Many people in the industry talk about “test and inspection”, but the correct term is “inspection and test”. This is because it makes sense to inspect first and test second. It’s very simple: how can you test something that hasn’t been tested yet?
Simply put, it’s a method of testing to ensure that an electrical circuit is working properly and safely before an electrician turns on the power. It is also a set of processes and procedures that must be followed, including the use of test equipment to measure whether the installation is working as intended, according to wiring rules.
We inspect and test the installation, as far as reasonably practicable, to ensure that it complies with the requirements of BS7671 (Electrical Installations Regulations) and other applicable legislation, and hand it over to you during and after completion of the work. In addition, all electrical installations must be inspected and tested regularly. For example, an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) for existing installations.
This applies to all areas of electrical installation, whether for private, commercial, or industrial use.
Before inspection and testing
Before starting any work, it is important to follow safety precautions. This protects your health and safety and that of others.
It is important to ensure the safety of people, livestock, and property from hazards and damage caused by electrical installations. In essence, this means that the risk of injury is assessed by such things as
- Electrical shocks
- Burns and fires
- Other moving equipment
- Power supply failure
- Electric arc or burn
It is important that others, especially other employees on-site, know that you are performing inspections and testing.
Therefore, it is important that switchboards and control devices are appropriately marked or identified when you are performing inspections and tests. This means that you should not inadvertently turn on or attempt to use equipment that is being inspected or tested.
These measures may seem a bit extreme, but remember that they are not a confirmation of safety and should only be viewed as a potential hazard. It is best to play it safe.
Who can perform inspections and tests?
Only competent people with the required experience and qualifications can perform inspections and tests. For those who wish to perform inspections and tests, we offer the following courses
- City & Guilds 2392 – for those who perform inspections and tests of installations in residential areas themselves.
- City & Guilds 2394 – for those who already have some knowledge of inspection, testing, and handling of three-phase equipment.
- Also city & Guilds 2395 Course – Regular Inspection and Testing For those who have a solid understanding of inspection and testing.
What is an inspection?
It is performed prior to testing, usually on equipment disconnected from the grid.
The purpose of the inspection is to ensure that the installed equipment is
- complies with applicable standards (usually with the installer’s or manufacturer’s certification mark)
- is of the correct type and has been installed according to instructions; and
- is free of damage or defects that could cause safety problems.
During the inspection, a number of factors relevant to the installation are checked. If necessary, the inspection can also be performed during installation. The items to be inspected are listed in rule 611.3 Inspection of BS7671.
What is testing?
It is important that the tests be performed with the appropriate equipment and methods and that the results be compared to the relevant standards in Rules 612.2 through 612.13.
In addition, the tests must be performed in a specific sequence to ensure that the facility can be energized. The test procedures are described in Rules 612.2 through 612.6.
If any part of this test fails, that test and all other tests already performed must be repeated after the error is corrected. This is because the test results may not be accurate and may be influenced by the defect.
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