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What is the EICR and do I need it?
ELECTRICAL INSPECTION CONDITION REPORT, previously PIR, (Periodic Inspection Report)

This is not a legal requirement for the caravan owner but like Servicing is all about preventative maintenance

An EICR is required for caravans to comply with BS7671:2018 (the 18th edition of IEE wiring regulations) to ensure continued safety of a caravans electrical installation and hook-up cable, it should comply with the requirements of BS 7671 Chapter 64 of BS 7671 details the scope, extent and frequency of the periodic inspection. The EICR is a service we are trained and qualified to undertake. Should you be interested in further information please feel free to contact us

It is much like appliance servicing which is really all about pre-emptive preventative maintenance and safety. However, it is recommended that an EICR is carried out at least every: 10 years for a, domestic installation, 5 years for a commercial installation, 3 years for industrial premises, 3 years for a caravan, and 1 year for swimming pools

When purchasing a new caravan or motorhome they are sold compete with a certificate, called the Electrical Installation certificate, on this document is date at which they advise the electrics should be re-checked by, you should also find a sticker informing you of the same The manufacturer of the caravan or motorhome is required, as a matter of compliance, to give recommendations for having a regular safety check carried out on the electrical wiring, including all accessories (sockets, switches, lights etc.); usually between one and 3-years from new

Although an Electrical Installation Condition Report – or EICR – is not a legal requirement in itself, many businesses that hire out leisure vehicles are bound by legal obligations to their customers which can be met by an EICR inspection. Every electrical installation will deteriorate with use and age. This can be sped up in a caravan purely because of the type of use it gets. EICRs are often recommended as part of a house selling process and this can prove invaluable in terms of checking the electrics of a property before deciding to buy it It would be good practice to ask for an EICR when purchasing a used caravan, much like you might ask to see the most recent service documents or a damp reports

So do you need one? Well unlikely before the caravan is over 3 years old and after that it is a personal choice, not everybody will want one or see the value in having one.

So what is involved? What are the checks? We would start with a host of visual checks and when doing these we are looking for: Damage, evidence of any overload, external influence, suitability, and effectiveness. So this will include things like: The general appearance of the installation both LV and ELV (LV = Low Voltage, i.e. 230 volts. ELV = Extra Low Voltage i.e. 12 volts) we would check at the battery box to ensure terminals and terminations are correct and sound, that the battery box is sealed where applicable from the living area.

12 volt fuses and fuse boards will be examined for any heat damage and that the fuses are correctly rated, light fitting and switches will be checked for function and any damage, Is the consumer unit secured and RCD and MCBs of the correct type and ratings.

Cable and cable runs where visible will be checked for any damage, separation of LV and ELV where practicable (Difficult to achieve in caravans) and that cables are correctly secured. 230 volt cable sizes will also be recorded.

Socket fronts ideally need to be removed for inspection. (Some caravans have decorative plugs over the screws which could be damaged doing this, customers would be informed of this and if you did not wish them to be removed, this can be agreed with your self and record this as a limitation) This is just a few of the kind of visual checks that are performed along with a cursory test of the 230 volt sockets with a plug-top polarity tester.

What actual tests are done? One of the first tests done is the “continuity of protective conductors”. (R2) This test’s the continuity of the “CPC” (Circuit Protective Conductor) or Earth. This test is done using not less than 200 mA, so requires specialist test equipment, (Not a multimeter) checking the CPC of each circuit, from main inlet to each appliance and each socket outlet.

The results from these tests will be recorded separately in the schedule of tests under the R2 column. Any reading over 1Ω would require further investigation. At this point we would also be checking the “Main Protective Bonding” to the chassis and to gas pipes, both visually and with test instruments, any readings over 0.5Ω would require further investigations.

Polarity test - We would also perform this very same test as R2, on R1, the line or live wire and Rn, the neutral wire, while doing R1 we can confirm the functionality of any isolation or switch gear involved within the circuit or sockets, again this is done to all circuits. This will confirm polarity, polarity is really a bit of a misnomer on AC circuits as there is no negative or positive, AC is changing direction all the time, so what we really mean by this is that the neutrals and line wires are connected to the correct terminations Another test is the “Insulation resistance test” or IR Test The results from this test can vary depending on test conditions, such as humidity, we would expect a result ideally of >500mΩ and should not be less than 200mΩ, below this would require further investigations.

We routinely do this test on the EHC (Electrical Hook-up Cable) during a full service. If the readings for the EHC are below 500mΩ we would highlight this to the customer as possible early signs of failure and below 200mΩ we would advise further investigation or replacement.

Further checks are done on hook-up cables for damage and that it is 2.5mm2. Hook-up cables are out in all weathers and subjected to all kinds of abuse, from being screwed up in knots when being packed away in a rush to being driven over by cars and mowers. These need to be in tip top condition to be safe, just imagine a child or relative walking on one bear footed while it is sat in the early morning dew or wet grass.

On the vehicle its self, most times we will do this test from the 16amp inlet to each circuit and record the results on the report, any reading below 200mΩ would require further investigation, because this test is done at 500 volts we will need to disconnect any sensitive equipment, all current using equipment disconnected or unplugged and the appropriate circuit breakers and switches switched on. This test will be done between line and earth, then neutral and earth, and finally line and neutral On specific occasions we may need to change this to between earth and the line and neutral combined.

Finally test wise is the Functional test of the residual current device This involves a simple functional test of the test button which should also be done by the owner on a regular basis. Then using an RCD tester we check the speed of device measured in milliseconds.

There are three tests, carried out at 0° and 180°, both phases, resulting in six tests in all, we have covered this test in depth in previous posts and those that use us for annual servicing will know we carry out this test as standard during a full service, the tests are: Half residual operating current (1/2 IΔn) the half trip test ( No trip expected) Full residual operating current (IΔn) the full trip test (Trip within 300 ms) 5 x full residual current test (5IΔn) the fast test (Trip within 40 ms).

Once all the tests have been carried out you will be issued with the appropriate documentation.

This would be a good opportunity to mention that if we are ever tasked to carry out any additional electrical work such as extra 230 volt sockets we would issue a Minor works certificate to accompany our work.




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