All electrical installations deteriorate over time due to general wear and tear, this can cause issues such as an electrical shock hazard or an electrical fire. Regulations also change or are updated as new equipment becomes available and when thoughts on electrical safety change.
A domestic property should be tested at least every 10 years although I believe it should be every 5 years, electrical testing for commercial property should be done every 1 to 5 years depending upon it's purpose. Having an electrical inspection and test completed on your property is essential as although the lights, electrical sockets and other electrical equipment may seem to be working perfectly well that may not be the case behind the scenes there may be a loose wire or broken terminal, or the electrics may have not been installed correctly in the first place and if there was to be a fault the fuses or circuit breakers may not operate properly if at all!
If you are moving into a property or recently moved into one and you are not sure of the state of the electrical installation then it is well worth instructing a qualified electrician to check out the electrics, you never know the previous owner may have been a DIY cowboy thinking he or she could do their own electrics to save a bit of money and 'cut corners' without even knowing it.
So what's involved in electrical testing?
Firstly an inspection of the accessories (sockets, lights and switches) is carried out. this takes up about 70% of the process and most problems can be found during this time, next testing of the wiring is completed and the results noted on the inspection certificate along with the particulars of the electrical installation and any problems that may have been observed. the time it takes to complete an electrical inspection and test depends on the size of the property and how many circuits there are, generally for a 3 bedroom house it would take approximately 4-6 hours if the electrician you have hired does it properly. Do be aware if an electrician says they can do a full inspection and test quicker than this, then they will not be doing a good job and it'll be money wasted and you can not be sure the installation will be safe.
If you do not have a recent electrical report or certificate for the installation then it is advisable to have one done ASAP.
The Free electrical Advice Blog is the place to go if you need any advice on electrical matters within you property, whether it's electrical rewiring or what should I be charged by an electrician or what happens in an electrical inspection and test. http://freeelectricaladvice.blogspot.com/