it is only a paperwork exercise. The fact that both caravan and site have RCD's fitted shows how the authorities recognise it is a problem area and one can never be sure if all complies.

    This of course must be recognised by insurers who know they can't claim from testers insurance as the caravan has been moved. In the same way as a cars MOT only says the car was fit as it was driven out of garage. Blatant mistakes of course could be claimed for but since there is no pass or fail unlike the MOT it would be very hard.

    For your own personal safety of course you want things testing but as far as the certificate proving it is safe well sorry it can never do that. All it can do is highlight any visible or testable faults.
     
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  6. PrenticeBoyofDerry

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    You get a pir done on it, most caravan centre now have engineers that can carry this out, some electricians are now qualified to did this(CITO) and can go mobile and do it on site.
    You'll need both DC and AC checking out.
    The NCCL have just relaesed a guide to PIR on motor homes and touring caravans, i'll try find a link.
     
  7. PrenticeBoyofDerry

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  8. maguire

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    I test 5 statics every year for a client who uses them for seasonal staff accomodation and pat test every thing once they are occupied, issue certs as they are an insurance requirement and I have to provide my PLI insurance details to them fortunatly I am insured with the same insurance company so they have me on file, but ericmark does raise a valid point on how various things are interpreted
    Dev
     
  9. timtheenchanter

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    It seems a relativly new request to have touring caravans tested, although IMO, the from state of my first 2 vans electrics can be no bad thing.

    For most servicing workshops it now part of their service, in the same way as your gas tests.

    I have never yet been asked to produce my cert on a campsite, TBH, if I did get asked, I might get a bit irritated, produce it and then ask them to see their installation certs.

    The closest I have known is it no now be in the small print of some caravan insurances, no doubt if you dont have one they would refuse to pay out...

    if, like me you do most of the servicing yourself, I would use a caravan specialist to do the electrics testing, there are plenty of mobile ones around, there are too many people who may question some of the installation methods used in caravans, especially if its slightly older (ie LV and ELV sharing the same cable paths, the ELV only insulated to ELV standards etc)
     
  10. ban-all-sheds

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    Quite right that they should question that.

    Caravans have been within the scope of BS 7671 for at least 19 years, and ELV insulated cables sharing paths with LV ones has been a contravention for at least 19 years.
     
  11. ericmark

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    It is a problem with interpretation 721.537.2.1.1.1 says appropriate language(s) so does that mean in Wales the instructions must be Bi-lingual or it fails?

    Many were wired in twin and earth but it now states "Sheathed flexible cables" where non metallic conduit is not used.

    "shall disconnect all live conductors" is another problem where the same equipment as used in a house is used.

    The 721.524.1 The cross-sectional area of every conductor shall be not less than 1.5 mm². is another problem with 0.75 mm² used for lighting.

    The list goes on. However as I have already stated a PIR is not Pass/Fail like a car MOT but just high lights the faults. So with the worst electrics you can think of you will still get a PIR full of code 1's but still a PIR. And even the best caravan is likely to have some item found that does not quite comply like the language so unless the site owner is electrical trained what good is a PIR as far as he is concerned.

    The user does want a safe environment to live in of course and I am not saying a PIR is a bad thing it is not it is very good but as to legal requirement or even insurance requirement unless it says something like no code 1's will be permitted then can't see how it helps?
     
  12. PrenticeBoyofDerry

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    Can't find a link but here is the NCCL Guide


    Guide to Periodic Inspection and Reporting of Electrical Installations in Touring Caravans & Motorhomes


    Summary
    This Guide relates to the Periodic Inspection and Reporting (PIR) of electrical installations in Touring Caravans and Motorhomes. Throughout this Guide the term caravan is used to refer to both.

    In the view of many electrical experts, a PIR is vital to ensure continued electrical safety for all caravan installations. In the UK, when a new caravan is built, the electrical installation is inspected and tested and a certificate is issued to verify that the installation meets the current safety requirements. However, over time, an electrical installation is likely to deteriorate due to damage, wear and tear, corrosion and environmental effects. So, a Periodic Inspection and Report is needed to ensure that the electrical installation in a caravan remains safe.

    A Periodic Inspection and Report is also required for caravans to comply with BS 7671: 2008 (the 17th Edition of the IEE Wiring Regulations). To ensure continued safety of a caravan’s electrical installation and hook-up cable, it should comply with the requirements of BS 7671. Chapter 62 of BS 7671 details the scope, extent and frequency of the Periodic Inspection.


    Content
    The guide has three separate sections containing advice to NCC members:
    1. Dealers
    2. Workshops
    3. Touring park operators



    1. Dealers
    The NCC recommends that each time a used caravan is sold commercially an inspection is carried out and a PIR is issued. This will ensure that the vehicle leaves the dealership in a safe condition with respect to the electrical installation and will satisfy any legal obligation for the supply of goods under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the European Product Liability Directive 85/374/EEC.
    When a unit is sold on an ‘as seen’ basis, a disclaimer could be issued along the following lines: The electrical installation in this caravan/motorhome has not recently been inspected to the requirements of BS 7671 and may not be safe to connect to the UK electricity supply.



    2. Workshops
    The NCC expects all AWS and dealer workshops to offer PIRs. A workshop can offer a PIR as part of an annual habitation service or as a stand alone service. However, it is the owner’s choice to have a PIR done: there is no reason to suspect that Touring Parks will be routinely asking to see a PIR before a caravan is connected to the supply (see below). If the customer chooses not to have a PIR then you can ask them to sign a PIR waiver form. A copy of the waiver form can be obtained through the NCC. The waiver provides a record that a PIR has been offered by the workshop and declined by the customer.

    Frequency of the Inspection
    The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET, see note 1) publication “Guidance Note 3 Inspection and Testing” recommends the maximum period between inspection and testing for caravans should not exceed 3 years.

    In practice this period is decided by the engineer inspecting the caravan: he will recommend the date of the next inspection based on the use and condition of the electrical installation and enter this in the report. If the installation is showing signs of deterioration, due to external influences such as damp or areas of non-compliance in the electrical installation, the term may be reduced to 1 year. It can also be reduced if the caravan is used frequently or if there is an increase in mileage, but again this will be decided by the engineer.

    In the majority of cases the period between inspections should be 3 years.

    Manufacturers will now be issuing electrical installation certificates for new caravans recommending an initial interval of 3 years before the next inspection (i.e. the first PIR).



    3. Touring Park Operators
    There are no regulations in place that require you to check the documentation of a client’s caravan before connecting it. However, to maintain a reliable supply, it’s in the best interests of a park operator to ensure that all caravans connected to the supply are electrically safe. But you will not know if there is anything wrong with a caravan’s electrics until after a problem occurs. Therefore, if you have any doubt about the safety of a caravan’s electrical installation, we recommend that you ask to see a copy of the Electrical Installation Certificate or the most recent PIR if the caravan is more than 3 years old.



    Note 1
    The IET was formerly known as the IEE, the name used in publications and on documentation such as certificates and reports will differ depending on the date of publication.
     

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