Providing a wide range of electrical services in & around Gillingham
An Electrical Installation Condition Report is likely to be required to be carried out before buying, selling, renting out a property (for the Private Rented Sector Scheme, see Guide for landlords: electrical safety standards in the private rented sector ), every 10 years for a Domestic property or 3-5 years in other cases. An EICR involves a series of electrical tests and inspections to determine the suitability of the electrical installation for continued service. It will result in a series of observations and recommendations as to work which will be required to be carried out if the installation is to be used safely. Before carrying out an EICR it is essential to decide what parts of the installation are to be included in the report – this will be stated on the report.
The length of time to carry out an EICR is hugely dependent on the size of the installation, whether it is single- or three-phase, and whether the maintenance and any additions or alterations have been carried out in line with the current or previous editions of BS7671: Requirements for Electrical Installations. As a guide, a Domestic 4 bed house in good condition should take 4-6 hours on site to carry out with up to 2 hours additional paperwork – the cost is likely to be around £260. The final report will contain photographs and can be emailed on completion. For more information see Electrical Safety First Best Practice Guide 4.
The work I’m asked to carry out involving new supplies varies hugely; it may be a whole new building, an extension, a kitchen or bathroom revamp, a pond supply or a garden workshop. Such cases, where a new circuit is added or significantly altered will be certified by the issuing of an Electrical Installation Certificate. In most occasions a Building Compliance Certificate will also be issued.
Other works where an additional socket outlet or lighting point is added may be certified using a Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate. If such works involves a Special Location (e.g. a bathroom or shower), a Building Compliance Certificate will likely be issued.
Obviously, the price of each of these sorts of tasks will vary hugely dependent on the time required and the costs of materials. Please note that my minimum charge is £40.
There is no legal requirement that calls for an existing installation to be upgraded to current standards (currently BS7671:2018, 18th Edition Amendment 2) but the Replacement of a Consumer Unit (“fuseboard/fusebox”) could be a planned change or a distress change e.g. because of a smell of burning. It is also recommended that an Electrical Installation Condition Report be carried out on the installation in advance of the consumer unit being replaced, though a pre-work survey should be a minimum requirement.
A consumer unit need not be replaced simply because it has rewireable fuses, cartridge fuses or older-type circuit-breakers, as these devices can provide satisfactory overcurrent protection. Furthermore, a consumer unit need not be replaced because it does not incorporate Residual Current Device protection, as there may be ways to provide this protection other than replacing the consumer unit. Similarly, a consumer unit need not be replaced because its enclosure is made of combustible materials such as, for example, plastic.
BS7671 (“The Wiring Regulations”) does not require existing circuits to be upgraded to current standards in order for them to be connected to the outgoing ways of the replacement consumer unit. However, circuits that are defective or noncompliant with the requirements of BS 7671 in a way that would result in immediate or potential danger must not be reconnected to the consumer unit. Where a consumer unit is being replaced, additional protection by means of RCDs in accordance with the relevant regulation must be provided to the extent required by the current edition of BS7671. Each device present in a modern Consumer Unit incorporates its own RCD.
In addition, serious consideration should be given to installing Arc Fault Detection Devices in a new Consumer Unit on circuits supplying socket outlets rated at less than 32amps. Electrical arcing inside cables and connections cannot be detected by fuses, circuit breakers and RCDs. It can occur in series or parallel with the loads across the live conductors, and it can cause fires. Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDD) were developed to identify this kind of fault and disconnect the circuit before fire breaks out.
A modern replacement Consumer Unit has the distinct advantage that a faulty circuit won’t prevent the rest of the of the circuits in the board from continuing to operate uninterrupted.
Replacing a consumer unit in domestic premises in England or Wales is to be certified by the issuing of an Electrical Installation Certificate and notified to the Local Authority (a Building Compliance Certificate issued). Cost is variable but likely to be £500 – £1,200.
The new lines of “Smart” Electric Vehicle (EV) Charge points offer certain advantages. Some can be set to charge only when renewable energy e.g. Solar Panels are making locally generated power available to the property. Others can be set to use special tariffs now available for overnight charging of cars. Most are controlled by a phone app and almost all can be over-ridden to begin an immediate charging cycle.
EV charge points come in single phase (up to 7.4kW) and 3 phase (up to 22kW). As a guide, an 80kW car battery should take 11 hours to charge on a 7.4kW charger.
Each charge point should be given its own dedicated supply from the origin of the installation. Installation of a charge point can take a day and may typically cost £1300 – £1600.
Although much of my work is single phase (230 volts), my background in Commercial/Industrial works means I have much experience in three phase (400 volt) electrical work. As an NICEIC Approved Contractor I have both confirmed experience with three phase electrical equipment and a verified level of Public Liability Insurance of £2m.
Three phase electrical work may include, but not be limited to distribution, motors, fans, pumps, variable speed motor drives (inverters) and other equipment.
Fault-finding usually locates seasonal problems related either to water ingress at light fittings and other enclosures or problems caused by rodents coming in to nest in warm, dry lofts and chewing the insulation on cables. In the summertime, the problems may be caused by ants carrying soil into light fittings and external boxes. In many cases a formal Electrical Installation Condition Report should give an indication of impending trouble.
Please note that my minimum charge is £40.