Frequently asked questions
What is a periodic inspection?
A periodic inspection is an inspection and testing to check whether your wiring is in a satisfactory condition. On completion, we will issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report detailing any observed damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions and any non-compliance with the present-day safety standard that might give rise to danger.
Only electrically competent persons, such as registered electricians, should carry out the periodic inspection and testing.
When does a periodic inspection need to be carried out?
It is recommended that periodic inspection and testing is carried out at the following times:
- for tenanted properties, every 5 years or at each change of occupancy, whichever is sooner
- at least every 10 years for an owner-occupied home
- at least every 5 years for a business- this includes rented accommodation
I am thinking of buying a property; do I need the wiring checked?
Yes. This is often overlooked when buying property that is more than 10 years old. The inspection will determine the condition of the electrical system before you purchase the property and advise you if expensive repairs or even a re-wire is required.
Do I need a rewire of my property?
There are no set guidelines as to when a property should be rewired. Just because your wiring is old, it doesn't mean it's unsafe. Many factors can affect the wear and tear of your electrical installation, including the materials and how your property has been used.
We would recommend that a periodic inspection is carried out if one has not been done in the last 10 years if you are an owner occupier and every five years if you are a Landlord. The test will provide a competent electrician with the information to advise if your property needs re-wiring. If you have any doubts please contact us.
Does all redundant wiring have to be removed?
When an electrical installation is rewired, it is good practice to remove redundant wiring. If this is not possible, any redundant wiring must be permanently disconnected from any electrical supply so that it doesn't present a risk
My house has a consumer unit with rewireable fuses. I've been told by an electrician that I need to have the house rewired and the consumer unit replaced to ensure compliance with current regulations. Is this true?
The current wiring regulations (BS 7671) are not intended to be applied retrospectively. Many existing installations will be found to be safe even though they may not comply with the current requirements e.g. different coloured wiring. We recommend a periodic inspection is carried out which will determine if your house requires rewiring.
What is an RCD?
An RCD is a sensitive safety device that switches off electricity automatically if there is a fault. It is a life-saving device designed to prevent you from getting a fatal electric shock if you touch something live, such as a bare wire or cut through a live cable. They offer a level of personal protection that ordinary fuses and circuit-breakers cannot provide.
These are installed in the consumer unit (fuse box) and can provide protection to individual or groups of circuits. A fixed RCD provides the highest level of protection as it protects all the wiring and the sockets on a circuit, and any connected appliances.
What is a circuit breaker?
A circuit breaker does the same job as a fuse, but works in a different way. When the circuit becomes overloaded, it trips, cutting off the electrical power to the circuit. Unlike a wireable fuse, which requires removal and a replacement wire inserted, the circuit breaker can simply be switched back on once the fault has been traced and rectified by a qualified electrician. If your circuit breaker trips and you need advice, please call us.
Can Robinsons Electrical Services help with re-wiring my entire property?
Yes, we can; please contact us for a free quote.
I'm thinking of converting my loft; would I need an Electrical Certificate?
Yes. Robinsons Electrical Services install, test and certify electrical wiring in your loft. We will provide you with an electrical installation certificate and notify Building Control so that they can issue a completion certificate.
I am a landlord; how often should I have a periodic inspection carried out in my property?
If you own an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation), you have a legal obligation to have a periodic inspection carried out on your property every five years.
If your property is not an HMO, The Landlords and Tenants Act 1985 requires that the electrical installation in a rented property is:
- Safe when a tenancy begins
- Maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy.
Our guidance is based on The Electrical Safety Council Booklet "Landlords Guide to Electrical Safety".
Do landlords need an Electrical Certificate?
Yes. The Landlords and Tenants Act 1985 requires that the electrical installation in a rented property is:
- Safe when a tenancy begins
- Maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy
Why do landlords need a PAT or Portable Appliance Testing certificate?
The Electrical Safety Council recommends that you have all appliances such as electric kettles, fridges and washing machines provided as part of a tenancy agreement tested by a registered electrician at the beginning of each tenancy and at regular intervals during any long-term tenancies.
What electrical appliances are included in Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)?
Portable and movable equipment can include most movable appliances from kettles, toasters, vacuum cleaners, irons, fan heaters through to washing machines, fridges, tumble dryers and electric cookers in domestic rented accommodation.
In my office, what equipment needs to be PAT tested and how often does it need to be done?
The Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment (ISITEE) splits electrical equipment into the following categories:
- Stationary equipment: refrigerators
- Information technology equipment: computer, fax machines, modems, telephones, printers
- Movable (or transportable) equipment (less than 18 kg and not fixed: electric fire or equipment with wheels, castors etc. to facilitate movement to perform its intended use, example: compressor or air-conditioning unit)
- Portable equipment (equipment that is less than 18 kg and is moved in operation, example: fan, table lamps, kettle, toaster, vacuum cleaner)
- Hand-held equipment (portable equipment intended to be held in the hand in normal use: electric drills)
The frequency and range of inspection and tests will depend upon whether the equipment is categorised as Class I (equipment that is required to be earthed) or Class II (equipment provided with double or reinforced insulation).
If your question is not covered by any of the above, please use the contact form below, or call 07494 892192.