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EICR - C2 - circuits 1 and 2 low insulation resistance reading

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by dpm_dpmartin, 12 May 2021.

  1. dpm_dpmartin

    dpm_dpmartin

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    This is most definitely not a DIY question... however, it is one people here can likely answer for me to give me a bit of extra knowledge, and power.

    I have a let property that is an old Sheffield terrace. I have a slightly reclusive Tenant in there. For years I've had annual challenges trying to obtain access to do the Gas Safety Checks... but I have always managed to do them. Recently, there's been a whole load of messing about between her and my friendly Electrician who did all my other EICRs. Finally he got in...

    He came around to see me afterwards and said that the property fully deserves (actually he said "needs") a re-wire.

    Now, I'm not dead against this - not at all - but it'll mean the Tenant moving out, at least temporarily (likely at my cost), while this is done... and then plastering and redecorating and most likely a pretty substantial refurbishment (kitchen for example). He's coded some C3s on the EICR about multi-stranded wire (this wiring must be from before 1970s or something) and the consumer unit not being metal-clad... but, of course, it's the C2 that means urgent remedial work is required... and he's suggesting a re-wire - when I mentioned this to the Tenant she went mental... and started crying... she knows that the rent is low and she'll not find anywhere else. I don't want to make anyone homeless, and I am happy for her to come back... but if I do a good refurbishment along with this re-wire, then I'm going to value raising the rent a bit... so she is in a sticky situation and panicking about if she even leaves temporarily she might not get to come back.

    My question is whether a C2 noted as - "circuits 1 and 2 low insulation resistance reading" - is something that can realistically be remediated - even if the Electrician and Landlord don't really want to go down that path (and might secretly support a full re-wire with an empty property)?

    Any information gratefully received. I'd like to take the opportunity for a full re-wire but also want to do what I consider the "right thing" for my multi-year Tenant, who - sadly - does make things somewhat difficult.
     
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  3. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    What is 'low'? What were the numbers?
     
  4. dpm_dpmartin

    dpm_dpmartin

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    Forgive me for not understanding what I'm looking at, but on page 5 I see:

    Circuit no. 1 ... then along to "Insulation resistance" ... and three figures - Test Voltage = 500? L/L L/N = <1000? and L/E N/E = <1000?
    Circuit no. 2 ... is exactly the same.

    Now, up at the top of that same page is a box called "Insulation resistance" and that has "XXXXXXXX"? Nope - that's a serial number of the test instrument used.

    If I have relayed the wrong things let me know and I'll take a picture.

    The numbers may mean something to experts... but, for me, I guess I'm still looking as to whether I can say to my Tenant - this cannot be remediated, it must be a re-wire and the property must be empty, in good conscience... or whether I can actually have this remediated at an amount of money that still makes sense... i.e. hundreds, not thousands (otherwise you'd actually desire the re-wire, right?).
     
  5. flameport

    flameport

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    Picture of the EICR would be more useful - cover any details like address, name, etc.

    The physical construction of the wire isn't a problem, and would not require any code unless the insulation had degraded or it had been damaged in some other way.
     
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  6. dpm_dpmartin

    dpm_dpmartin

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    The stranded wire was assigned a C3. Fair enough.

    Here's a picture of page 5...

    [​IMG]

    What I'm just trying to evaluate - without coming across as cheap, because that's not it - is whether anything identified on a EICR should be possible to remediate without being forced to go down the path of a complete re-wire? Again, I accept it might make sense. I accept it might be prudent. I accept it might be financially sound. But I really require the property to be empty to proceed, and therein lies my challenge. If I could go about this without the re-wire my Tenant would be happy (how I'd feel is another question).
     
  7. flameport

    flameport

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    Nothing there suggests low IR, the columns are all 1000, and for some reason the first 4 are 'less than 1000' and the rest 'more than 1000' which is entirely meaningless.

    On an old installation, readings of all 1000 (or whatever the maximum of the test instrument was) are exceptionally unlikely.

    Minimum IR for an installation is 1 megohm.

    Stranded wiring doesn't need any code. It's still available to buy today, and the larger sizes such as for the cooker circuit would always have multiple strands rather than a single solid core.
     
  8. dpm_dpmartin

    dpm_dpmartin

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    Thank you. I don't mind about the C3s anyway, of course. What I do mind is about potentially making someone homeless. My Electrician isn't a personal friend or anything, but he has done another six properties for me, all very professionally, with one needing minor remediation work... I do not believe he is looking for a "pay day" or anything, but maybe I have fallen foul of him thinking pragmatically, like: - "this property has so many issues a full re-wire is the way to go, it just makes perfect financial sense for my customer" - rather than - "I could remediate these issues, but it'll be long, dirty, smelly work for little reward and nothing really positive will come out of it for anyone"? I dunno. I will ask. Because I've asked the Tenant what she thinks about moving and it was like having a door slammed in my face (totally understandable, she didn't want the EICR doing in the first place, even!). :D

    These are my C2s... the first one was what I titled the thread - "circuits 1 and 2 low insulation resistance reading"... I need to try and work out the best path forward. I don't want to upset the Electrician if I'm told, here, the C3s don't matter and the C2s can be remediated at nominal cost... therefore I don't have to have the Tenant leave. I have to have my Electrician realise this is not just wires, it's someone's home and life at the same time... but he was adamant you cannot do a re-wire while someone is living there.

    [​IMG]
    (I just noticed it says "1 and 2" then "2 and 6").
     
  9. flameport

    flameport

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    1 - no code, stranded copper wire is not a problem
    2 - More likely tinned copper. Aluminium wiring in dwellings is exceptionally rare. If it is aluminium, there are other problems that aren't listed. Test results do not indicate aluminium wiring.
    4,5 - if they are low, the test results should say that. They don't.
    6 - Lack of smoke detectors isn't a code, although rental properties will need them.
     
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  11. plugwash

    plugwash

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    As flameport points out writing "<1000" in the insulation resistance column is meaningless. >1000 is understandable because some IR meters can't measure above that but "<1000" could be anywhere from just fine to a terrible failure.

    If the IR really is too low, then the next step would be to disconnect all equipment from the circuit (including fixed equipment!) and do the IR test again, if it's still too low after doing that then break the circuit down into sections and test them individually. It may turn out that the cable itself is failing and needs to be replaced, but it's IMO more likely to be a localized problem.
     
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  12. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Less than a thousand million Ohms (<1000 (MΩ)) is hardly specific enough.
     
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  13. dpm_dpmartin

    dpm_dpmartin

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    Thanks. So - what we're saying is that it's a right old rigmarole to do any fault-finding..? That's the vibe I'm getting... and maybe it's just better for everyone (except the person who has to leave the property) if a re-wire can be agreed?

    I am unsure where this leaves me today.

    I have an EICR with C2 on it, but no results to back it up. No fault finding has been done (fair enough, not expected here) and the Electrician doesn't seem like (yet) he'd be interested in taking on the remediation work... as he and I both agreed a re-wire is not a bad option. But there are people involved.

    Is the "It may turn out that the cable itself is failing and needs to be replaced" the worst-case scenario? If so... does that involve chasing out walls and re-plastering and such?
     
  14. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Indeed - but taking the comments, and distinction on the Schedule between ">1000 MΩ" and "< 1,000 MΩ" seems to indicate that, whatever the figures actually were, the person involved seemed to think that anything under 1,000 MΩ is a 'fail' :)

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  15. dpm_dpmartin

    dpm_dpmartin

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    And I never expected this property to pass with flying colours... it is old, poorly maintained (that's on me, but I claim it's not my fault) and I also have little idea what the Tenant has been up to... so I expected some remediation work... and I was prepared for it (the biggest challenge is getting access a second time)... but it seems to me like there is a way to remove the C2 ratings without going to the full re-wire. If my current chap isn't the one that wants to do that... I'll need to find another, one who is willing to spend time in finding out what needs to happen, one who'll also need to issue a new EICR.

    This feels like a sticky wicket.
     
  16. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Yes, that does appear to be the case as obviously the meter would not have just shown <1000.
     
  17. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    As is implicit in many of the comments above, the first thing to ascertain is what the insulation resistance measurements recorded as "<1,000" actually were - since, as has been said, they could be as low as 1 MΩ without necessarily attracting any code, let alone a C2.

    Kind Regards, John
     
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