10 Things often found wrong on an EICR

An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is a detailed assessment of the electrical systems in a property, typically used in the UK. Here is a list of common comments or observations you might find in an EICR.

  1. Circuit Overload Circuit overload occurs when more current flows through an electrical circuit than it is designed to handle. This can happen due to excessive use of electrical appliances or connecting too many devices to a single circuit. Overloaded circuits are a major fire hazard as they can lead to overheating of wires. The insulation around the wires may melt, exposing live wires and increasing the risk of electric shocks, short circuits, or fires. It’s crucial to ensure circuits are correctly rated for their intended use and that additional circuits are installed if necessary.
  2. Earthing and Bonding Issues Earthing and bonding are critical for electrical safety. Earthing provides a path for fault current to flow to the ground, reducing the risk of electric shock. Bonding connects metallic parts (like pipes) to the earthing system, ensuring they can’t carry a dangerous voltage if there’s a fault. Inadequate earthing or bonding compromises the safety of the electrical installation, posing serious risks of electric shocks or fires.
  3. Outdated Wiring System Older wiring systems, such as rubber-insulated wires, can degrade over time, leading to exposed conductors, short circuits, and potential fire hazards. As insulation deteriorates, the risk of electric shocks and fire increases significantly. Upgrading to modern wiring standards, which use more durable and safer materials, is essential in older installations.
  4. RCD Protection Absent or Faulty Residual Current Devices (RCDs) are safety devices designed to instantly switch off the power when they detect a fault, significantly reducing the risk of electric shock and fire. Absence of RCD protection, or having faulty RCDs, leaves occupants unprotected against potential electric shocks and fire hazards, especially in areas with increased risk, like bathrooms and kitchens.
  5. Poor Condition of Consumer Unit The consumer unit, commonly known as the fuse box, is the hub of a home’s electrical system. A consumer unit in poor condition might have damaged or loose connections, posing a risk of electric shocks or fires. It may also lack the capacity to handle modern electrical loads safely. Regular checks and maintenance are essential to ensure its safe operation.
  6. Lack of Circuit Separation Proper circuit separation is necessary to prevent overloading and electrical interference between different appliances or areas of a property. Without adequate separation, circuits can interfere with each other, leading to potential overloads, reduced performance of electrical equipment, and increased risk of fire or electrical faults.
  7. Defective Electrical Fittings Defective electrical fittings like sockets, switches, and light fixtures can be hazardous. Damaged sockets or switches can expose live parts, increasing the risk of electric shocks, while faulty light fixtures can overheat and potentially cause fires. Regular inspection and replacement of defective fittings are crucial for safety.
  8. Incorrect Cable Sizing Using cables that are not correctly sized for their intended circuit can lead to overheating, as the cable may not be able to handle the electrical load safely. This can damage the cable insulation and increase the risk of fire or electric shocks. Ensuring that the correct cable size is used for each circuit according to the expected load is a fundamental aspect of electrical safety.
  9. No Adequate Means of Isolation for Repairs or Maintenance Every electrical installation should have a means of isolation, allowing circuits or equipment to be safely disconnected from the power supply for maintenance or in case of an emergency. Lack of adequate isolation points can make it dangerous to carry out repairs and maintenance, as there’s a risk of electric shocks or accidental activation of the system during work.
  10. Overheating Signs on Electrical Equipment Overheating in electrical equipment can be indicated by discolouration, melting, or burning smells. It is a sign that the electrical system is under stress, which can be due to overloading, poor connections, or faulty components. Overheating is a serious issue as it can lead to fires or damage to the electrical system and connected appliances.

Each of these observations in an EICR highlights critical safety concerns in electrical installations, emphasizing the need for regular inspection, maintenance, and upgrading of electrical systems to ensure safety and compliance with current standards.

Jason Pope

Owner Selec Group