Electrical Test – Why Is It Important

Would you as the owner of a caravan allow yourself or others to stay in your caravan knowing there is a gas leak? No, of course you wouldn’t!
Would you as the owner of a caravan allow yourself or others to stay in your caravan knowing there is an electrical leak? No, of course you wouldn’t!
The standard habitation service, carried out annually on a caravan, serves to identify and remedy problems with the gas systems; thus ensuring safe use of the caravan, free from the danger of a gas leak. However, the standard habitation service does not include a test to determine whether the electrical systems are leaking. Gas pressure tests are standard during a caravan service, electrical pressure tests are not.
Gas leaks cause fires. So too do electrical leaks.
Because a caravan or motorhome will be used to house a family’s most treasured possessions: parents;children; elderly relatives; friends and pets, all new caravans and motorhomes are sold compete with a certificate: called the Electrical Installation Certificate.
This is the manufacturer’s guarantee that the habitation electrics, including both the 230-volt and 12-volt wiring systems and equipment, are in peak condition and safe to use. Safe to use means safe from the risk of electric shock, fire and burns. However, the manufacturer recognises that like with all material things, due to age and normal wear and tear, the electrical wiring and associated equipment will deteriorate; and become less safe.
Deterioration of the electrical wiring and accessories, including damage and misuse, can result in appliances not performing properly. But in more serious cases can lead to a harmful reduction in the safety of the electrical installation. With this in mind, the manufacturer of the caravan or motorhome is required, as a matter of compliance, to give recommendations for having a regular safety check carried out on the electrical wiring, including all accessories (sockets, switches, lights etc); usually between one and 3-years from new.
This safety check is not compulsory, but is advisory. In fact, it is strongly recommended a safety check is carried out on the electrical wiring installation. Therefore it’s worth taking a look at the recommendation on your certificate, and to consider whether the electrical installation in your caravan or motorhome is due a safety check.
Second-hand or used caravans and motorhomes will require the same safety check before being sold-on to a customer. And, as with a new caravan or motorhome, the used vehicle will be given a recommended re-test date. If you are contemplating buying a used caravan or motorhome ask your dealer if the pre-delivery inspection (PDI) includes a thorough inspection and test of the electrical installations, including the issue of a report on the condition of those installations.
If the dealer says it doesn’t, consider carefully whether your purchase is a wise one.
The electrical safety check, or more accurately named the Periodic Inspection and Test, is not part of the normal service carried out on a caravan or motorhome; so it is as well to seek the advice of your caravan service engineer, who will be able to give you information on what the electrical safety check includes.
Normally, a Periodic Inspection and Test of the electrical systems involves the removal of accessories (eg sockets), so that all connections can be thoroughly examined, and where necessary, tightened. During the inspection part of the check all electrical components of the wiring are inspected for damage, and to ensure that the wiring and all associated parts are in a good condition, clean and satisfactory for continued use. The testing process involves the wiring and accessories undergoing several, and rigorous, electrical tests to prove satisfactory for continued use.
Problems discovered during the inspection and test can be remedied, or recommendations given to improve the safety of the electrical installation.
Following the inspection and test you will receive an Electrical Installation Condition Report. This is a report on the condition of your wiring and accessories; including essential safety modifications and recommendations for improving the safety of the equipment.
Please remember an electrical safety check on your wiring is not compulsory, but is advisory, and recommended by manufacturers and all safety standards agencies. Advice on whether your caravan or motorhome is due a Periodic Inspection and Test is free and non-obligatory.

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