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Nick Wagstaff

Chief Electrical Tester

(Electrical Testing Inspection)

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Cost of repairing most common items that fail an EICR in 2023


Cost of repairing most common items to fail an EICR

What the most common items should cost to repair that fail an EICR



Our previous article described how to tell the four most common items that fail an EICR.


Below we go into each of the different items and show:


1. The different ways that the items can be repaired -

(so you don't carry out unnecessary work)


2. What each item should cost to repair -

(you will know if you are paying too much)


3. What the best option is -

(for the tenants to be safe for the lowest cost for the landlord)



No 1: Bathroom Lights

EICR Bathroom Lights

Light fittings in certain locations inside of a bathroom need to be protected from water being splashed into the electrical connections inside.


There are three main types of light fitting that can be found in the bathroom:


  • Ceiling surface lights

  • Recessed ceiling lights

  • Wall Surface Lights



Bathroom Ceiling Surface Lights



A bathroom ceiling surface light is simply any light fitting that is fixed to the ceiling.

This can be a standard pendant light or can be more decorative lights too.

EICR Bathroom Surface Lights Fail

If there is a light fitting in the bathroom which is similar to the above or the light fitting is fixed to the surface of the ceiling and is over a bath / shower or near to it.


To resolve this issue the light will need to be replaced for a suitable light that is resistant to water being splashed onto it.


EICR bathroom surface light fail and pass

The light will have the wording IP and two numbers next to it.


To be compliant for a bathroom the last number needs to be 4 or higher.


So for example, a light that has the wording IP22 cannot be used near to a bath or shower in a bathroom.


But a light with the wording IP44 or IP65 can be used (as the last number is 4 or higher)



Options to repair


One of the most common options to use for a light fitting in a bathroom is a circular LED Light.


These lights are low cost to purchase, quick to install and generally are reliable and have no light bulbs to change for the tenant



Cost to replace

The average cost to replace this item including the parts, labor and providing certification afterwards.

From/To: £58.00 - £75.00



Best option for a landlord


Although there are many options that a landlord can use for a surface light fitting in a bathroom, it often comes down to personal choice.


Surface light fittings that have one electrical connection and light bulbs that are not replaced, typically have the least problems over time and are the most reliable with usually the lower cost to purchase as well.


If you are happy with the look of them, they usually make the most logical sense for keeping costs down with the initial replacement and ongoing call out charges for electricians in the long run.



Bathroom Recessed Down Lights

EICR Bathroom Recessed Lights

Probably the most common type of light fitting that can be found inside of a bathroom is a recessed down light (or sometimes called spot light)


The same as can be found with any other type of light inside of the bathroom, if the lights are located above or near to a bath or shower they need to be resistant to water being splashed onto them.



Cost to replace

The best option to use when replacing bathroom spot light fittings, is to use a GU10 recessed down light. These will have a replaceable lamp that is typically behind a sealed glass cover to protect that lamp and electrical connections from water.


The average cost to replace this item including the parts, labour and providing certification afterwards.

From/To: £35.00 - £50.00 per light fitting



No 2: No RCD in fuse board for bathroom lights or heater

EICR Consumer unit RCD protection

(Picture above showing consumer unit with RCD Protection)


Bathrooms are classed as an “electrically high risk” area in a property; this is due to people being submerged in water when taking their bath/shower.


Extra safety requirements are put in place for any electrical items or circuits that are present in the bathroom areas.


The first extra precaution is to install a switch called an RCD for every circuit that is present in the bathroom, mainly for bathroom lights and also for bathroom heaters.



Options to repair

If there are any lights or heaters etc in the bathroom that are not connected to the RCD (safety switch), there are a few different ways of rectifying this fault that will be causing your report to fail.


Option 1:

The most common option that electricians will use to rectify this fault is to replace the entire consumer unit, however this can often be unnecessary if only 1 or 2 circuits need to be connected to an RCD.


Option 2:

A second option is to install a separate RCD unit next to the existing fuse board/consumer unit.

This is the best option if 2 or 3 circuits are in the bathroom, Cost wise this is a much cheaper option than to replace the entire consumer unit.


Option 3:

The third option is to use what is called an RCBO for each of the circuits in the consumer unit that need them.



Cost to replace

The average cost to replace these items including the parts and providing certification afterwards:


Option 1
(Replacement of entire consumer unit)

From/To: £400.00 - £500.00


Option 2
(Install separate RCD unit)

From/To: £220.00- £300.00


Option 3
(Use RCBO for circuits price per RCBO and depends on make of consumer unit for cost)

From/To: £55.00 - £110.00



Best option for a landlord


The best option will depend on the number of circuits there are in the bathroom that need to be protected by the RCD.


If only 1 circuit is in the bathroom that doesn't have RCD, then the best option is to use an RCBO (Option 3).


If there are 2 or 3 circuits in the bathroom/bathrooms, or the existing fuse board is too old to get parts for then installing a separate RCD is the lowest cost option (Option 2).


Replacing the entire consumer unit is technically the better option, but will always be the most expensive way to rectify these faults (Option 1).



No 3: Fuse board with no RCD protection for the socket outlets

EICR No RCD Consumer unit / Fuse Board

This is similar to the above mentioned issue, but here the common fault relates to the socket outlets on the ground floor not being connected to the RCD (safety switch)



Options to repair

The same as before, if there are socket outlets on the ground floor of the property that are not connected to an RCD, it will cause the EICR to fail.


There are a few different ways of repairing this C2 fault so the EICR will then pass:


Option 1

The most common option that electricians will use to rectify this fault is to replace the entire consumer unit, however this can often be unnecessary if only 1 or 2 circuits need to be connected to an RCD.


Option 2

A second option is to install a separate RCD unit next to the existing fuse board/consumer unit.

This is the best option if 2 or 3 circuits are in the bathroom, Cost wise this is a much cheaper option than to replace the entire consumer unit.


Option 3

The third option is to use what is called an RCBO for each of the circuits in the consumer unit that need them



Best option for a landlord


The best option will depend on the number of circuits that supply socket outlets on the ground floor that need to be protected by the RCD.


If only 1 circuit has ground floor socket outlets that are not connected to an RCD, then the best option is to use an RCBO (Option 3).


If there are 2 or 3 different socket circuits i.e. kitchen sockets, downstairs sockets etc, or the existing fuse board is too old to get parts for. Then installing a separate RCD is the lowest cost option (Option 2).


Replacing the entire consumer unit is technically the better option, but will always be the most expensive way to rectify these faults, but may be needed if there are more than 3 circuits that require RCD protection (Option 1).



No 4: No main bonding earth cable to Gas supply

EICR Main equipotential bonding conductor

It is a C2 fault on an EICR if there is not a green and yellow earth cable connected to the copper pipework for the gas supply in a property.


These cables need to be connected to the copper pipe typically near to the gas meter of the property.


The cables are then run through back to the fuse board / consumer unit.


If there is not a cable installed it will be a C2 fault on an EICR causing it to fail.


The cost and difficulty to repair this item depends on how far away the gas meter or gas pipe that enters the building is from the actual consumer unit.


The further away, the more cable will be required which results in more work involved to install this, which would increase the cost.



Options to repair

The only usual option is to install a new 10mm earth cable from the consumer unit or electricity meter area to the gas supply pipe.


If there is already a 10mm main bonding earth cable connected to the water supply and it is nearer to the gas pipe, a new cable can be run from here rather than the consumer unit. - This isn’t always possible but can save a lot of time and effort.



Cost to replace

The average cost to replace these items including the parts and providing certification afterwards.


Installing a 10mm earth cable from the fuse board / consumer unit to the gas meter or gas supply pipe work (priced per meter)


From/To : £25 per meter - £40 per meter


(This can be one of the most difficult items to allow costs for, as does vary depending on how easy or difficult it is to run the new cable from point to point)



Conclusion



Sometimes replacing the entire consumer unit can be avoided as it is NOT the most cost effective way to repair these C2 faults, installing a separate RCD unit or using RCBO’s is, this all depends on the circumstances.


Being aware of the average cost range of the most common failed items in an EICR will help you make the best decision when choosing a contractor to repair the faults.


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About ETI

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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