EICR - what do I do if I can’t switch off the power?

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EICR - what do I do if I can’t switch off the power?

An EICR inspection tests the electrical installation in your commercial or residential building, and helps make sure it is safe.

The testing involves both live (power on) and dead (power off) tests. Most of the testing is carried out while your electrical system is live. However, to carry out some tests, the power needs to be turned off.

As long as they are clearly labelled, circuits can be powered off individually, meaning there will be less disruption in your building.

However, what do you do if you can’t switch the power off or access particular circuits?

This short guide will explain the options available.

Testing with limitations

An example of testing with limitations on an EICR report

On the EICR survey report, there is a section called ‘extent and limitations of inspection and testing’.

If certain circuits can’t be turned off or accessed by the engineer (for example, wiring under floors or at height), then these are included in this section.

The engineer will highlight if there are any limitations on-site and communicate/agree these with the site contact. They will then detail in the report if there is anything they are unable to test or only partially test. 

Thermal imaging

Example of thermal imaging

Thermal imaging is when an Infrared camera is used to take photos of electrical installations.

Infrared cameras identify heat, so they can be used to see if an installation is overheating due to a fault or damage, without having to turn it off.

If you work in an industry or building where you cannot turn electrical circuits off, like a factory or prison, then combining EICR and thermal imaging can be effective.

Thermal imaging – what can it be used for?

In conclusion - make sure your building is as accessible as possible

If the power cannot be switched off or certain circuits cannot be accessed, our engineers will still be able to carry out the majority of testing for you.

However, we would recommend planning so you can test as much of the installation as possible on the day. This may involve ensuring access to the full building (for example the loft and the basement), and advising staff and tenants that electrical equipment may need to be temporarily turned off.

This will ensure that your EICR inspection is as comprehensive as possible and does not miss anything out.

We can help by carrying out testing at quiet times for your business, for example, in the evening or at weekends.

All you need to know about EICR

If you are looking for a reliable, thorough company to carry out your EICR certification, we are here to help.

We have experience working in rental properties, offices, schools and factories to ensure that your electrical installations stay safe.

Contact us today for more information and your no-obligation quote.


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