Fixed wire testing is a procedure that shouldn’t be overlooked by businesses, landlords and homeowners. Every electrical installation is likely to deteriorate over time and may become unsafe for use. For this reason, it’s important for these installations to be tested at regular intervals to avoid potential danger. To help clear some of the confusion around fixed wire testing, we have pulled together the most common questions we get asked.
What is fixed wire testing?
Fixed wire testing is the inspection, testing and reporting of electrical systems within a home, workplace or premises. Due to the potential risks associated with electrical wiring, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 came into force in 1990, which ensures employers monitor the condition of their electrical systems. Learn more about basics of fixed wire testing >
What is a fixed electrical installation?
A fixed electrical installation is any hard electrical wiring within a home or building which is not portable. A few common examples include distribution boards, lighting points, socket outlets and air conditioning.
Who should carry out fixed wire tests?
Only a professional, qualified individual should perform fixed wire tests, due to the potential hazards associated. When selecting a fixed wire testing company to complete your tests you should ensure they hold the correct qualifications and carry out the necessary health and safety checks before performing the tests. These may include being an NICEIC Approved Contractor, Safe Contractor, Constructiononline or CHAS approved to name a few.
What happens during a fixed wire test?
During a typical fixed wire test, the electrician will carry out a health and safety survey to ensure any potential risks are noted and managed to keep any risks to a minimum. The fixed wire testing professional will then perform a variety of rigorous tests including visual interrogation and circuit testing to evaluate the operation of your fixed installation systems.
These results will then be recorded and appropriate recommendation will be provided which may result in the systems being deemed unsafe for use or simply to schedule another check within the suggested period.
How often should I get my electrical installation inspected?
Depending on certain factors, the regularity of your recommended tests are likely to differ; these factors may include:
- Age of the electrical wiring
- Type of business and how often the system is used
- Size of the system
- Impacts of the surrounding environment e.g. water exposure or sunlight exposure
Typically we recommend the following timeframes for scheduled fixed wire testing:
- Businesses / Commercial – every 5 years
- Domestic or homeowner – at least every 10 years
- Landlord’s tenanted property – every 5 years or at each change of occupancy, whichever comes first, as per the Landlords and Tenant Act 1985.
- Industrial Units or premises – every 3 years
- Churches/ Chapels etc. – every 3 years
- Petrol Filling Stations –annually
How can I find an electrician in my area?
There are many fixed wire testing companies across the UK who can offer comprehensive services for your home, business or properties.
At Reaction Group, we have a network of employees that cover all UK locations and can provide clients with a 24/7 callout service in case any issues arise in between scheduled visits. Simply get in touch with our team so we can find a fixed wire testing electrician near you.
What responsibility do landlords have for fixed wire testing?
As per the Landlords and Tenant Act 1985, landlords have a responsibility to keep electrical wiring safe and in working order during short leases. Therefore it is recommended that landlords organise fixed wire testing and PAT testing at regular intervals. As mentioned above, this should be every 5 years or at each change of occupancy, whichever comes sooner.
What’s the difference between fixed wire testing and PAT testing?
Fixed wire testing refers to the testing of installed wire systems which are often hidden and more difficult to test, repair and visually see an issue.
On the other hand, PAT testing is the process of testing electrical equipment that is portable such as refrigerators, PCs, TVs and DIY drills. These tend to have wires and require the user to plug the equipment in to use; these pose a different risk to users. As per the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 employers and landlords have a duty of care to ensure portable appliances are maintained properly to prevent danger. See our article here to learn more about the difference >