Updated: Feb 16
The surveyor will visually check the electrics, including fuse board and electrical fixtures (switches, sockets etc.) for signs of potential damage, however, the surveyor does not undertake a detailed examination of the electrical systems and no tests are carried out.
The reason for this is that a surveyor is not a qualified electrician and so is not legally permitted or insured to undertake any detailed testing. If for any reason you believe a detailed examination of the electrical systems is needed, it is recommended you instruct a qualified electrician to visit the property.
The surveyor will comment on the location of the fuse board and it general condition. They will also mention if it is an old-style fuse board which needs to be updated and may indicate that rewiring is required.
If the surveyor sees any evidence of old grade wiring which may indicate the property needs to be rewired, they will mention this in the report. The old twisted wired for roof lights is a telltale sign of this.
For fixtures and fittings, the survey will mention if they are all in good visual condition and if there are any signs of heat damage or burn marks around the fittings, these will be documented too as they could indicate the fixture is overheating.
The surveyor will also take note of any random loose wires found throughout the property, but no testing is undertaken to see if the wires are live or not.
Both SCSI & RICS who govern Building Surveyors and Chartered or Associate Surveyors and IEI who govern Chartered or Associate Engineers offer the same guidelines for checking electrical services during pre-purchase surveys/inspections. That is no testing work is carried out and the scope of the inspection is a visual observation only.
For more information on the SCSI/RICS survey guidelines, you can visit the SCSI website on this link.