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Rental Property Electrical Tests (IEE BS 7671 EICR)

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by WSB, 17 Feb 2021.

  1. WSB

    WSB

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    My rental property is about to undergo the electrical tests required by landlords (IEE BS 7671 EICR test I believe).

    With its previous owner the property had a lot of electrical work done including a new consumer unit with RCD fitted plus had all light switches and 13A sockets replaced plus other work. I have all the NIC EIC certificates and the work was done in Feb 2006

    As far as I am aware, all is ok with the electrics in the house, so I'm not expecting any issues with the checks.

    However, I've learned to expect the unexpected, so thought I'd ask the good people on this forum to suggest any issues that could arise, in particular further changes in regs that could require extra work.

    Any info much appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. plugwash

    plugwash

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    If it was done in 2006 then it would have been done under the final amended version of the 16th edition.

    Afaict the main practical changes in the wiring regs from the point of view of a typical domestic installation since then are.

    1. The expansion of RCD requirements from "sockets reasonablly expected to supply equipment outside the equipotential zone" to damn near everything you would find in a domestic property in the 17th edition.
    2. The switch to metal "non-combustable" CUs in an amendment to the 17th edition.
    3. The introduction of surge protection in the 18th edition

    Unfortunately BS7671 does not generally say what code should be given to any particular non-compliance, nor that every non-compliance with the current edition of BS7671 should necessarily be coded as a defect at all. Hence whether any particular defect warrants a C1 or C2 code and hence renders the installation unsatisfactory is ultimately down to the electrician doing the inspection and their judgement of the situation at hand (violations of the same regulation could attract different codes in different scenarios).

    https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/media/1626/best-practice-guide-4.pdf suggests that the electrical safety council would consider these issues to be C3 at worst and some of them should not be coded at all, but that is just their opinion it is not binding on an individual electrican. An electrian that takes a broad view of "Potentially dangerous" could potentially code some of these issues as C2 and hence deem the installation unsatisfactory.

    Being non-compliant with current standards on RCD protection can also make enhancement works awkward, as most electricians work on the basis that new work should comply to the current edition.
     
    Last edited: 17 Feb 2021
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  4. WSB

    WSB

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    Many thanks.
    The work was done in Feb 2006.
    What concerns me with these new regs is the stuff that is down to interpretation by the electrician doing the test and hence most likely the person doing the remedial.
    Basically, I'm concerned about getting fleeced.
     
  5. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    You have very good reason to be concerned about that. Now that this legislation has given 'teeth' to EUICRs, the situation is (at least, in my opinion) very unsatisfactory.
    Again, you have good reason to be concerned - we have seen a number of examples here. The nearest to advice I can offer is that you should try (somehow!) to find someone to do the EICR who you can 'really trust' (and trust not just to 'invent the need for costly work').

    Good luck.

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  6. WSB

    WSB

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    Sadly, the electrician I would trust was killed a few years ago (48 years old). The other electrician I'd trust doesn't have the exact qualifications to do these tests.
    So I've got a bloke recommended by my wife's friend's husband. Yeah, I know a bit tenuous but this is the best I can do.
    He sounded quite reasonable on the phone so hopefully he will be.
    A mate at work got stung for 4 grand to get his rental property up to latest regs......
     
  7. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Fair enough. I hope you're lucky.
    It happens. If the EICR indicates that an appreciable amount of work is needed, it's probably wise to get a 'second opinion' (albeit even that isn't foolproof) and, in the meantime you could explain the situation here and would at least get some opinions as to whether it appeared that you were being 'fleeced'.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  8. ericmark

    ericmark

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    The Best practice guide is now issue 5 not 3. It was stated before the law came out that the inspectors needed 10 years experience, and had to comply with a check list, however when the law arrived there was no check list, although some letting agents have produced their own.

    “electrical installation” has the meaning given in regulation 2(1) of the Building Regulations 2010(2);
    “electrical installation” means fixed electrical cables or fixed electrical equipment located on the consumer’s side of the electricity supply meter;
    “qualified person” means a person competent to undertake the inspection and testing required under regulation 3(1) and any further investigative or remedial work in accordance with the electrical safety standards;

    There are a load of other definitions, but it would be hard to show some one was not a qualified person.

    This really does not make sense, a fault is corrected, but still coded as a C1, but clearly you can't correct the C1 as already corrected. The instructions are clearly not in line with the law, and this is the problem, no one seems to have a clue how the old EICR can be used as a home MOT as it stands. So loads of arguments on what should be coded.
     
  9. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Lest anyone over-interprets the significance of this document, it should perhaps be pointed out that Electrical Safety First. the authors of that guide, are self-styled as "The UK's electrical safety experts" and, by their own description, what they actual are is ...
    Kind Regards, John
     
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  11. plugwash

    plugwash

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    Sure, but would the IET, the NICEIC, BSI and many others have allowed their logos to be used in a way that implies (though admittedly doesn't explicitly state) their endorsement if they strongly disagreed with the content?
     
  12. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Logos used where?
     
  13. ericmark

    ericmark

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    The EICR was simply a report, it did not really matter if C1, C2, C3, FI, LIM or what ever code was given, it was simply a report on the condition, the making of C1, C2 and FI a fail has changed the goal posts. It means those who took their City & Guilds 2391 and had worked out a method now need to reconsider.

    So simple scenario, gas boiler, found a thermostat where the green/yellow is used as a line, over sleeved as required, but clearly want to view inside the boiler, but unsure if need to be gas safe, so best option is to leave this to the gas safe guy to check, so wants further investigation so code FI i.e. fail, or he removes cover off boiler and checks connections. There is one law saying he should check and another saying he should not.

    So other option is Code LIM and make it clear all connected with central heating and domestic hot water is not included in the report. A note see heating engineers gas safe report.

    We have for years had arguments as to who should test the hand drier, central heating boiler, built in fridge or freezer etc. In the main if the item does some work, then it comes under inspection and testing of in-service electrical equipment often called PAT testing. If it distributes the electrical energy for that equipment to use, then it is part of the electrical installation. So up to the FCU supplying the immersion heater is part of the installation, but the immersion its self is inspection and testing of in-service electrical equipment. But that is not the case with the new law, the EICR covers all fixed electrical equipment, so built in cooker, hob, oven, fridge, freezer, extractor fan, boiler, and immersion heater all should be tested with an EICR with new law. Even a TV screwed to wall is covered with EICR with new law.

    So we have the service contract, and the LIM, Fred blogs does the fridge, freezer, and TV, Joe blogs does the boiler, etc.

    So you have a list of LIM's taking items covered by the fire safety inspector, gas safety inspector etc, etc, out of the remit for the electrical inspector. So the electrical inspectors job returns to what he did do before the new law, but no one knows if this is allowed. everyone is guessing.
     
  14. securespark

    securespark

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    I'm sure I have seen them on ESF's website.
     
  15. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    In their "Best Practice Guide" for a start. However, there is not really any claim that the logos imply that the organisations concerned have in any way 'approved' the contents of their 'guide'. The logos appear just as 'acknowledgements' ...

    upload_2021-2-18_14-22-38.png


    The whole page of logos from "the guide" ....

    upload_2021-2-18_14-21-55.png

    Kind REgards, John
     
  16. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    I doubt that any of the organisations whose contributions/support they have acknowledged (or anyone else - even 'us'!) will "strongly disagree" with much, if anything, in that guide. I haven't read every word, but it seems to be mainly talking very reasonable 'common sense' - and mainly about things that one would really hope that no-one undertaking EICRs would need to be 'guided' about!

    However, you may be missing my point. The concern is about the variation in opinions about coding on EICRs - which variation exists between various organisations as well as between individuals undertaking EICRs, and which can have very significant financial consequences for landlords. We have, for example, discussed the fact that some organisations seem to be suggesting that a plastic CU in certain locations (e.g. under stairs) should be given a C2, involving a landlord in expenditure of £££ which would not be necessary if a different inspector had undertaken the EICR.

    This is not a satisfactory situation and I was merely pointing out that the many 'guidances' around merely represent the varying opinions of particular organisations or individuals about the matters concerned, and that none of them (even if written by IET) are either 'authoritative' or 'binding' on anyone.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  17. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I agree, I have not seen a single old fuse box go on fire. This type Wilex-board-with-RCD.jpg have been going for years however were only rated 60 amp Wylex 60 amp.jpg and fitting over size fuses did cause damage Wylex burnt contacts.jpg there was a heavy duty Wylex heavy duty.jpg but in the main limited to 32 amp. And in the example show it was in a garage anyway so should be reasonably fire resistance. Also in the case shown they were RCD protected. My son who now has that house will replace the consumer units, it has been planned for many years, the new consumer unit has been sitting in the garage ready to be fitted for nearly 20 years, so clearly I did feel there was a need to change. But the problem was the RCD's tripping not lack of RCD or fire resistance, but the enclosure for the RCD's is a rather flimsy plastic and more likely to burn than the bakelite plastic used in the Old Wilex.

    The installation shown should fail, as I have well over 60 amp on one consumer unit, and the DNO has fitted a 100 amp fuse, they were when fitted on a 60 amp fuse, but it was swapped to 100 amp on a routine meter change. I show my old house because I know the faults, but I don't think this has been staged [​IMG]It does seem a real fire, it seems the person who posted this picture has not worked out why, which is worrying as they claim to be an electrical firm, and I have seen a video of a device designed to put out consumer units fires, where they used a pencil torch to start the fire, to demonstrate how it worked, so are these fires real?
     
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