Homebuyers Visual Electrical Reports

What is a homebuyers visual electrical inspection?

A homebuyers pre-purchase electrical inspection is sometimes more commonly known as a visual electrical inspection. It consists of a visual survey or initial verification of a homes electrical system and a following report is issued. It’s a quick and cheap way of identifying any latent defects along with any damage or deterioration that may be evident. It’s also used to verify whether the electrical system complies with the current national electrical safety standards (The Wiring Regulations). As this type of electrical inspection does not involve any circuit testing, it can’t however, fully determine whether the entire electrical installation is completely safe for continued use.


The inspector carrying out the inspection must have a sound knowledge and experience relevant to the nature of the electrical system being inspected, and to the current technical standards.

It’s the responsibility of the inspector to:

  1. Ensure no danger occurs to any person and property is not damaged
  2. Compare the inspection results with regard to the design criteria
  3. Advise the client on the condition of the electrical system and offer advice should any remedial work be needed

Should a dangerous situation be found, the inspector will recommend the immediate isolation or switching off, of the defective part(s). The homebuyer and homeowner will then be notified without undue delay.

Why would I select this type of electrical inspection Instead of a full PERIODIC INSPECTION REPORT?

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you might want to consider a visual electrical inspection. This quick and relatively cheap report can give you a reasonable indication of the state of the electrical system within the property. This information can then help you to make an improved clued-up decision as to whether the electrical system will need repair or upgrading in the near future. You might want to take this into account when making an offer on the property, depending on the summary of your report. A visual inspection will also save the homebuyer the expenditure of a full electrical safety certificate, technically known as a Periodic Inspection Report. Producing a periodic inspection report is a far more time-consuming process and therefore is considerably more expensive. As a prospective homebuyer you may decide not purchase the property therefore a full periodic inspection report may simply not be cost-effective to purchase should negotiations with the vendor fail.

Pre-purchase electrical inspection: What will your inspector be looking for:

The inspection should cover the examination of the items listed below

  • Safety of the electrical system
  • Verification of test records
  • Deterioration in the wiring
  • All installed electrical equipment is correct and complies with relevant British Standards
  • If the wiring system has any Residual Current Devices incorporated
  • All parts of wiring and accessories contained within the installation have been installed correctly
  • Signs of overloading at fuses or circuit breakers
  • General wear and tear