Stroma Certification provides further technical insight in the third and final part of its periodic inspection and testing guidance series.
The previous article in this series discussed how the extent and limitations of the inspection and test need to be agreed with the client. The article also describes how to code non-compliances and defects discovered during the inspection and testing process.
Order of tests and inspections
Unlike Initial Verification, there is no set order of tests for periodic inspection and testing. On larger installations the client may wish to divide the installation up in to smaller sections, in agreement with the inspector, to minimise any disruption on-site.
If no previous records, drawings or test records are available it may be necessary to carry out an initial survey to determine the supply position(s), distribution arrangements and the location of the distribution boards. From the initial survey a programme of work can be devised to logically undertake the inspection and testing process.
Identifying the supply position(s) and inspecting the incoming supply arrangements, earthing and bonding and the main distribution equipment would usually be the preferred initial activity. Whilst inspecting these arrangements, testing can be carried out at the same time and the information can be recorded as the work progresses.
Working away from the intake position, following distribution circuits to local distribution boards, and testing each distribution board and final circuits before returning to the intake position (and then repeating the exercise) is a useful and logical way of working.
The inspection schedule for periodic inspection, set out in Appendix 6 of BS 7671, provides a useful guide and a reminder of the items that should be inspected. Inspectors may find it useful to have blank copies of this form on their clipboards, to record the results of their inspections at the origin, and further copies for each distribution board and their final circuits. For smaller installations these can be amalgamated into one form when the EICR is written prior to issue.
As a minimum, the following should be sample inspected. Sampling should be increased if non-compliances or defects are found.
BS 7671 Chapter 62 requires the inspection to be supplemented by appropriate tests. Stroma recommends that the following tests should be undertaken. Sampling should be increased if non-compliances are found. It is unacceptable to sample test a small number of circuits on a distribution board and conclude on that basis that the other circuits are satisfactory; in the same way as sampling a number of appliances when portable appliance testing and concluding that all the others are safe to use.
On completion of the inspection and testing the inspector will need to complete an EICR together with the schedule of inspections and the schedule(s) of test results. One copy should be sent to the client and one copy should be retained for a period of at least five years.
For more technical guidance and information from Stroma, visit: stroma.com/certification