Electrical Installation Condition Reports, commonly referred to as EICR among electricians, constitute in-depth appraisals of operational electrical systems across commercial properties in the UK. This blog by Commercial Electrician London highlights why enterprises undertake EICRs regularly and what to expect.

What is a Commercial EICR?

EICR involves comprehensive electrical inspection and testing of all connected distribution boards, circuits, wiring and other components across a commercial facility as per the IET’s Wiring Regulations stipulated in British Standard 7671.

It provides a formal analysis of the existing electrical setup’s overall condition while determining safety and functional viability as per stipulated benchmarks. Common tests undertaken during EICR include insulation resistance, earth continuity, polarity and components stress testing under operational loads.

The process builds extensive test results documented alongside inspector remarks and photographic evidence of risks like degradation for asset owners. It highlights remedial fixes like upgrades or parts replacements required based on severity to comply with codes and uphold workplace safety moving ahead across the audited site.

Why Undertake Commercial EICR Testing Regularly?

While legally mandated only once every 5 years currently, experts advise more frequent testing to prevent deterioration issues going undetected. Undertaking voluntary annual EICRs provides merits like:

  • Identifying risks proactively – from damaged, overloaded cables and corroded distribution boards to faulty RCDs before costly failures happen. Early diagnosis limits disruption of business-critical equipment.
  • Achieving regulatory and insurance compliance by having up to date electrical safety benchmarks vindicated independently via auditor certificates. This meets workplace OHSA obligations in facilities with extensive employee occupancy like factories, hospitals etc.
  • Avoiding enforcement, lawsuits and penalties by acting before inspectors find neglected electrical infrastructure with risks to asset and life.
  • Qualifying for energy efficiency incentives as auditors recommend replacement of aging, inefficient electrical components which help curtail rising energy overheads.

What Does Commercial EICR Involve?

The rigorous assessment procedure entails:

Stage 1: Non-Invasive Visual Inspection

  • Checking distribution boards for correct ratings, signs of internal damage, rust, debris build up etc affecting integrity
  • Inspecting wiring systems including exposed busbars and electrical earthing visually hunting for insulation damage, water corrosion signs or overloads requiring upgrades

Stage 2: Testing Using Diagnostic Equipment

  • Testing circuits under actual loads using tools like multifunction testers to assess voltage drops, harmonics etc.
  • Checking efficacy of protective mechanisms like earthing, fuses and Residual Current Breakers using earth-loop impedance testers and RCD test buttons

Stage 3: Classification of Observations by Severity

  • Categorizing findings as Code C1 (non-urgent improvement recommendations), Code C2 (items needing repairs or replacements within months due to safety impacts) or Code C3 (dangerous faults needing immediate isolation and major fixes before further use)

Benefits of Commercial EICR

Commercial EICR delivers:

  • Reassurance and certification of workplace electrical safety
  • Identification of degradation requiring prompt repairs before failures
  • Guidance on required upgrades, capacity expansions etc.
  • Prevention of forced activity shutdowns and legal prosecutions
  • Validation of insurance policies through updated safety records

What’s the Cost of Commercial EICR?

Commercial EICR costs depend on site factors like:

  • Facility size, number of distribution boards and electrical circuits
  • Necessity for out-of-hours work or special equipment
  • Number and severity of faults needing rectification post-audit

Average EICR testing alone costs £750+ for small retail spaces while large offices or factories with intricate systems spanning over £3,000 at times. Separate prices apply for suggested repairs or upgrades thereafter, if development is not handled by the contractor conducting EICRs.

EICR Methodology Breakdown

Our engineers follow a meticulous 5-stage methodology when undertaking commercial EICR:

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Stage 1: Onsite Briefing

The lead inspector acquaints with facility managers regarding electrical infrastructure scale, key equipment relying on tested systems and operational schedules for minimal intrusion.

Stage 2: Non-Invasive Visual Inspection

Visual scrutiny of all distribution boards, wiring, earthing provisions and electrical componentry without opening covers looks for damage or degradation signs. Thermal imaging scans also check for hotspots.

Stage 3: Invasive Inspection

Now internal aspects of wiring systems get examined at random testing points after isolating supply and safely uncovering containment. Close-up inspection for fraying, improper terminations etc.

Stage 4: Diagnostic Testing

The electrical system functionality gets checked under normal working conditions using appliances like insulation resistance testers, earth loop testers and micro ohm-meters.

Stage 5: Results Analysis

Findings analysis happens referencing 18th Edition wiring regulations to classify issues based on criticality across nearly 300 checklist parameters!

EICR Compliance Guidelines

To meet stipulated compliance requirements, our EICR reports feature:

  • Header details on the property assessed and name of the accredited lead inspector
  • Clear observations on electrical infrastructure framed against BS 7671 requirements
  • Categorized coding like C1, C2 and C3 for every observation based on severity
  • Risks quantified overall through risk assessment scoring
  • Sign-off section with inspector’s contact details and date of submission

Free Quarterly EICR Newsletter

Stay updated on the latest commercial electrical safety and EICR best practices by subscribing to our NICEIC endorsed quarterly newsletter – The Circuit.

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Why Choose Commercial Electrician London for Your EICR Needs?

With extensive experience across schools, hospitals, factories and other commercial settings for over 15 years in London, our NICEIC accredited electrical engineers offer value advantages like:

  • Compliant testing procedures fully meeting BS 7671 and EN 60364 directives
  • Detailing not just faults but energy optimization recommendations
  • Providing discounted repairs of issues identified via audits
  • Customized incident support discussing inspection outcomes for action plans
  • Options for voluntary interim audits every 2 years between mandatory 5-year EICRs

For trusted, independent electrical condition reporting across commercial premises, contact our Commercial Electrician London teams on +442071834006 today and safeguard your property proactively and you can also get your commercial EICR Cost quote for free online!