Modern EICR Standards
The standards for an EICR are set out in the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment. This code of practice guides the frequency and scope of inspections and testing and outlines the requirements for recording and reporting the results.
Consumer Units & Circuit Protection
Circuits must have appropriate protective devices: Devices required are impacted by several factors; the circuit's use, the type of equipment installed, the location & the type of property can all impact what protection you require to pass your EICR. (i.e. as of 2022, a dwelling with six or more stores requires AFDD protection on socket-outlet circuits)
The consumer unit: The consumer unit must be fire-rated, suitably IP rated, accessible & secured. It should also be appropriately labelled for quick identification of circuits, components & important information.
All components must be in safe, working condition: All protective devices must be fully functional & damage free. And all components must be fully functional, have no signs of heat damage & in good working condition.
Bonding to Earth
Earth bonding is a safety measure to ensure that all extraneous conductive parts are connected to the earth. The most common examples are water pipes, gas pipes & metal structures.
The earth bonding conductors should be of sufficient size and material: Your cable must have a continuity reading no greater than 0.05 ohms & be at least 10mm in diameter.
The earth bonding conductors should be securely connected: Your bonding use appropriate connectors and fittings, as well as being properly secured.
Your bonding must be appropriately located & labelled: Bonding must be <3m from utility meters or where they first enter the building. They must also be accessible & labelled.
One way to determine the suitability of electrical equipment for use in special locations is by looking at its IP (Ingress Protection) rating. The IP rating is a standard that defines the level of protection that the equipment provides against the ingress of dust and water.
In bathrooms it is typically recommended to use electrical equipment with an IP rating of at least IPX4, which protects against splashing water. For areas that are likely to be fully immersed in water, such as showers, it is generally recommended to use equipment with an IP rating of at least IPX7.
In outdoor areas it is typically recommended to use electrical equipment with an IP rating of at least IPX4, which protects against splashing water. For areas exposed to extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow, it is generally recommended to use equipment with an IP rating of at least IPX5.
In an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), it is essential to take accurate readings of the fixed wiring to determine the condition of the electrical installation and identify any issues that may need to be addressed.
Insulation resistance testing: Measured in megohms; this involves measuring the resistance of the electrical insulation to determine how much current may be leaking from the circuit.
Continuity testing: All continuity tests are measured in ohms. These tests are performed dead & tests can check that all electrical conductors are correctly connected and that max Zs readings are not exceeded.
Earth fault loop impedance testing: This test is also measured in ohms & has a close relationship with other continuity tests; it involves measuring the resistance of the earth fault path of a circuit; the Zs. The lower the reading, the faster an overload protective device will trip in fault conditions.
RCD testing: Measured in milliseconds; this involves testing the operation of a residual current device (RCD), a safety device designed to automatically disconnect the electrical supply in the event of an electrical fault.