How to code observations on a condition report
The coding of observations and non-compliance’s found during an Electrical Installation Condition Report EICR to the fixed wiring is a serious matter as an incorrectly coded observation could result in deeming an unsatisfactory installation as satisfactory.
It is the responsibility of the person carrying out the inspection to allocate an appropriate code (C1, C2, C3 or FI) to each of the defects found during the inspection.
The person carrying out the inspection should have an in-depth knowledge of the current version of BS 7671 IET Wiring Regulations and Guidance Note 3 Inspection & Testing. Depending on the type of electrical installation other BS Standards and Approved Building Documents may also apply.
In addition to the above requirements the electrical inspector should be fully competent, highly skilled, suitably qualified and extensively experienced in testing and inspecting the particular type of electrical installation they are reporting on.
NAPIT have published an EICR Codebreakers guide to assist with the classification of observations for an EICR.
The NICEIC have published a Guide to Inspection, Testing and Certification which includes periodic reporting (EICR) updated to the 18th edition 2018.
EICR Observation Codes
The four main Condition Report observation codes are Code 1 (C1), Code 2 (C2), Code 3 (C3) and Further Investigation (FI).
C1 = Danger present
A code 1 observation must be rectified and made safe without delay.
An example of a C1 observation (it’s dangerous now!) would be the cover of a consumer unit missing hence exposing live parts. Any exposed live parts such as an open consumer unit busbar or an exposed live cable end would be classed as a code 1, as it is dangerous (right now) at the time of the inspection.
C2 = Potentially dangerous
A code 2 observation must be rectified as a matter of urgency.
An example of a C2 observation (potentially dangerous) would be no RCD protection to an external 13A socket. A C2 potentially dangerous observation extends to any potential dangers, hazards or risks which could occur under certain conditions or under fault conditions such as, this could become dangerous should that happen.
C3 = Improvement recommended
A C3 observation is your recommendation for improvement.
A code 3 would be an observation you feel warrants a mention on the report of something you feel should be improved but would not be classed as a C1, C2 or FI.
FI = Further investigation required
An FI observation must be investigated as a matter of urgency.
Further investigation would be allocated to an observation which could be potentially dangerous but could not be determined at the time of the inspection, therefore requires further investigation into the defect to be able to determine what code to allocate against it.
EICR Pass or Fail?
Professional judgement means the application of relevant training, knowledge and experience, within the context provided by auditing, accounting and ethical standards, in making informed decisions about the courses of action that are appropriate in the circumstances of the audit engagement.
There are only two outcomes of an Electrical Installation Condition Report formally known as a Periodic Inspection Report (PIR), they are SATISFACTORY and UNSATISFACTORY (for continued use).
If an observation has been allocated either a C1, C2 or FI code then the installation must be deemed to be unsatisfactory. If no code 1’s, 2’s or FI’s have been noted but a number of code 3 observations have been made then the installation can be deemed to be satisfactory as long as the inspection and testing has been carried out thoroughly and there are not too many limitations (LIM) applied.
An Electrical Installation Condition Report which has been deemed as Unsatisfactory is essentially a fail, meaning at least one C1, C2 or FI observation has been identified.
An Electrical Installation Condition Report which has been deemed as Satisfactory is essentially a pass, however the electrical inspector may have identified items for which they recommend improvement (C3).
Many inspection reports may include “LIM” meaning a limitation has been applied to the inspection.
LIM = Limitation (not tested or inspected)
A limitation (LIM) noted on a condition report means that a particular item(s) and / or circuit(s) have not been tested or inspected. This could be due to no access to a particular area of the installation such as a server room, therefore the circuit supplying the server room could not be tested or inspected hence a limitation has been applied.
Another example of a limitation could include high level warehouse lighting, if there is no safe working access to the high level lighting then a limitation might be applied.
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 apply to all work at height, where there is risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. They place duties on employers, and those who control any work at height activity (such as facilities managers or building owners who may contract others to work at height)
If an electrical installation which contains any limitations has been assessed to be satisfactory, the satisfactory assessment is subject to the limitations contained within the report, meaning the satisfactory condition is only applicable to the circuits which have actually been tested and inspected and does not include the limitations applied.
Which Version of BS 7671 Should I Test to?
When carrying out an Electrical Inspection of an existing electrical installation you should always test and inspect to the current version of BS 7671 irrespective of when the installation was originally installed, be that 2 weeks ago or >50 years ago, we always test to the current version of the Wiring Regulations and Guidance Notes 3. It is then the competent and skilled person carrying out the inspection’s responsibility to code any non-compliance in their professional judgement.
EICR Software for Installation Condition Reports
In the age of fast moving technology there seams to be an app for almost everything these days and that includes apps for Electrical Testing Inspecting and Certification. Our Pro Certs App is available on iPad, Android Tablets and Windows 10 devices and is free to download. Learn More…
Coding EICR Observations
Sometimes Electricians and Inspection Engineers interpret the wiring regulations differently and have different opinions in the selecting the appropriate code for observations found during a condition report.
NAPIT have published an