Electrical Questions & Answers
Frequently asked questions about our electrical services.
Electrical Installation FAQs
The misunderstanding around qualified electricians and part P is very common. In a nut shell an electrician must be qualified (competent person) to carry out electrical installation works. If training as an electrician this person must be supervised at all times. Even the supervisor may not be appropriately qualified or certified under an approved scheme to test and commission the installation upon completion (sign the work off).
Electrical Installation works are notifiable to Building control (Part P) which is not a qualification, it is Part P of the building regulations. If an electrician is not registered to a Government Approved Scheme Provider, then the generic IET format Electrical Installation Certificates would have to be sent to the building control direct, and can incur further cost to the customer. However if an electrician is registered to a Government Approved Scheme Provider then the Part P notification is taken are of via the scheme provider for a small charge to the electrician or electrical contractor.
There are always the rogue tradesmen who don’t tell the truth about their qualifications or registrations to a Government Approved Scheme Provider such as the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC). To check if the electrical contractor that you hired is registered you can ask them for their registration number and then check with one of the approved schemes, or you could check the ‘competent person register’ by clicking here.
If the Consumer Unit is an old type fuse board with rewireable fuses then SWES strongly recommends upgrading to an 18th Edition metal clad Consumer Unit.
There is no regulation to force the change of a consumer unit, even if not all circuits are RCD protected. However, if the board fails its IPX rated inspection (holes or cracks in the old consumer unit big enough to put fingers inside), or is falling apart, then a danger notice could be served if the owner is not willing to invest for safety reasons. Electrical regulations are updated regularly as technology develops, or for health & safety reasons, however, to that end just because a consumer unit is not compliant with current regulations but is safe, then electricians should not be enforcing Consumer Unit changes on to owners for existing installations pre 18th edition for reasons such as plastic Consumer Units, or missing RCDs on lighting circuits.
Electrical Inspection & Test FAQs
There is no current Law that requires testing of existing residential, commercial or industrial electrical installations unless changes or new installations of circuits have taken place. Any additions to circuits are generally covered under a Minor Works Certificate, and circuit changes, or new circuits would be covered under an Electrical Installation Certificate (Part P) and both certificates require relevant inspection and testing according to the certification type.
However, as of 1st July 2020 all landlords renting out residential properties under a new law, will have to instruct an approved electrician to carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), commonly known as a Landlords or Safety Certificate, at every periodic inspection anniversary, tenant contract renewal or change of tenant, and a current EICR must be in place by the 1st April 2021 to avoid breaking the new law in England and Wales.