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5) Electrical Planned Maintenance

Electrical Planned Maintenance



Electrical Installations should not be left without any attention for the periods of years that are normally allowed between formal inspections. In commercial buildings arrangements must be made for initiating reports of wear and tear from the users of the premises. This should be supplemented by routine checks and inspections. Routine checks would typically include:

Annual Electrical Inspection – taken form BS7671:1992 Amd NO2

Activity Check  
Defects Report All reported defects have been rectified
Inspection Look for:

  • Breakages
  • Wear/deterioration
  • Signs of overheating
  • Missing parts (covers, screws)
  • Switchgear accessible not obstructed
  • Doors of enclosures secure
  • Adequate labelling
  • Loose fixings
Operation Operate:

  • Switchgear (where reasonable)
  • Equipment – switch off and on
  • Including RCD’s (using test button)

See attached annual inspection task sheet Electrical LV Distribution Check

Electrical Periodic Testing and Inspection Including Frequency of visits


  1. BS 7671:2008 was issued on 1st of January 2008 and is intended to come into effect on 1st of July 2008
  2. The Regulations apply to the design, erection and verification of electrical installations, also additions and alterations to existing installations.
  3. Existing installations that have installed in accordance with earlier edition of the Regulations may not comply with this edition in every respect. This does not necessarily mean that they are unsafe for continued use or require upgrading.
  4. BS 7671:2008 includes changes necessary to maintain technical alignment with CENELEC harmonisation documents


Purpose of Periodic Inspection

  1. The main purpose of periodic inspection and testing is to detect so far as is reasonably practicable, and to report on, any factors impairing the safety of an electrical installation.
  2. Safety of persons and livestock against the effects of electric shock and burns.
  3. Protection against damage to property by fire and heat arising from an installation defect.
  4. Confirmation that the installation is not damaged or deteriorated so as to impair safety.
  5. Identification of installation defects and departures from the requirements of BS 7671 that may give rise of danger.

Recommended Initial Frequencies of Inspection of electrical Installations

Type of installation Routine check* Maximum period between inspections and testing as necessary Reference
(see notes bellow)
General Installations      
Domestic   Change of occupancy/ 10 years 1, 2
Commercial 1 year Change of occupancy/ 5 years 1, 2
Educational establishments 4 months 5 years 1, 2
Hospitals 1 year 5 years 1, 2
Industrial 1 year 3 years 1
Residential accommodation At change of occupancy/
1 year
5 years 1, 2
Offices 1 year 5 years 1, 2
Shops 1 year 5 years 1, 2
Laboratories 1 year 5 years 1, 2
Cinemas   Change of occupancy/ 10 years 2, 6
Church installations 1 year Change of occupancy/ 5 years 2
Leisure complexes excluding swimming pools 1 year 5 years 1, 2, 6
Places of public entertainment 1 year 5 years 1, 2, 6
Restaurants and hotels 1 year 3 years 1, 2, 6
Theatres 1 year 5 years 2, 6, 7
Public houses 1 year 5 years 1, 2, 6
Village halls/ Community centres 1 year 5 years 1, 2


Intervals between periodic inspection and testing

The intervals between periodic inspection and testing will depend on number of considerations, including some or all of the factors indicated bellow, depending on the particular circumstances:

  1. Age of the installation (it may be reasonable to expect the intervals to become progressively shorter as the installation ages).
  2. Type of premises
  3. Environmental conditions (ie external influences).
  4. Normal life expectancy of the installation (eg vandalism).
  5. Changed usage of the premises (and the installation).
  6. The extent of any ware and tear, damage or other deterioration.

Determination of the interval to the next inspection will always be a matter of engineering judgment to be exercised by the inspector.

  1. BS 7671:2008 requires that there are no code 1 and 2 and in some cases code 3 departures to the fixed electrical installation in order for the Report to class the installation as being in satisfactory serviceable condition.
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