Top 5 Reasons to Fail an EICR
If your electrician finds that your electrical installation does not meet the necessary standards or is not safe, the EICR may fail. This means that the electrical installation does not meet the requirements set out in the current edition of the wiring regulations and that remedial work needs to be carried out in order to bring the installation up to standard.
#1 No RCD
An RCD, or residual current device, is a safety device that is designed to protect people from electric shock and to prevent fires by cutting off the electricity supply in the event of current leaking from a circuit.
If an RCD (Residual Current Device) is not present for socket outlet circuits or circuits used in wet areas such as bathrooms and outdoors, the EICR may fail. An RCD is a safety device that is designed to protect people from electric shock by automatically disconnecting the electricity supply if a fault is detected.
Type AC RCD
In certain circumstances, an inspector may still fail an EICR if the RCD protection is Type AC, as Type AC can be paralysed in the event DC current is leaked into your installation from faulty electronics.
New installations in most environments are now installed with Type A RCD protection.
#2 No Earth Bonding
One of the reasons that an EICR might fail is if there is missing bonding. Bonding improves safety & drastically reduces the risk of fatal electric shock by connecting metal parts with contact to the ground within your properly to earth.
The most common utilises that require bonding is your gas & water supplies. With metal structure & anything else metal within your property with contact with the ground.
If you have earth bonding but the cable is undersized this can also result in an 'unsatisfactory' EICR. Most installations require earth bonding using a minimum of 10mm copper cable.
Bonding in the Wrong Location
Bonding should be installed within 3 meters of your water stop cock, meter &/or gas meter. It should be assessable for inspection & be correctly labelled.
#3 Non-IP-Rated Light in the Bathroom
IP rating, or Ingress Protection rating, is a standard that measures the level of protection provided by an electrical device against the ingress of solid objects, dust, and water.
In the bathroom, it is important to use electrical equipment that is specifically designed for use in wet or damp environments. This is because the bathroom is an area where there is often a high level of humidity and risk of water splashing or spraying.
The minimum IP rating for equipment in your bathroom is broken down into zones.
This is the typical splash zone of a bath or shower. Inside any surrounding splash guards, 2.25m up from shower or bath basins & 0.6m from any sink basins. This does not include areas of water submersion; those areas are considered Zone 0.
This is outside of direct splash zones, 3m up from any shower or bath basin. The minimum IP rating is IPX4.
This is anywhere outside of zones 0, 1 & 2 but still in the bathroom. There is no minimum IP rating for this area. However, it is down the inspectors judgement what IP rating would be appropriate.
#4 Overrated Overload Protection
An overload protection device, such as a circuit breaker or fuse, is rated for a specific amount of electrical current. If the current flowing through the circuit exceeds the rated capacity of the protection device, it will trip or blow, cutting off the flow of electricity and protecting the circuit from damage.
If a cable is put onto an overrated MCB (miniature circuit breaker), this can create a safety hazard, as the circuit breaker may not trip or blow in the event of an overload, leaving the cable vulnerable to damage or fire. As a result, an EICR is likely to fail if there is overrated overload protection in the electrical installation.
#5 Low Insulation Resistance Readings
Low insulation resistance readings can indicate that there is a problem with the insulation in the electrical installation. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as age, moisture, or physical damage to the insulation. If the insulation is damaged or degraded, it can reduce the resistance to the flow of electrical current, increasing the risk of electrical shocks or fires.
Hence, an EICR is likely to fail if there are low insulation resistance readings in the electrical installation. The minimum passable insulation resistance reading is 2 Mega Ohms; however, being close to the minimum may result in a reduced validation period on your EICR.
Usually, low insulation resistance will result in fault finding to uncover the extent of faults.
If deteriorated fixed wiring is determined to be the cause of the low readings, circuits may need to be rewired before a satisfactory EICR may be issued.