Common EICR Defect Codes
This article deals with specific and common codes found in an EICR. EICRs deal with the deterioration of electrical fixtures and recommend necessary improvements.
Checking the condition of your installation is essential, as it helps identify defects that can lead to danger and risks. More so, it’s always better to check your lighting and other electrical fixtures to prevent deterioration and damage in the future.
What is the EICR?
EICR stands for 'Electrical Installation Condition Report'. This is a report drawn up by professionals to inspect the installation of fixed wiring. The cost of getting this report done will vary on what area you’re located in, the size of the property, and how old it is.
Hiring a Professional
Hiring the right person to do the job is paramount, as not being able to identify and allocate the correct code during the test can lead to further problems. There are specific wiring regulations in each country. In the United Kingdom, the BS 7671 Electrical Wiring Regulations will apply. The professional you hire should have in-depth knowledge about this electrical installation.
The professional working on the job will decide what dangers exist, what codes to classify them into, and how to rectify them. A plan of action will typically be devised after classification is done.
There are four main observation codes used in the EICR.
These are Code 1 / C1, Code 2 / C2, Code 3 / C3, and Further Investigation / FI.
Code 1 / C1
Code 1, or C1 translate into danger present. If a Code 1 observation is made, it must be rectified immediately. A few examples of a C1 observation are exposed wiring and uncovered consumer units.
Code 2 / C2
Code 2 is denoted by C2 and shows that danger is present under specific circumstances. The professional would need to evaluate the risks and conduct a cost-risk analysis with different scenarios to determine what dangers could arise. Most actionable defects that need rectifying inorder for a satisfactory EICR are C2s.
Code 3 / C3
Code 3 is denoted by C3 and is used to recommend that something specific needs to be improved. However, this is not urgent.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, which is why it’s worth mentioning in the report if there is something that may potentially require attention. This will often include consumer unit & their protective devices that are no longer the standard we install to today but are not considered so dangerous that they must be upgraded.
Further Investigation / FI
Further Investigation is denoted by FI. This category includes defects that could potentially pose a risk or hazard. When the danger is not too clear at the time of inspection, it is noted down under Further Investigation.
A more detailed report on the defect is required to decide what the issue is and the dangers it poses. Once a more detailed analysis is performed, it can then be categorized into Codes 1 through 3.
After the Electrical Installation Condition Report is made, there can be two possible outcomes. One is 'Satisfactory' and the other is 'Unsatisfactory'. An unsatisfactory outcome signals a continued report or further action that is to be taken.
If the report has concluded and there is nothing to report under any code, the outcome will be satisfactory and the inquiry into the installation will end. One point to note is that even if there has been an observation made under the C3 code, the report can be concluded as satisfactory. This is because the C3 code only recommends items that should be looked into for improvement purposes, but this is not necessary and does not pose a risk or danger to the installation.
If the report has been concluded to be satisfactory, this can be classified as a 'pass'. However, the professional should ensure everything has been looked at thoroughly before passing the report. The number of limitations (LIM) that are applied should also be checked.
If the report is unsatisfactory, there must be further inquiries into the matter. If there are observations under C1, C2, or FI codes, the report must be classified as unsatisfactory. If the report is deemed unsatisfactory, it will be classified as a 'fail'. The items listed under C1, C2, or FI should be addressed immediately.
Limitations are denoted as LIM, which means the item(s) or circuit(s) have not yet been inspected in detail and have not been tested out either. If the report includes LIM, that means one or more limitations have been applied to the report after the inspection.
Limitations could be because the particular area being looked at isn’t accessible. A server room is a good example of this. If the server room isn’t reachable, the circuit or wires that supply electricity to that room won’t be accessible enough to be inspected.
Another good example of when a limitation would be imposed is if there is no safe access to a particular area. For example, in the case of high-level lighting in a warehouse. If the risk of falling during the inspection is high, there may be specific limitations imposed on the activity based on the Work at Height Regulations 2005 legislation.
The EICR will deal with categorizing risks into C1, C2, C3, and FI. This makes it easier to deal with and ultimately solve problems. Make sure the professional is competent, appropriately qualified, and highly skilled in this field. This is important so that you take no chances regarding electrical fixtures, which can pose serious risks for those inside and outside the building.