Last edited 30 Nov 2020

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ECA Institute / association Website

Electrical installation

Electrician-729240 640.jpg


[edit] Introduction

The term ‘electrical Installation’, with regards to electrical systems in buildings, may be considered as a verb or as a noun.

[edit] Electrical installation as a verb

Considering it firstly as a verb, electrical installation describes the physical work involved in installing electrical systems into a building.

Electrical installation work in this respect comprises all relevant activities, usually but not always limited to:

  1. Preparation work – such as cutting of holes, provision of fixings and supports.
  2. Physical installation of electrical wiring systems onto and within the building structure.
  3. Testing or wiring systems (usually for insulation resistance and to check for any damage).
  4. Installation of electrical equipment and its connection.
  5. Testing of electrical wiring and equipment – normally for compliance with BS 7671 (IET Wiring Regulations) Part 6 requirements.
  6. Production and issue of test certification and other handover documentation such as operation and maintenance details.
  7. Making good of finishes, sealing of holes and penetrations and particularly the provision of passive fire stopping in relation to this.

Stages 1 and 2 are often referred to in the trade as first fix activities, and usually precede the work of other trades such as plaster boarding, plastering, drylining, etc.

Stages 3 to 7 are then referred to as second fix activities and follow the work of other trades - often when cables have been concealed within the fabric of a building.

It is for this reason that best practice should be to test some of the wiring, usually for insulation resistance, before the connection of any equipment.

Note - The complete act of installation as defined above will often fall under different contracted parties. It is vital to establish clear boundaries and contract responsibilities before work is undertaken, particularly in areas such as building works, making good and fire stopping.

[edit] Electrical installation as a noun

Electrical installation as a noun is defined in BS 7671 as: ‘An assembly of associated electrical equipment having co-ordinated characteristics to fulfil specific purposes.’

Note also that BS 7671 defines ‘Electrical equipment’ as: ‘Any item for such purposes as generation, conversion, transmission, distribution or utilisation of electrical energy, such as machines, transformers, apparatus, measuring instruments, protective devices, wiring systems, accessories, appliances and luminaires.

As such, the electrical installation within a building would be the collective noun used to describe all of the aforementioned items.


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