I had now located the fault and the 0.00 reading I had was just as I had predicted, right above my head! I removed the unprotected connector blocks and found enough cable to pull through and terminate in the board. You would hope that that was the end of the fault finding right?
You would be wrong! Unfortunately, it was just the beginning of more interesting finds. There was no continuity on the ring but as 2 splits I was able to trace the break using my tone tester and the low ohm resistance readings.
These turned up to be on the 2nd floor bedroom and the break was within that room. The only points between the break were a walk in wardrobe and a loft, so I first looked in the loft and found a single 2.5mm cable connected to a single plug socket feeding the tv distribution equipment. I then traced it down to the walk in cupboard where a double socket was located.
The double socket only had 2 cables and since I had traced one half of the ring to this point I knew one had to be missing or missed during installation.
Bearing in mind the house was built in 1995, no testing had previously been carried out and no initial testing had been carried out! What I found next can only be described as concerning and clearly highlights the importance of an EICR and initial verification testing. Along with using suitably qualified and experienced testers who have the necessary experience to interpret test results properly to identify faults.
This cable had been sat loose in the void / cavity wall completely live from the day the home had been completed!
I can only assume that as the apprentice or electrician found 2 cables at this socket, forgetting the spur to the loft, made the assumption that the ring was complete.
Another reason perhaps is why the ring had been connected at the board to give a false continuity reading to hide the break.
This only highlights the incompetence of this and for it to go unnoticed for so long, the potential danger from fire due to over loading of the 2 2.5mm radials due to the split.
My next blog post will continue this by moving on to the consumer unit / fuse board replacement in this property in Yateley, Hampshire.