How often you should get an electrical check will depend on how old your house is and the number of appliances it supports. Older houses may have an outdated electrical system which can’t support certain appliances and increasing loads.
A periodic inspection involves conducting checks and associated testing to see if the electrical components of a house are working optimally. After the required inspection and testing, an Electrical Installation Condition Report will be issued. The report shows any observed defects, damages, unsafe conditions, and any non-compliance with current safety standards that could lead to danger.
It is often recommended to get an electrical check every 3-5years. You also need to update your electrical system, when necessary,to keep up with recent safety standards, even if you have a relatively new house.
To maintain adequate safety standards, periodic testing and inspection should be carried out as follows:
- Every 5 years, at least, for businesses
- Every 5 years, or during every change of occupancy, for tenanted properties
- Every 10 years, at least, for private homes
You will know that your electrical system is inadequate when you start experiencing any of the following:
- Fuses constantly blowing
- Outlets and switches no longer working properly
- Tripping circuit breakers
- Your electrical outlets are two pronged instead of three pronged
- Lights flicker when an air conditioner, heater, or some other appliance is turned on
Regular checks should be carried out around the house to monitor the condition of sockets, switches, cables, and other accessories. Once anything unusual is noticed, such as circuit breakers tripping or fuses blowing, crackling or buzzing, or burn marks on sockets and plugs, a registered electrician should be contacted to conduct an electrical check immediately.
Various factors can lead to the wear and tear of electrical installations, including how the property has been used and the materials that the installations are made of.
When an electrical check is done and it is discovered that a rewiring is needed, it is recommended to remove redundant wiring. To avoid any risks, all redundant wiring must be disconnected permanently from any electrical supply if it is not possible to have it removed. There are no set rules as to when a property should be rewired. Rewiring should not be done just because the wiring of a house is old. As long as it meets safety conditions and is in good shape.
According to the 1985 Landlords and Tenant Act, electrical wiring should be kept in proper working order by landlords who have properties with short leases. It is recommended that, at the relevant intervals as shown above, landlords should arrange for periodic inspections and testing by a registered electrician.
For caravans and swimming pools, there should be more frequent periodic electrical inspection and testing as follows:
- Every 1 year for swimming pools
- Every 3 years for caravans