A Brief Guide to Electrical Inspection and Testing

Electrical Inspection and Testing

Electrical inspection and testing refers to a series of procedures that are carried out by qualified electricians.

This is conducted to ensure that electrical installations are compliant with BS7671 and that the systems are also satisfying statutory regulations including the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

Failing to comply with these regulations is a criminal offence that could result in a fine or even imprisonment. Fortunately, all our recommended electricians can carry out inspections and testing to ensure that you’re electrical systems are safe and ready to use.

The Process of Inspection and Testing

To ensure compliance with BS7671 regulations, a qualified electrician has to complete an electrical inspection and testing procedure that’s both correct and suitable. This will include visual inspection and testing carried out with appropriate testing equipment.

The electrical system being tested could be either a new build or an alteration. In this case, a comprehensive Initial Verification Inspection and Testing procedure will be carried out.

If the electrical installation is an existing system, a Periodic Inspection and Testing procedure will be completed instead. Both of these electrical inspection and testing procedures have an identical sequence of tests that we will detail below.

The Testing Sequence

Our recommended electrician will carry out the sequence of testing in a very specific order.

  • The Continuity of protective conductors, this will include both main and supplementary bonding.
  • The Continuity of the ring final circuit conductors.
  • Testing of the Insulation resistance.
  • Testing the Polarity.
  • Testing of the Earth fault loop impedance.
  • Testing of the Prospective fault current.
  • Testing of the Residual Current Devices (RCD).
  • Testing of the Phase sequence.
  • General functional testing.

A New or Existing Installation

Within the BS7671, Regulation 610.1 states that...

"every installation shall, during erection and on completion be inspected and tested to verify, so far as reasonably practicable, that the requirements of the regulations have been met before being put into service ."

In order to comply with this regulation, all our recommended electricians will complete the testing procedures and then complete an Electrical Installation Certificate.

If an existing electrical installation has been altered, they will complete a Minor Electrical Work Certificate instead.

Carrying Out Periodic Inspections and Testing

Within the BS7671, Regulation 621.1 states that...

"where required, a periodic inspection and test of every electrical installation shall be carried out in accordance with regulations 621.2 to 621.5 in order to determine as far as reasonably practicable, whether the installation is in a satisfactory condition for continued service".

This regulation is related to those electrical installations that are neither new or altered. In these cases, there is a need for periodic electrical inspection and testing to be carried out.

This will include an initial visual inspection followed by a more thorough inspection and testing procedure.

Once this work is completed, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) will be issued.

These are certificates that must be kept by the “person ordering the work” (the owner) and the “competent person” (the qualified electrician) after the electrical inspection, and testing procedures have been completed.

If you need any of these tests being carried out, our recommended electricians will be able to assist.

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