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...

Lightning Protection and Earth Electrode Resistance

Most installations involve some form of lightning protection system which is connected to an earth electrode.  The function of the earth electrode is to...

Smarter Electrical Distribution

The other day I came across an article in Technology Review on the development of a smart transformer. A professor at North Carolina State University is...

Paternoster Lifts

These lifts were first built in 1884 by J. E. Hall and called a paternoster ("Our Father", the first two words of the Lord's Prayer in Latin) due to its...

Standard Cable & Wire Sizes

IEC 60228 is the International Electrotechnical Commission's international standard on conductors of insulated cables. Among other things, it defines a...

Fault Calculation - Symmetrical Components

For unbalance conditions the calculation of fault currents is more complex. One method of dealing with this is symmetrical components. Using symmetrical...

Large Hadron Collider

The 27 km, Euro 6 billion  Collider lies on the border between France and Switzerland, took nearly 30 years to complete.  Some of the lofty goals for the...

Cables for MV Power Distribution - Earthed versus Unearthed Systems

Power cables can basically be classified into earthed and unearthed cables, where earthed and unearthed refer to the application for which the cable is...

Periodic Electrical Installation Inspection – What to Inspect?

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...

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...

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