Residential Electrical Testing and Inspection

Residential F.A.Q.

Electrician Walton On Thames

Do I have to wait all day for your electrician?

No, we provide a 2-hour time slot for our electrician to arrive. The vast majority of call-out work can be completed in less than an hour. We will call you ahead of the scheduled appointment to confirm our arrival time.

Do you provide free estimates?

For larger projects such as house rewires, new circuits, alterations etc. we will provide you with a free estimate. For repairs/call outs/investigations we charge per hour from as little as £59.00 + VAT, with a 1-hour minimum charge.

Are your electricians qualified?

Yes, all our electricians are NICEIC qualified and there work is regularly checked for quality control by our NICEIC supervisor.

Is Pennington's Electrical insured?

Yes, we carry £5 Million public and employers liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance of £75,000.

Is your work guaranteed?

All our work carries a one-year warranty on defective parts and workmanship. The NICEIC insurance backed warranty covers work undertaken by contractors registered to the NICEIC Part P Installer Scheme which gives you additional cover.

Will you have the electrical part for my repair?

Our electricians carry a lot of electrical parts – fuses, spare lights, switches, wire, cables, sockets etc. We certainly hope to carry a wide range of parts to enable us to fix and replace faulty parts and get your electrical system working as quickly as possible. However, with the diversity of electrical systems it is just not possible to carry every part that you might come across. In this instance we will order and/or collect from our local supplier.

What’s involved in rewiring a house?

A rewire is the most disruptive and invasive work that a property can undergo.Every room will need to have the following carried out:

  • Furniture to be moved out
  • Floor covering to be taken up
  • Floor boards to be lifted to gain access to the floor voids
  • Walls to be chased out for switches/sockets where necessary
  • Dust and mess during the period of the work (although we always clean up as much as possible at the end of the day)

In addition, to rewire the lighting upstairs, this requires the loft to be cleared to gain access to the lighting points and to each switch drop. We are experienced at making the rewire as hassle and mess free as is possible.

What is an RCD (Residual Current Device)?

RCD stands for Residual Current Device. They are usually fitted as standard to most domestic consumer units in houses built after around 1980. They are designed to quickly trip and interrupt the supply to the circuit they are protecting when an imbalance is detected between the neutral and live (in the case of an RCD) or when there is a current in the earth wire of the protected circuit, above a pre-set limit (usually 30mA) The RCD is ideal to protect the user from electric shocks and earth leakage faults and provides a necessary additional protection to the usual MCB or circuit breaker.

My RCD on the fuse board trips out, what do I do?

If this is a solid fault (i.e. it won’t reset), it is most likely due to a faulty appliance that is plugged in but which has developed a fault. The most likely culprit is the washing machine, dishwasher or tumble dryer. Try unplugging each one in turn until the RCD remains latched in the “ON” state. If it is not one of those items and your freezer is also on the same circuit then try unplugging that too. If the problem remains use an extension lead and plug it into a plug in another room as a temporary measure (on a circuit not affected) until you locate the faulty appliance.

Other likely culprits are the kettle, a steam iron, (usually anything that comes into contact with water!). However, don’t forget that even small things like radio alarm clocks, phone chargers and mains adaptors can cause the RCD to trip out so check all your items. If you still cannot find the problem, call in a professional electrician. You can also visit our website and click the YouTube video for RCD re-setting tips.

Why do I need a Landlord’s Electrical Safety Certificate?

As a Landlord, it is important to ensure that all electrical appliances and fittings within the property you rent out are safe.However, unlike gas regulations, there is no legislation that demands you must have a landlord electrical safety certificate. That said, should any electrical fittings or appliances with your rental property cause actual harm to the tenant, you could be held liable.

In the worst case scenario, your tenant could sue you for damages or you might be brought before a court for negligence under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994.

You should have a regular 5-yearly electrical condition report carried out for long term tenants or on the change of ownership of a new tenant.

Why would I want a Visual Electrical Inspection?

If you are purchasing a new flat or house, you may find a Visual Electrical Inspection helpful. This report can give you a reasonable indication of the state of the electrical system in the property.

This may help you make an informed decision on whether to purchase the property or whether to negotiate for a discount!It can save the expense of a full electrical safety certificate and inspection, which is a far more expensive and time consuming process.

What is an Electrical Condition Report?

A Electrical Condition Report (formerly known as periodic inspection report PIR) is an electrical test on the condition of the electrical wiring, installations and electrical connections such as accessories, light switches and electric sockets within a property.The electrical installation – such as the wiring in a house – is tested against current electrical safety standards.

The report lists any faults, possible concerns, and potential problems that need further investigation. The report also provides a timescale of urgency on which action should be taken. The electrical test itself does not attempt to repair any of problems that may be highlighted. The report can be used to decide whether to budget for any remedial works or additional investigation.

What is Part ‘P’ of the building regulations?

Since 2005, if you’re doing work to your home that involves electricity, it needs to be covered by ‘Part P’ of the Building Regulations. That’s the law. It means whoever is carrying out the work needs to follow rules that make sure the work protects you and your family from fire or electric shock. It’s designed to keep you and your family as safe as possible.

This applies if you’re putting electricity into a new house or extension, or if you’re having an existing system adapted or rewired. You can find full details on Part P on the Communities and Local Government website, www.communities.gov.uk.

Pennington’s Electrical Contractors is a registered Part P installer.

The advantages of this are:

  • You will not have to pay any building control charges;
  • We can deal with everything for you;
  • We will arrange for you to receive a certificate confirming the work meets the Building Regulations;
  • You have access to a formal complaints procedure if the work doesn’t meet the Building Regulations;
  • You can choose to take out an insurance-backed guarantee when you have the work done, and you can make a claim if the work is later found not to meet the Building Regulations.

What does Part P of the Building Regulations mean to me?

If you use Pennington’s Electrical Contractors, you can expect to have safe electrical work done, as the work will meet the UK national standard, BS 7671 (Requirements for Electrical Installations). When the work is finished you will receive:

  • An Electrical Installation Certificate or Minor Works Certificate that confirms that the work meets BS 7671;
  • A Building Regulations Compliance Certificate that confirms that the work meets the Building Regulations.

What should I do if I’m unsure about electrical safety?

You should contact a fully qualified electrician, such as Pennington’s Electrical Contractors who will be happy to reassure you and visit your premises if needs be.

All the views and opinions expressed on this page are given for guidance only and are our interpretation of hypothetical circumstances; we cannot accept any liability for any actions taken as a result of this guidance. We strongly recommend that all electrical work is designed, installed maintained and tested by a suitably qualified electrician.

As always with electrical installation work you should consult a suitably qualified person.