If you need electrical work done, or advice on what needs doing, it’s best to call a registered electrician. But while you should let them do the work, it’s important that you know exactly what they’re doing.
Electricians can come out with lots of technical words and phrases, which can be confusing if you’re not used to it. To help you understand their advice and the work that might need doing, we’ve come up with 13 electrical terms and definitions you need to know.
Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC)
An EIC is proof of an electrical systems safety on installation. Electricians should produce EICs for all new electrical installations. They should also produce them for some alterations and additions to existing installations.
Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
An EICR is an official document that reports on the condition of the electrics in a building. It was previously known as a Periodic Inspection Report. A registered electrician needs to complete an EICR for it to be valid.
A fuse box is also called a consumer unit or a fuse board. It controls and distributes electricity to all the circuits in an electrical installation.
BS7671 is the UK national safety standard for electrical installations. All installations have to meet this standard.
Chasing is the process of creating a slot in a solid wall to install electrical wiring. This is instead of clipping cables to wall surfaces.
Earthing provides a route for a faulty electrical current to flow to earth. This reduces the risk of receiving an electric shock when a fault has occurred.
Making good is the act of restoring walls, ceilings and floors after electrical work. You should check with your electrician about whether they’ll take care of this or if you need to hire someone to do it.
Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB)
An MCB is a safety device fitted in consumer units. If it detects a current overload it will automatically disconnect the electrical supply.
Minor works certificate
An electrician will issue a minor works certificate after they’ve made small changes to an electrical installation. This is to prove that their work meets safety standards.
Part P is a section of the Building Regulations for England and Wales. It relates to electrical installations in domestic buildings. It includes information on the standards electrical work has to meet.
Residual Current Device (RCD)
An RCD is a safety device that trips a circuit if there’s an electrical fault. This disconnects the power supply and prevents fire or electric shock. Regular RCD checking is important to make sure they’re working properly.
Rewiring is when you replace some or all of an electrical installation. It’s unlikely that an installation will need a full rewire, as parts of it are often re-useable. Your electrics will usually need replacing if they’re faulty or too old.
A spur is a new electrical connection. It’s often taken from a point on an existing electrical circuit. Spurs usually provide electricity to new sockets or power points.
So now you should be one step closer to understanding electrical terms and advice. Remember, if you’re not sure what your electrician’s taking about, you cam always ask them. It’s important that you understand the condition of your electrical installation.
To find a local electrician to take a look at your electrics, fill in our online form. We’ll put you in touch with up to 4 registered electricians, who’ll be able to give you a free quote.
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