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98 Posts
14 years ago
Personally, I wouldn't use a NICEIC electrician.
It should be carried out by a competent person. This includes some members of NICEIC but not all. It also includes memebers of other accredition schemes and others too.

The best way of demonstrating conpetence is for the person to have the City and Guilds 2391 called

Level 3 Certificate in inspection, Testing and certification of electrical installations.

A lot of "firms" have someone who had this and "supervises" people who do work.

Since they tend to charge a lot of money for PIRs (well they should as your 4 bed house for a full PIR should take at least 4 hours) then you should ensure the person doing the PIR can show you the following

1) His City and Guilds certificate as described above
2) a copy of the professional indemnity insurance they or the firm have.

You should not allow the work to commence until you have copies of these.

Furthermore, you need to to agree the extent of the PIR. For instance if you have exisisting paperwork such as installation certificates or a PIR then the PIR you are currently ordering may sensibly be less involved and therefore cheaper.

Note, if you have full paperwork detailing installtion or inspection within the last 10 years (not 5 years) then the PIR you are currently have should be pretty quick as there would likely be little need to test most ciruits again. The need to test or not various circuits in your property will depend upon the results of the last test.

If you have no paperwork then it should take one person most of a day to test your 4 bed property properly.

Membership of the NICEIC is no guarentee they will do a good job as I have seen instances where the memebership is used more as a licence to charge money and you get your flashy paperwork and sticker. Maybe it is the cost of membership that incentivises members to cut corners and charge more?

If a letting agent or council specify NICEIC then they are adding to the Bristish Standard and perhaps you can ask them to justify what would be seen under EU law as anti-competitive...

It's not like gas where every installer needs to be on the gas safety register currently run by Crapita...

Finally if they flag up issues for remedial work do not be afraid to seek a second opinion. There are a lot of electricians out there, even with C+G 2391, that will rate a shortcoming with a higher severity than it needs.

They should be able to articulate why a shortcoming needs remedial action.

At the end of the day your report will say if it is satisfactory or unsatisfactory. If it is unsatisfactory you need to do something about it but there are various opinions about what sort of shortcomings warrant an unsatisfactory classification. The best electricians will be able to point out the regulation that is not met by something they say is unsatisfactory, and show you said regulation in the British Standard.

A big thing to watch out for is that your installation will almost certainly be to 16th edition. It does not need to be brought up to 17th Edition (notwithstanding that it should be a satisfactory installation). If an electrician says you need to change to 17th then report them to their body (NICEIC, NAPIT, etc) if you think they are taking the mick or you can always phone up and check with their body if they agree you need to upgrade your installation.

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