Periodic Electrical Installation Inspection – What to Inspect? 

By on

This is the second post in a series of two on periodic electrical inspections. In the first post, I discussed how often inspections should be carried out. If you missed that post, you may want to read it now:

Periodic Electrical Installation Inspection
– How Often?

As with how often, when looking at what to inspect there are two considerations – 1) inspection of systems, which businesses themselves have decided are critical to their operation and 2) the minimum systems which need to be inspected according to regulations.

The aim of any inspection is to ensure that the equipment is still maintaining the safety of persons, protecting equipment and property, providing the correct level of business continuity and has not been damaged or subject to defects.

Regulations such as the IEE Wiring Regulations in the UK and the National Electric code in the US give guidance on the level and detail of the inspection. Regulations tend to deal predominately with the safety of persons and property. Depending on the nature of the installation, it may be prudent for the owner to go beyond regulation by carrying out additional inspections to ensure business continuity.

Inspections will consist of visual investigations, supplemented by testing (for example checking the disconnection of times of protective relays).

  • In the UK, IEE Guidance Note 3, Inspection & Testing, lists items which should be considered for inclusion in any inspection and testing routine:
    • Inspection – joints, conductors , switchgear, fire barriers, extra low voltage systems, basic protection, protective devices, enclosures, marking and labelling
    • Testing – protective/bonding/ring-circuit conductor continuity, insulations resistance, polarity, earth electrode resistance, earth fault loop impedance and functional tests (RCD, circuit breakers)

In determining the extent of inspection and testing, considerable care needs to be taken to ensure everything is covered. On large installations, inspection and testing may cover a sample of the system – with subsequent inspections covering different portions of the system.

Inspections and testing will be carried out around live equipment and only suitably qualified personnel should be doing this work. Records and test results should be kept to verify that periodic inspections have been carried. Inspection and testing records can also be compared across time to evaluate changes in systems and aid in planning maintenance.



Steven McFadyen's avatar Steven McFadyen

Steven has over twenty five years experience working on some of the largest construction projects. He has a deep technical understanding of electrical engineering and is keen to share this knowledge. About the author

myElectrical Engineering

comments powered by Disqus



Multimeter

Multimeters are undoubtedly the most common item of electrical test equipment in use.  Often it is the first piece of equipment people will turn to when...

ABB Technical Guides - Motor Operation

ABB has produced a range of technical guides that offer concise explanations of the major technologies and technical issues in low voltage AC drives. ...

HTML Symbol Entities

HTML supports a variety of entity symbols which can be entered using either numbers or an entity name.  The number or name is preceded by the ‘&’ sign...

Motor Insulation

Insulation on a motor prevents interconnection of windings and the winding to earth.  When looking at motors, it is important to understand how the insulation...

110 or 230 Volts

I've been considering a blog on the 110 or 230 Volt issue for a while.  While browsing the Internet I came across a great summary by Borat over at  engineering...

Harmonised Cable Codes and Colours

Within Europe the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) has standardised the both the designation and colour of cables.   ...

Arc Flash Calculations

Working in the vicinity of electrical equipment poses an hazard. In addition to electric shock hazard, fault currents passing through air causes Arc Flash...

What are you reading!

Reading is a bit of a hobby of mine and I"ve done a few off-topic posts in the past on this. Rather than continue doing the occasional post I thought ...

Calculating Cable Fault Ratings

When selecting a cable, the performance of the cable under fault conditions is an important consideration. It is important that calculations be carried...

Introduction to Cathodic Protection

If two dissimilar metals are touching and an external conducting path exists, corrosion of one the metals can take place.  Moisture or other materials...

Have some knowledge to share

If you have some expert knowledge or experience, why not consider sharing this with our community.  

By writing an electrical note, you will be educating our users and at the same time promoting your expertise within the engineering community.

To get started and understand our policy, you can read our How to Write an Electrical Note