I have been involved with some interesting debates in the past two weeks, in respect of the new EICR reports, which replaced the periodic / fixed wire reports, as of January 2012.
As an independent test and inspection engineer, with over 34 years of experience, in the testing of domestic, commercial, and industrial installations.
It never ceases to amaze me, how often managers, FM managers, directors owners, and large corporations try to get this type of work done for the cheapest price possible.
So let’s just take an example of, say a standard three-bed house and truly break down the costs involved in carrying out the work.
- Overheads, so people can find you, such as (advertising, telephone, broadband, e-mail, etc).
- Normal running costs, vehicle, road tax, vehicle insurance, (diesel), public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, membership, such as (N.I.C.E.I.C, CHAS, construction line), and so many more.
- Re-examination costs to ensure that you are conversant with the latest regulations.
- Calibration costs, for all your test instruments, sometimes biannually, due to the amount of use.
- Leave the office to go to a job, somewhere between 30 and 60 min to travel.
- Set up and go round property taking a full visual inspection, taking readings, results, removing sockets switches light fittings, dismantling the fuse board, taking all the necessary readings as is required along with noting any defects on average anywhere between 2 to 4 hours or longer it depends on what the inspector finds on-site depending on the number of items found.
- Leave job go back to the office, somewhere between 30 and 60 min to travel.
- Start filling out paperwork, old periodic 5 to 6 pages, new E.I.C.R 10 to 14 pages +, depending on what you find, approximate time to complete every item now needs to be ticked, and write all comments, 2 to 3 hours.
So let’s add this up, forgetting the costs involved in items 1 to 4 because customers don’t ever see that! let’s just go with items 5 to 8 if you assume 30 min both ways, which are very conservative doesn’t even include parking or congestion charging. If you are in a place like London.
Your average time spent doing just that one job, from start to finish. If you do it properly, it is approximately 7 to 10 hours.
As you can see, the Cowboys that do this type of work, who arrived at say 9 AM and are gone by 10:30 AM, having already completed the paperwork within that time frame, can in no way be doing the job properly, or safely, its a worthless piece of toilet paper.
Yet their charges range, from £45-£90 to do the work, when the real cost, is anywhere between and £250.00 and £300.00, plus VAT, for a days work.
Unfortunately, the public; and I don’t like using this word are “ignorant” and assume that once they have the piece of paper everything is okay, it’s not your fault, you are hoodwinked by cheap loss-leader costs there are pages of them on the Internet just so they can get through the door in my opinion
Unfortunately, it has been my experience over many decades of having to re-attend these jobs, only to find numerous items that were never picked up properly because it was never inspected only tested i.e. not properly and to give the customer the bad news that they now have to spend even more money than they had any idea about, leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
Because quite often I and many other competent contractors are the ones’s that receive the attack because they went to a cheap outfit that quite often can no longer be found, or hides behind rigmarole in my opinion.
So when you get estate agents that quote anywhere between £60 and £90 to carry out a “proper report” remember one thing, their estate agents, they are not competent testers and legally they are responsible for what they say! they add a percentage sometimes over 10% to a testing contractor’s costs, for the privilege of finding someone for you.
You don’t get a butcher, to carry out brain surgery, so why on earth do you get cheap people to carry out an Electrical Inspection?
They don’t know what they’re doing produce half-hearted reports and leave you in a dangerous situation, and quite often and are gone within three months, and as for the cheap testing houses, cheap test high remedial’s, just my opinion.
If you run your car to the corner shop once a week for half a mile and then came back your servicing costs would be possibly 2-4 years apart Maybe!
If you run your car around the M25, at 70 mph, five days a week, your servicing would be biannual and anywhere between £300-£600, each time, yet you pay without question? but the loads and use of your systems have increased over the decades far beyond there capacity to deal with it without the maintenance! and or upgrades.
When asked to check the safety of your home, against electrical dangers, you scream and shout about paying up to, £250-3000 plus VAT, if you live in your property, this test, is required by your insurance once every 10 years, which as you can see amounts to £25-30 a year! you will spend more than that on coffee in a month.
You will spend up to £6000 in 10 years servicing a vehicle that depreciates down to a worthless piece of junk the moment it touches the tarmac, yet when asked to spend £250-300, once every 10 years you scream that it is too much, and always look for the cheap option, on an asset that increases in value.
Don’t you think it is time that you started the value your lives and your family’s lives above the cost of the car!
For further information, please go to www.safe-electric.com
and contact us, for it is far better to know there is a problem.
To do something about it than live in blissful ignorance until you lose the most expensive object you have in your lives and I’m not talking about your home and talking about you!
This is all just my opinion based on decades of seeing it daily and the tears from owners who thought they had it done correctly.