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I have been testing and inspecting existing installations for about 10 months now, all for the council, I have agreed to sample 10% of accessories, and as I regularly read over Guidance note 3 to keep me refreshed off the top of my head it says something a long the line if defects are found then a bigger sampling size is required and in some cases 100% of the installation . I like to follow the GN3 my problem is the installations I am dealing with are approx 40 years old and the more I dismantle the more damage I end up causing, even to the extent where I have had to replace light pendants because they simply fall apart as soon as I inspect them. I remember reading that testing and inspecting should be carried out without causing damage, with the state of the installations I deal with damage is a distinct possibility. I list any limitations I get and treat all installations as a fail until I can prove that it is satisfactory

What I would like is a little advice from some experienced testers as to the best way to proceed, I am not looking to cut corners, but GN3 seems to be in conflict. I used to sample up to about 40% of the installation but now I am starting to feel that I end up doing more harm than good, so anyone who could point me in the right direction it would be much appreciated.
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Assume the fittings are breaking because of long term heat damage making them brittle. If you don't test then you are not providing the whole point of the service, which is to give a professional opinion of the state of the electrics.
I would carry spare fittings with me and adjust my rate accordingly, sample rates grow again if problems are found.
You have to weigh up why your increasing your sampling from 10% to more, what will happening to the installation if dismantling it will cause further damage and basically where do you go from here.

So what is the 10% showing you that you feel the need to increase your sampling? If it were mundane things like finding no sleeve marking on S/L then I most likely would not dismantle any further, rely on my test results and leave as if. If though your finding that as you dismantle the installation, and I use VIR as an example here, the insulation is deteriorating, then I would stop the dismantling, have a rigorous test regime. Even if the results were good, I would still highlight the problem of the insulation, recommend that the next test be say 3 yrs rather than 10 and see what the client wants to do

If it is just the accessories breaking down due to age, then again I would not dismantle more, but recommend that there be a programme of replacing the equipment, as you feel as the competent inspector the breakdown of them could lead to serious circumstances
Exactly as Malcolm has said, at 40 years, some installations are approaching the end of their safe working lives-damaged and brittle accessories being one of the most common reasons.
If IR testing shows that the wiring is adequate, a defect such as 'accessories are brittle and worn' should be noted with a code 2 assuming there are no exposed live parts.

The sample rate was introduced for exactly the scenario that you describe ie. introducing faults to the installation as a result of dismantling accessories etc.
The occupant will more than likely at some stage 'drop' a few ceiling roses etc. while decorating and shouldn't have to contend with crumbling plastic so I don't think a 'satisfactory' assessment can be made here.
i agree with both of the above. sound advice.
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