Here at M-Tech, we are frequently asked the question (often by people moving into a new home), "how do i know if my electrical installation is old and if it needs testing?".
So here are some clear signs that can help you tell the age of equipment in the electrical installation:
1. Fixed cables coated in black rubber (stopped being used in the 1960s).
2. Fixed cables coated in lead or fabric (used before the 1960s).
3. A fuse box with a wooden back, cast iron switches, or a mixture of fuse boxes (used before the 1960s).
4. Older round pin sockets (or light switches), braided flex hanging from ceiling roses, brown (or black) switches, or sockets mounted in or no skirting boards (used before the 1960s).
5. Light switches on the walls or in bathrooms (used before the 1960s).
However old your electrical installation is, it may get damaged and will suffer from wear and tear. So you should get an electrician to check its condition and provide you with a report at least every 10 years or when you move into a new property.
The five main aims of an electrical installation condition report are:
1. Record the results of the inspection and testing to make sure the electrical installation is safe to be used until the next inspection (following any work needed to make it safe)
2. Find any damage and wear and tear that might affect safety, and report it
3. Find any parts of the electrical installation that do not meet the IET Wiring Regulations
4. Help find anything that may cause electric shocks and high temperatures
5. Provide and important record of the installation at the time of the inspection, and for inspection testing in the future.
In general, there are two types of domestic electrical installation condition report:
Visual condition report - this does not include testing and is only suitable if the installation has been testing recently.
Periodic inspection reports - this is what we would normally recommend, as it tests the installation and would find any hidden damage.
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