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



Robots - Interesting Videos

The robot folding towels post below was interesting enough at the time to post a link.  Recently I’ve come across a couple of other interesting videos...

IEC 60287 Current Capacity of Cables - An Introduction

IEC 60287 "Calculation of the continuous current rating of cables (100% load factor)" is the International Standard which defines the procedures and equations...

Our internet address and Vanity URLs

Visitors who like to type web address rather then click menus may be interested in how our URL structure works.

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...

Three Phase Power Simplified

A single phase system is perhaps the most common type of system most people are familiar with. This is what people have in their homes and what appliances...

Laplace Transform

Laplace transforms and their inverse are a mathematical technique which allows us to solve differential equations, by primarily using algebraic methods...

Electromechanical Relays

Electromechanical relays have been the traditional backbone of electrical protection systems.  While over recent years these have been replaced by microprocessor...

9 power supply issues solved by using a UPS

Installation of a UPS can help in reducing problems due to issues with the power supply.  A lot of people relate this to nine key issues.  Depending on...

Famous Scientists

Here’s list of some famous scientists. Deliberately short, with the aim to provide a quick memory jog or overview. If your looking for more detailed information...

Voltage Levels – Confused?

I was having a conversation the other day about voltage levels.  While everyone was in agreement that low voltage was 1000 V and less, there was more confusion...

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