Consumer Units (Fuseboards)
RCDs work by comparing the amount of electricity flowing out of your consumer unit with the amount of electricity returning to it. In healthy circuits, this value should be the same. When something happens to cause electricity to flow down an unintended path, for example if you happen to touch a live conductive part, then the RCD will detect a shortfall between the flow and return and will disconnect the electricity to that circuit within a fraction of a second, potentially saving your life. Older consumer units do not have this functionality.
The best time to upgrade your consumer unit is when everything appears to be working properly. If you wait until your installation is distressed, then a consumer unit upgrade may not be possible without a full or partial rewire of some or all of your circuits. Modern consumer units are much more sensitive and reliable than their predecessors, and actually prolong the life expectancy of your fixed wiring. A few hundred pounds today, could save you a few thousand pounds tomorrow.
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Electrical Installation Condition Reporting (EICRs, formerly PIRs)
Your electrical installation should be inspected and tested every 10 years (or five years for rental properties).
- All switches, sockets, lights and accessible fixed equipment are removed to check for loose connections or thermal degradation.
- All fixed wiring is tested for continuity (to make sure there are no breaks) and insulation resistance (to make sure that electricity is not leaking from your wires, and flowing down unintended paths).
- All protective devices are tested to ensure that they are functioning correctly and are suitably rated.
- Every room in your home (and your loft space, if you have one) will be checked for any defects or potential sources of electrical danger.
- On conclusion, you will receive an EICR, formally documenting the state of your electrical installation.
N.B. Some electrical firms are able to offer cheaper surveys by only testing a small percentage of your home, a process known as ‘sampling’. This methodology is not appropriate for a domestic electrical survey; just because one light is wired correctly does not mean that they all are! As stated above, we inspect and test ALL switches, sockets, lights and fixed equipment, so when you get an EICR from us, you know it is an accurate and complete representation of the safety and condition of your home.
All of our electricians are qualified to a minimum of Level 3 and have a deep understanding of the science of electricity. In addition, all of our electricians are equipped with the letest testing equipment, including pin-hole cameras, wall x-ray machines (radar scanners) and Megger multi-function testers.
Our fault finding service is charged on an hourly rate basis. However, our electrician will be able to give you a fairly accurate prediction of the time required to diagnose and fix your fault, based upon the size of your home, the nature of your installation and the kind of issues you are experiencing.