Performing an EICR is an important step in determining the condition of a home’s electrical system. An accurate EICR is essential to ensure that homeowners receive an accurate report on the condition of their home’s electrical system.
What do the codes mean?
As an electrician, coding an EICR may not be as simple as the electrical code implies; the EICR coding is determined based on the results of the EICR. Evidence must be provided for all codes. It is not so simple to fill out a form and do a cursory check of the electrical installation.
A total of 62 items must be checked as part of the inspection plan before the inspection can begin. For the EICR to be accurate, you have to take your time. Contrary to what customers and electrical installers may think, it’s not enough to simply walk around the house.
There are three codes in the EICR, they are called C1, C2, and C3. Ultimately, it’s up to each electrician to decide which code to assign, and there can be disagreements between electricians on the classification of certain items on the inspection plan.
- C1 – There is a hazard, a risk of injury, and immediate corrective action is required.
- C2 – There is a potential hazard and urgent corrective action is required.
- C3 – Improvement is recommended.
It is not difficult to find discussions on the Internet between electricians who are reluctant to issue a C2 code. The reason is that the customer will spend money to fix the problem and get an unsatisfactory EICR.
However, an electrician cannot change a C3 to a C2 simply because most C3s are recommended in the report for improvement purposes only.
Of course, “cheating” by changing a C2 code to a C3 code does not guarantee a satisfactory EICR; we’ve heard of a few electricians who were asked to change a C2 code to a C3 code. Last month, an experienced electrician informed us that he found burned wires in an insulated box, and QS changed the report to have the wires discolored in order to change the code.
Is code 3 safe to play?
Some electricians say that C3 is neither. The installation is not unsafe as is, but it does not comply with the latest version 17. Ideally, the customer would upgrade the electrical installation to comply, but in reality, this is rarely the case.
One solution you propose would be to change the regulations to make the installations compliant with edition 15 or 16 in order to get the C3 code. Many current C3s would then become C2s.
Why is it important to code correctly?
Electricians should be free to code EICRs based on their own knowledge, rather than being pressured by their superiors to change the codes. For example, a C2 code means there is a risk of electrical shock or injury to the occupants of the home. If the code is “downgraded” to C3, an electrical problem can result in serious injury or death. Something can be done to help by educating homeowners about the dangers of electrical installations. Landlords, in particular, have a duty to ensure the safe use of their electrical installations and often depend on the results of an EICR to ensure the electrical safety of their tenants.
For electricians, it is important to apply the right rules carefully. This would be the result if the report consisted of C3. It should not be necessary to move from C3 to C2 for any reason other than time elapsed.
If the customer decides not to apply C2, that is their responsibility, but as an electrician, you should always apply the rules correctly.
Should C3 be repaired by the customer?
Ultimately, it’s our decision. From what we’ve heard in our training centers, in most cases, customers are happy to fix C1 and C2 problems, but they usually leave out the C3 stuff.
There’s nothing wrong with recommending that a C3 problem be fixed, but ultimately it’s up to the customer to decide whether or not they want to do it.
Is there such a thing as too much C3?
Unless the C3 has been deliberately changed, we would consider that a “no”. The most important thing is that the customer knows what the electrical situation is in their room.
The author has completed his education in marketing and started his career as a digital marketer. He is a content writer by profession. He writes about safety certificates for property in the UK like eicr