Frequently Asked Questions

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F.A.Qs

We have included the most common frequently asked questions here, however if you have a query that you cannot find the answer to, please feel free to contact us below so we can assist you

Information for Landlords

What is a periodic inspection?

A periodic inspection is an inspection and associated testing to check whether an electrical installation is in a satisfactory condition for continued service. On completion of the necessary inspection and testing, an Electrical Installation Condition Report will be issued detailing any observed damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions and any non-compliances with the present-day safety standard which might give rise to danger.

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

The Landlords and Tenant Act 1985 requires landlords of properties with short leases to keep the electrical wiring in repair and in proper working order. We recommend landlords arrange for periodic inspection and testing to be carried out by a registered electrician at the relevant intervals shown above.

Periodic inspection and testing of the electrics should be carried out more frequently on the places and premises listed here:
3 years for a caravan
1 year for a swimming pool

I am a landlord – how often should I have an 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, then you are not legally obliged to get your installation tested on a periodic basis. However, we recommend that you have a full periodic inspection carried out every five years or on change of tenancy – whichever comes first.

Our guidance is based on legal obligations set out in The Landlords and Tenant Act (1985)

As a landlord, what responsibility do I have in relation to the electrics in a property that I intend to let?

You have a duty of care to your tenant and must ensure that the installation is safe when they enter the property and is maintained throughout their tenure.
The Landlords and Tenants Act (1985) requires that the electrical installation in a rented property is:
Safe when a tenancy begins and maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy.

We recommend that in order to comply with this Act, you get a registered electrician to carry out an Electrical Condition Report (EICR) on any property you intend to let before getting tenants in. This will certify whether the electrics are safe and tell you if anything needs upgrading.

Who should carry out a periodic inspection?

Periodic inspection and testing should be carried out only by electrically competent persons, such as registered electricians.

Can I do my own electrical work?

You can do your own electrical work if you are competent to do so. Simple tasks such as wiring a plug are within the grasp of many people but more complex tasks, such as modifying an electrical installation, may not be.

It is particularly important that anyone who undertakes electrical work is able to satisfy the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

For work on electrical installations below 1000 volts AC, you should be able to work within the guidelines set out in BS7671 ‘Requirements for electrical installations. IET Wiring Regulations. Seventeenth edition’. For details, see: British Standards Institution. Other work should be carried out according to the guidelines set out in the relevant industry standard.

Those who wish to undertake electrical testing work would normally be expected to have more knowledge and be able to demonstrate competence through the successful completion of a suitable training course.

More complex electrical tasks, such as motor repair or maintenance of radio frequency heating equipment, should only be carried out by someone who has been trained to do them.

Information for Tenants

I have contacted my landlord on several occasions, but they won’t do anything about my faulty installation, what should I do?

As first port of call, contact the Building Control department of your Local Authority; they should be able to advise you of your rights as a tenant.

Citizens Advice may be able to provide you with further help.

I bought or own an electrical appliance that I think is unsafe, what should I do?

You should contact either Trading Standards or Citizens Advice to register your concern. 

If you want to forward us supporting documentation and images relating to the product, we can objectively review its safety. Send it to enquiries@electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk
If you are concerned about an existing appliance, get a competent person to perform a PAT (portable appliance test) to confirm whether it is still safe for use.

Can I do my own electrical work?

You can do your own electrical work if you are competent to do so. Simple tasks such as wiring a plug are within the grasp of many people but more complex tasks, such as modifying an electrical installation, may not be.

It is particularly important that anyone who undertakes electrical work is able to satisfy the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

For work on electrical installations below 1000 volts AC, you should be able to work within the guidelines set out in BS7671 ‘Requirements for electrical installations. IET Wiring Regulations. Seventeenth edition’. For details, see: British Standards Institution. Other work should be carried out according to the guidelines set out in the relevant industry standard.

Those who wish to undertake electrical testing work would normally be expected to have more knowledge and be able to demonstrate competence through the successful completion of a suitable training course.

More complex electrical tasks, such as motor repair or maintenance of radio frequency heating equipment, should only be carried out by someone who has been trained to do them.

Is PAT Testing A Legal Requirement?

There is currently no strict legal requirement for PAT testing. The Government however has put regulations into place that pertain to the maintenance of electrical appliances and the most effective way to ensure that these regulations are met is through PAT testing.

The UK Health and Safety Executive along with insurance companies will expect you to perform PAT testing to ensure that you are compliant with certain regulations including:
Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999.

Not complying with the above mentioned regulations can result in fines up to £5,000 and/or six months imprisonment. Fines have been seen to go as high as £20,000 and offences heard in the Crown Court have carried sentences of more than 2 years imprisonment in additional to unlimited financial penalties. So even though PAT testing itself is not legally required, it simply helps you to protect yourself by ensuring that you are complying with these regulations.

Rewiring Information

When do I need a rewire?

There are no set guidelines as to when a property should be rewired. Just because your wiring’s old, it doesn’t mean it’s unsafe.

Many factors can affect the wear and tear of your electrical installation, including the materials used and how your property has been used.

We would advise that a periodic inspection is carried out on owner-occupied properties at least every 10 years and every five years in rented accommodation. The test will certify whether the electrics in a property are safe and tell you if anything needs upgrading.

You should carry out regular checks around the house on the condition of your cables, switches, sockets and other accessories. If you notice anything unusual – for example, burn marks on plugs and sockets, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling), fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping – get a registered electrician to check your electrics as soon as possible

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.

Electrician Registrations & Certifications

My electrician told me that they were registered; however, I now believe that they are not, as they have not given me a certificate. What should I do?

First you need to find out whether the electrician you used is actually registered. To do this, contact the operator of the scheme they have claimed to be part of, and they will tell you whether this is the case. If they are registered, the scheme operator can guide you through their complaints procedure.

If you find out the electrician misled you and is not registered, you should report this to your local Trading Standards Department as they are breaking the law. We would also recommend that you get an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) carried out on your home; this will assess any work that has been undertaken and will act as sufficient documentation to certify that work. This needs to be carried out by a registered electrician and unfortunately will be an added cost for you.

My electrician says I need to carry out extensive electrical work in my home. How do I know if they are telling the truth?

We recommend that you get at least three quotes from different electricians before you go ahead with any major electrical work in your home.  We also advise that you always use a registered electrician as if you’re not happy with their work you can complain to their scheme operator, who will in turn ask them to rectify any mistakes.

How can I tell if my electrician is registered?

You can check on the NAPIT website if your electrician is registered and for which trades they are certified. 

18th Edition Wiring Standards

In July 2018, the 18th edition of the UK Wiring Regulations was released.

As of 1 January 2019, there are new stricter regulations for commercial landlords and property owners. These cannot be amended retroactively so you need ensure you’re familiar with them.

During 2017/18, there were 38,321 accidental property fires in England, with half of those fires caused by electrical faults or misuse. These could easily have been prevented and property owners and commercial landlords are directly responsible, and legally accountable, for working to do so.

BS 7671 of the IET Wiring Regulations sets out the safety levels for new electrical installations as well as additions and changes to existing installations. This does not just apply to the UK, but numerous other countries. Following BS7671 ensures that your wiring systems meet the standard of the requirements of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

 

Key changes

There are a number of important changes to the legislation, including the following:

  • Protection against overvoltage: The new regulations make clear surge protection must be provided where a surge could result in serious injury or loss of life, interruption to public services or industrial and commercial activities, damage to cultural heritage, or a large number of individuals at the same location being affected.
  • RCD protection: RCDs are now required on lighting circuits and on all sockets outlets with ratings up to and including 32A. They must also be manually tested every six months.
  • Arc fault detection devices: These devices should be installed as they are designed to trip the system in the event of an electrical fault.
  • Euroclass cable ratings: all cables used in buildings must have a Euroclass rating.
  • Wiring support: all wiring systems must be supported to prevent collapse if a fire occurs. Previously this only applied to fire escapes.
  • Embedded electric heating: these areas, including heated floors, should have protection in place to prevent them from overheating.

 

SPJ Electrical

Related Services

Light Installation Designs

We can draw up lighting schematics for house remodels or when rewiring is required. 

Cable and Trunking Calculations

Trunking may be required for new installations especially when installing new armoured cables. 

Temporary Power Installations

We can arrange temporary power in the event of critical failure of a consumer unit or wiring. 

Address

175 Wokingham Road

Woodley, Berkshire

RG6 1LT

Phone

(0118) 941-1920

(0755) 135-8302

Email

spjelectrical@yahoo.co.uk