Isle of Wight Electrical Inspection and Testing
What is Inspection & Testing?
In layman’s terms Inspection and Testing is the testing procedures that electricians use to ensure that a circuit is working correctly and safe for use before being energised. It is a set of processes and procedures which must be followed and involves the use of test equipment to measure that the installation is functioning as expected in accordance with the wiring regulations. Buds Electrical uses a Megger 1731 OS multifunctional meter and is calibrated yearly.
It is a vital part of every electrical job. An inspection and test are carried out to verify, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the requirements of BS 7671 (Wiring Regulations) and other relevant regulations have been met, during the job itself and after completion before handing over to the client. Inspection and testing should also be carried out for all electrical installations at regular intervals. For example, an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) for existing installations, this is also known as a periodic report.
Before inspection and testing is carried out
It is important to ensure that safety precautions are carried out before starting. This is to protect the health and safety of others and yourself.
It is important to protect the safety of people, livestock and property against the dangers and damage that electrical installations can cause. In basic terms this means assessing risk of injury from things such as:
Other moving equipment
Power supply interruptions
Arcing or burning
It is important that other people know that I am carrying out inspection and testing, particularly other workers on site. Therefore, it is important to label or suitably identify the switchgear and control gear when carrying out inspection and testing. Again, this simply means ensuring that no-one accidentally switches on or attempts to use the installation currently undergoing inspection and testing.
Whilst these measures may seem a little extreme, it is worth bearing in mind that the installation has not been verified as being safe so still needs to be treated as a potentially dangerous installation. It is better to be safe than sorry.
What is Inspection?
It is carried out before the testing and the installation is normally disconnected from the supply.
The point of inspection is to verify that the installed equipment:
Complies with relevant standards – this is normally a mark of certification by the installer or manufacturer
Is the correct type and installed in accordance to the Electrical Regulations
Not damaged or defective which would cause a safety issue
The Inspection includes the checking of several items which are relevant to the installation. The checking can also take place, if necessary, during installation. The items checked are listed in Regulation 611.3 ‘Inspection’ BS7671.
What is testing?
It is important that testing is carried out using the correct equipment and methods and the results are compared with relevant criteria contained in Regulations 612.2 to 612.13
Testing also needs to be carried out in a specific order before the installation can be switched on. The test order is detailed in Regulations 612.2 to 612.6
If any part of the testing fails to comply, that test plus any other testing already carried out must be repeated once the fault has been fixed. This is because the results of the tests may not be accurate and may have been influenced by the fault.
Types of Testing
- Periodic inspection. All electrical installations deteriorate with age and use. They should therefore be inspected and tested at regular intervals to check whether they are in a satisfactory condition for continued use. Such safety checks are commonly referred to as ‘periodic inspectionand testing‘.
- Initial verification Inspection & Testing. To ensure that the installation complies with the designer’s intention and has been constructed and tested in accordance with BS7671. To ensure all materials and equipment utilised are of the correct type and comply to all relevant BSEN standards. Ensuring that all parts of the fixed installation are selected and erected correctly (in line with BS7671). No part of the fixed installation is visibly damaged or otherwise defective. Initial Verification Inspection & Testing must take place to confirm elements of the above.