Unsatisfactory EICR - Am I getting my pants pulled down? Ripped off?

9 Nov 2020
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United Kingdom
The property its self I rent out. I have a Unsatisfactory EICR and was after your expert feedback about how much it would cost me to get the work done and obtain a new satisfactory EICR. I have attached a screen shot of the failed EICR (c2s) and three quotes I have receieved. What is bizarre all the quote costs really do vary but I guess the big one on the quotes is considering replacing the fuse board. Just to reiterate all I want to do is recitfy what needs to be rectified to get a passable satisfactory EICR?

Am I getting ripped off am I getting my pants pulled down?

Your feedback is appreciated.


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There is no reason for a new Electrical Installation Condition Report to be issued. You merely need to append the certificates for works carried out to the existing report.

It cannot be reissued without being reinspected. It doesn't need to state "satisfactory". It's perfectly OK if it states that the installation is "unsatisfactory", but has certified remedial works addressing the relevant issues appended to it.
Please post the rest of the EICR, in particular the list of circuits and test results.
Item 3 makes no sense to me. Do they mean inappropriate?

None of the descriptions reveal what's actually wrong, AFAIC.
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£700+vat isn't necessarily an excessive price for a new consumer unit - but it depends massively on what will actually be provided for that price, and whether a new consumer unit is actually needed at all.
Item 1 is wrong, RCDs are only used for fault protection on TT supplies, and if you had one of those without RCDs, it would not be a C3.
2 presumably refers to a plastic consumer unit, however that's a C3 and therefore not dangerous.
3,4,5,6 say nothing other than generic statements, unclear why further investigation would be required or what the problems actually are.
7 is wrong, there is no legal requirement to disconnect sockets.

Estimate - 'need to make sure insulation resistance in the cable is complaint', what is that supposed to mean? Insulation resistance should have already been checked as part of the EICR. If it's too low, then repairs are required. It's not usually the cables at fault.
'main earth bonding' - it's either earthing or bonding, not both.
EICRs are not reissued, unless for some unlikely reason someone actually wanted to pay for another one.

Quote - no earth to sockets is a C2, where is this on the EICR?
Possible rewire - either it's needed or not, the EICR should have revealed whether a rewire is necessary or not. If it's so bad as to need rewiring, it should have been obvious to the person doing the EICR.

Quotes should have a lot more detail, such as the brand of consumer unit to be used - there is a world of difference in price between decent equipment and cheapo tat.
The prices don’t sound outrageous as long as they aren’t lashing in the cheapest tat available.

Whether the work is required, it’s impossible to say from just reading a quotation for remedials and a very vague observation page.

Do you have a picture of the existing consumer unit / fuse box as this may give us a better idea of how old the installation is and whether it is likely that replacement of the unit is required.
One can ask for a quote to install a new consumer unit, or a quote to make the property compliant. They are not the same. As to if RCD protection is required, one can debate this for years with no firm answer. However I have fitted RCD protection to all circuits, so I find it hard to say any one else should consider not to fit them, even if not strictly required.

The inspector has to make a professionally considered option as to if required. As @flameport says in the main "RCDs are only used for fault protection on TT supplies." or other installations where the earth loop impedance is not low enough to ensure EEBADS (Earthed Equipotential Bonding and Automatic Disconnection of Supply) will work.

There is a big difference between not complying with requirements listed in the current BS 7671 for a new installation, and being potentially dangerous.

So if it passed last time, to become potentially dangerous then what has happened?
1) The last guy got it wrong.
2) Some thing has degraded over time.
3) Some thing has been added or changed.
As to what could be added or changed to require a RCD where it was not required 10 years ago, I have been scratching my head, however it is a brave inspector who decides he does not need to follow manufactures instructions. The rules have changed it now does not say you must follow manufacturers recommendations you only have to take them into account. However if the instructions for a Bosch boiler says it needs RCD protection one would need to be brave to say no it doesn't.

We did for many years have the drive by inspection and testing, it was money for old rope, it did not matter if a fault had C1, C2, C3, FI, N/V, N/A or LIM the owner did not need to act on any of them, however seeing the fines given when a fault has caused a death, the landlord would have been silly to have ignored points raised. What has changed is the English government has decided C1, C2, FI faults must be corrected or deemed as not required.

The law says the local authority if the work has not been done in 28 days must investigate and if it decides the work really must be done, tell you exactly what must be done, and you have 21 days to object, if you have not objected then 7 days latter the council can do the work and charge it to you, however there does not seem to be anything which details who pays for the council to do the inspection and list what must be done.

We then start to look at qualifications, if Mr. A says it must be done with a level 3 qualification and Mr B said it is not required with level 5, then the council would need to get Dr C to say it must be done. But Mr B is going to want a higher fee to Mr A and you need to be sure Mr B will not agree with Mr A.

So we get to the is it worth it? Do you want to pay £300 on the chance that Mr B will say it is not required?

So we are not talking about if right or wrong, it is more down to is it worth trying to get out of the work? Personally I would not rent a property at a lower safety standard to what I would want in my own house. If anything the reverse, as a foreman although I knew it was wrong, if there was some thing involving danger I would do it myself rather than give the job to some one in my charge.

I personally can't see why lights really need RCD protection, a tenant should not be drilling walls, or balancing on a full bath to change a bulb, so I fail to see why it is needed, although fitted a RCBO in my house, that cost around £6 more than a MCB so since changing whole consumer unit may as well for £6 extra fit RCD protection. Swapping a MCB for a RCBO if they will fit is likely to cost £30 plus labour.

There is no need for a new EICR all you need is paperwork to show faults corrected, and you only need to send the paperwork to the council on request, so simply attaching the receipts for the work to the EICR is all that is required.

411.3 I would assume the earth loop impedance was not low enough, so using a smaller MCB/RCBO would likely fix it, they are minor items to correct, it is likely many of the items are similar so simply by attaching.
3) Water leak corrected.
4) New MCB fitted receipt attached.
5) New screws fitted.
6) New lids fitted receipt attached.
7) Socket removed.
I am guessing what the real fault is, but it is unlikely the LABC will do anything unless tenant complains, and there is nothing to say who needs to do repairs so as long as not something which needs notifying then it would seem rather easy to get around the law if there is really nothing wrong, however of course if there is some thing wrong your up the creak without a paddle.
Please see further readings from the report.

Anyone Sparkies available in the Surrey area that could take this piece of work on?


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Well that changes everything!!

There is nothing in that report which suggests you need a replacement consumer unit.

It sounds like there are a few minor issues which do actually need addressing fairly promptly, but other than that there’s nothing too concerning.

I’d say quote number 2 seems to have quoted for what is actually required rather than the other two which seem to have unnecessary work included.
The test results and inspection schedule are full of mistakes, suggesting a lack of competence and understanding.

As for the rest, assuming the descriptions are correct:
there are a few loose connections on the sockets
a cable needs to be put in some plastic trunking or similar
the lights and cooker don't have an RCD - not dangerous, could have RCDs fitted if you want
the consumer unit is plastic - just like millions of others, replacement not necessary.

Unclear why the high reading bedroom sockets are listed under items in a bathroom. Is there a bath or shower in this bedroom?
Continuity on the ring circuits cannot be zero, as that would be a cable of zero length.
The readings don't seem to make sense, some thing wrong, the problem is as soon as one reading does not match then all the rest are brought into question, maximum measured earth fault loop impedance 0.10 Ω and the prospective fault current of 0.850 kA does not seem right, if Ze is 0.27 how can Zs be 0.10 it must be higher than Ze not lower. And if the RCD operating current is 30 mA how can you say it's not there?

The 274.5 Ω reading and 275.6 Ω reading are clearly too high, but are so close to each other it would seem something wrong in the consumer unit, I would guess both earth cables are connected together some where for reading to be so close, and it would point to some thing in the consumer unit for it to be common for both circuits.

As @flameport says "The test results and inspection schedule are full of mistakes, suggesting a lack of competence and understanding." so that means can't trust the rest of the report.

three quotes I have received
That puzzles me, why did the people giving quotes not note the problems with the report? Something rather odd!
Thanks for the feedback especially flameport and ericmark. no bath or shower in the bedroom, haha. What would you anticipate it would cost as a quote to get the c2s fixed? Or would it be worth getting the whole lot investigate again? Anyone on here local to the Surrey area that can help?
It seems the whole EICR for rented properties is causing a huge problem as there is no hard and fast rules as to which of the 8 codes is awarded from simple tick (Acceptable condition), Not applicable (N/A), Limitation (LIM), Not verified (N/V), Further investigation (FI), Improvement recommended (C3), Unacceptable condition (C1 or C2) it was never designed as an MOT it was more designed like a service so it informed the owner as to the state of the electrics.

Only the person doing the work can issue an EIC (electrical installation certificate) so where the LABC is quality control the EICR form is used to record the same things as an EIC would normally list, and so the provision of the previous EICR or EIC is really required so the inspector knows the age. But there is an argument for testing as if a new installation as would be required if being done for the LABC and also to testing to the version of BS 7671 current at time of design, and also not even considering BS 7671 and only really looking for Dangerous and Potentially Dangerous items, there was a code 4 which was does not comply with current regulations, however it was deemed this confused the client so was removed.

There is no requirement for an EICR to be re-done once repairs are completed, only that so written document shows it has been rectified, and no one has said what from this should take, so if I take one item, the 274.5 Ω reading, a receipt which lists "investigate 274.5 Ω reading and correct new reading 0.85 Ω is all that is required. Even correct 5.4, 5.7 and 5.9 on the EICR listed on a receipt does what it seems the law asks for. The silly thing is nothing says who must do the work, if the work needs the LABC notifying as with new consumer unit then clearly it would need doing by a scheme member, but where the work does not require notifying there would be nothing to stop you doing the work your self.

However the property has to be safe, and even when electrical companies have done work, there have been court cases and prison sentences dished out for below standard work, and to be frank when one reads the reports one does some times question if the right man was fined or imprisoned. So the EICR is a watch my back exercise so you can show if some thing goes wrong you took reasonable care.

When you read the court accounts, she phoned her boy friend and said how there were sparks and water was leaking, and he told her to turn off the stop cock, rather than turn off power first. One asks why when clearly both were aware of the danger turning off water was attempted before turning off electric, however in an emergency we do make these errors, and as a landlord you do not want to be in the dock trying to explain how you thought it was safe. So it really does not matter if required by regulations or not, for your own piece of mind you want all circuits RCD protected, it is only two circuits and RCBO's cost between £10 and £30 each depending on make, so for £60 it's done.

So if it were me, then I would talk to an electrical firm and say I have an EICR which to be frank is really a load of rubbish, however it does seem I need a couple of RCBO's fitting and some repairs likely in CU to correct a high ELI and some trunking fitting over come cables, I realise you can't give me a quote as we don't know the fault, so could you quote for fitting the RCBO's and then when fitting them tell me what you consider will be required for rest of work. Just like on this forum you need to talk to the firm first and arrange for a visit. Work out if the guy sucks through his teeth and says jobs worth, or does a reasonable job.
Thanks for the feedback especially flameport and ericmark. no bath or shower in the bedroom, haha. What would you anticipate it would cost as a quote to get the c2s fixed? Or would it be worth getting the whole lot investigate again? Anyone on here local to the Surrey area that can help?
Whereabouts in Surrey? I'm KT15

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