After undertaking some minor works for a customer recently, I was asked to undertake an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) on another property they had very recently purchased with the intention of renting it out. Initial inspections didn’t reveal anything too substantial (cracked sockets faces and undersized earth bonding to the gas supply). The main issue found was incorrectly sized cabling (4mm) from the consumer board to the range cooker. A kitchen refurbishment by the previous owners had seen the old cooker power supply being re-used without considering the requirements of the new cooker which were considerably higher. The supply required for the cooker was well above the design limits of the cable and this was causing the cable to overheat and, over time, degrade due to the heating and cooling effects. This would be considered a fire hazard. The options made available to the customer to ensure the cooker and supply would be safe were:
- Replace the cooker with a lower powered unit which could operate within the limits of the cable – considered too costly by the customer.
- Replace the cable running from the consumer unit to the cooker – this would have involved removing the kitchen units and forming holes in the walls and ceilings to be able pull through a new cable from the consumer board – considered too costly and too disruptive by the customer.
- Install a lower rated circuit breaker in the consumer board to ensure the cooker would only draw sufficient power which would be within the limits of the cable. If the oven started drawing too much power then the circuit breaker would trip preventing damage to the cable.
The customer went for the latter option and after testing, we discovered the circuit breaker would only trip if both ovens and the grill were on at the same time. The customer thought this wouldn’t be an issue for future tenants.
If you’re looking to buy a new property, or are a landlord with an upcoming change of tenant, please contact me to arrange an EICR. The earlier issues similar to the above are found, the better.