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ETI
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Nick Wagstaff

Chief Electrical Tester

(Electrical Testing Inspection)

I hope this article helps you!

Need any more help in understanding anything in this article?

How to Easily Understand an EICR
(Electrical Condition Report)

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An electrical condition report or EICR for short is the official document that is used to say if a property is electrically safe. These need to be carried out before a new tenant moves into a property. 

The electrical reports are technical documents and can be difficult to understand if you are not a qualified electrician. This doesn’t help the majority of people who also have to read them, so we have created this helpful and easy to follow guide to point out what each of the different pages are for and explain the most important parts that you will need to know. 

The EICR will typically have 7 or more pages with each of these different pages having a different purpose. Here we break down each of the pages and briefly explain what they are for. 

For landlord’s and letting agent’s two of the pages will likely be the most important, being pages 1 & 2. It is very useful in also having an understanding of what each of the other pages are for and what they mean, as can help you to see how good or bad the wiring is at the property. 

You can read the full article below which goes into detail on understanding the most important parts of an electrical report in an easy to understand way.  

If you are short on time check out the quick guide below which is also at the start of each section. This quickly and easily explains each page, what it means and what to look out for. (this can also be downloaded for reference later on when you need it) 

(Click on the PDF below to download the short guide)

Page 1 of the EICR

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The front page of the report gives you some important information and will you tell you where the report is for and if it passes or fails.

Certificate Name

The first thing to check when looking at any electrical report or certificate is the name it is called. On page 1 In the top right corner of any electrical certificate it will tell you what type of certificate or report it is. 

For renting of a property the wording in the top right corner will need to say either “Domestic Electrical Condition Report” or “Electrical Condition Report”.  This is the document that is used to show if a property is electrically safe or not for the people that use it.  (The reports are commonly abbreviated to EICR for short).

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Property Address

The next part to check is the address of the property that the report covers.  It will be under the heading “Details of the installation which is the subject of this report”

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What is covered in the report

A part of page 1 which can be very useful to understand but isn’t covered in the short version of this guide is the exact items the electrical report covers for the property.

You will find this information in a box with the heading “Extent and Limitations of Inspections and Testing”.

There are three boxes here as show below each one has a different purpose

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1. Extent of the electrical installation covered by this report

This will tell you what is covered. You can see that it says in this box “Inspection and testing of 100% of circuits in the distribution board with inspection and testing of 25% of the electrical accessories”.

This means that all cables that are connected into the fuseboard (sockets, lights, shower etc) have been checked and tested, but not every electrical item connected to it has been checked, a minimum of 25% has been.This would be due to not being able to access every socket or connection, as some can be behind fitted cupboards or behind placesthat can not be checked i.e. integrated fridges, washing machines, ovens etc. 

2. Agreed limitations including the reasons

Items in this box are used if there is specific part of property which hasn’t been checked and tested. These would typically have been instructed by the client or the person ordering the report. An example could be an external garage was locked by the landlord and they didn’t want a tenant to have access or a specific room of a property being locked and not being able to be entered. (These items need to be specifically authorized by someone in charge)

3. Operational limitations including the reasons

This is used by the engineer to say if there was anything at the time of the test which prevented them from carrying out one of the checks. This could be that they were unable to check the main fuse or electricity meter as it was locked in a cupboard with no key for example. (Items here might also be noted on page 2 of the report as well)

 

Does it pass or fail ?

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An electrical report carried out at a property is similar to an MOT that is carried out on a car. It will fail if anything has been found to be unsafe, but will pass if there hasn’t. Even if the report passes there might be advisories or recommendations that should be looked into though.

If the report fails it will have the words “Unsatisfactory” on the front page in a section called “Summary of the condition 0f the installation”

If the report is “Unsatisfactory” there will be faults on page 2 with a C1 or C2 in the column on the far right. These faults will need to be fixed so that the report will pass.

When does the property need to be re-tested again ?

Private rental properties will need to be tested typically every 5 years.

There can be exceptions to this though. Mainly being if the wiring is in a bad state and only just passes what is required for some of the tests. It might not last another 5 years and will need to be checked again sooner than this.

The time that is required to carryout another test is listed at the bottom of the report under the section called “Recommendations”.

You will add on the years or months it says here from the date which the report was carried out on which is shown at the top of the report under the heading “Date on which the inspection and testing was carried out”

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Page 2 of the EICR

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Here is where you will find any items which are causing the report to fail or any recommendations.

Different categories of faults

There are different categories of faults’s which can found.

C1 fault is something which is unsafe and is imminently dangerous.

This will typically be something that has live parts showing that can be touched or accessed. These faults need to be fixed as soon as possible. A new tenant should not move into a property if any C1 faults have been found and are shown on the report (they would need to fixed before a new tenant moves in)

C2 fault is something which is unsafe and potentially dangerous if a certain chain of events occurred, but doesn’t pose an immediate risk of danger.

There can be a quite a lot of different items, from the incorrect type of light fitting in a bathroom, to no earth on sockets etc as well as many others. C2 faults need to be rectified within 28 days of the date of the report so as to be compliant with the legal requirement “The electrical safety standards in the private rented sector (England) regulations 2020” (this is the official legal requirement for carrying out EICR’s for rental properties)

C3 fault is something that isn’t up to the current electrical regulations but isn’t unsafe

These faults will not fail the report. They are usually were regulations have changed over time. Although these items do not need to be fixed to pass the report they should be considered .

Common examples would be earth cable is green and not green and yellow or a warning label is missing or a fuse board is made of plastic.

FI is short for Further Investigation.  These should be used sparingly and will indicate that there is an item which needs to be rechecked as cannot be confirmed during the test.

A report cannot be passed with if there is an FI listed on page 2

Other common items which can sometimes been seen here are “Obs” or “Lim”

Obs is short for Observation and might be used if the engineer who carried out the report wanted to make a comment about something in particular but it wasn’t a failure

Lim is short for limitation. These should be shown on page 1 in the “extent and limitations” section but can sometimes be seen on page 2 as well if the engineer wants to clarify a particular point.

Inspection schedule items

You will likely see on a lot of reports descriptions which start with “inspection schedule item” with numbers and wording afterwards. 

These refer to specific items on pages 4,5 & 6 which the engineer has selected as failing or having an issue.  They are generic and the wording will match a particular item on one of the pages.

If you check pages 4,5 & 6 and look for the item number mentioned, you should see what this is referring to.

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The yellow highlighted area tells you that it is an inspection schedule item and which item it refers to. In the above image it is item 5.12.2 which is on page 5 of the report.

Page 3 of the EICR

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This page will give you a brief summary at the top on what has been found and general comments by the engineer on things they have seen.

It will tell you who has carried out the report their name and their company details. It should also tell you which organization they belong to i.e. NICEIC, Nappit, Elecsa etc.

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You will also find on page 3 various details about the electrical supply side of the property

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There is various different information here with the box with the C in the red pointer shows the test result for the earth that comes into the property from outside. The lower the reading the better the earth will be.

The last section on page three is for earthing. A common issue that is found at properties relates to what is called “main earth bonding”.  This is a green and yellow cable which typically connects to the gas and water pipes where they enter a property.  If they are not present they will be shown in this section

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The yellow highlighted area shows the parts which relate to the earth bonding.  You can see from the image that there is a 10mm earth bonding cable connected to the water supply (there is no gas supply for the property and is shown as N/A)

Page's 4, 5 & 6 of the EICR (Inspection Schedule)

Easily Understanding an EICR pages 4, 5 .webp

The pages show the individual checks which have been carried out and if they have passed or failed.

There are several different sections on these pages for the different areas that have been checked. They are highlighted in yellow in the image below

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Each of the different sections starts with a number and a .0 after.

1.0 is everthing to do with the electricity suppliers meter, cable, main fuse etc.

3.0 is to do with the main earthing cable coming into the property

4.0 is all items relating to the fuse board or consumer unit

Under each of the different sections are the specific checks that have been carried out. Each of these show the outcome on the far right (pass or fail or not applicable or limitation)

The comments column is used for the engineer to input relating information to the specific check. These comments are also likely to be seen in more detail on page 2 of the report as well.

Page 7 + of the EICR

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This is the technical part of the report and shows the tests and results of what has been carried out.

The different rows relate to the cables which are connected into a fuse board or consumer unit. They are called circuits.  Each different circuit will supply items in the property. One could supply the sockets in the kitchen, another the lights, another the boiler etc etc.

You can see a list of numbers on the very left of the page. These are the circuit numbers and are usually referred to on page 2 if the particular circuit has a fault

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What the cables connected in the fuse board supply is in the 2nd column called circuit description (Has the red A pointer in the image)

The next column of particular interest would be the cable sizes. This matters as each cable will have a maximum of amps it is rated to take before it could overheat and become a hazard.

The highlighted columns in yellow show the cable sizes. The left column with the header live shows the size of the live cable in mm and the right column with the header cpc shows the size of the earth cable in mm

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The C red pointer in the image shows the column for the size of the fuse or switch that the cable is connected to inside of the fuse board / consumer unit.  The sizes are in amps.

The cables which are connected to them need to have a higher amp rating than the figure that is shown in this column. (a table in the electrical regulations is needed to check this)

The numbers shown in the yellow highlighted section are the results for the electrical tests that have been carried out.

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If you would like any information or advice or to book in a test, we would love to hear from you.

Electrical Testing Inspection Ltd / Company Number: 08213403 / VAT registration Number: 351 7797 67

Printable Short Guide

If you are short on time download 
the quick easy to read 7 page guide. It can be printed off and passed onto to lettings colleagues in the office

Click Here

ETI is a specialist electrical testing company which has been carrying out electrical safety tests since 2005.

With only carrying out electrical testing for so many years, we have become extremely knowledgeable and have established ourselves as experts in our industry

ETI is a specialist electrical testing company which has been carrying out electrical safety tests since 2005.

With only carrying out electrical testing for so many years, we have become extremely knowledgeable and have established ourselves as experts in our industry

ETI is a specialist electrical testing company which has been carrying out electrical safety tests since 2005.

With only carrying out electrical testing for so many years, we have become extremely knowledgeable and have established ourselves as experts in our industry

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About ETI

ETI is a specialist electrical testing company which has been carrying out electrical safety tests since 2005.

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