PAT Testing FAQs
Are There Any Added Costs Incured?
Sometimes Yes, but this is generally replacement IT leads and extension cables, which you can buy from us, (these IT leads & cables would have been tested before sale, so no need for retest) or you may have spare leads & cables around the office which need to be tested before use.
Can PAT Testing Take Place Out Of Office Hours?
Yes, PAT Testing will be carried out when it is convenient for the appliances and equipment to be shut down for testing, we do not charge extra for out of hours as we understand that the appliances and equipment are normally used during the day.
Could An Employee Carry Out PAT Testing?
Short Answer Is Yes BUT!
Firstly, you would need to ensure that the requirement of competence is met, which will undoubtedly involve expenditure in training. Secondly, you need to purchase the equipment and the software, and gain the expertise in its use. We find that many companies who have tried to carry out testing in-house also take more time to do the testing as the staff generally only do this as part of their job, and do not have the experience to minimise the disruption factor in shutting down equipment.
There may also be a tendency to "pass" appliances that may present a potential hazard, as it would mean taking the appliance out of commission.
All of our test engineers are trained to meet the current recommendations. This is our core business and we firmly believe that we can carry out the Portable Appliance Testing at your premises in the most cost-effective manner, whilst our experience and unique systems minimise the disruption to you and your staff.
Do I Need PAT Tesing By Law?
The legislation of specific relevance to electrical maintenance is the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 puts the duty of care upon both the employer and the employee to ensure the safety of all persons using the work premises. This includes the self employed.
The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states:
"Every employer shall make suitable and sufficient assessment of:
(a) the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst at work, and
(b) the risks to ensure the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him or his undertaking."
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states:
"Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair."
The PUWER 1998 covers most risks that can result from using work equipment. With respect to risks from electricity, compliance with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 is likely to achieve compliance with the PUWER 1998.
PUWER 1998 only applies to work equipment used by workers at work. This includes all work equipment (fixed, transportable or portable) connected to a source of electrical energy. PUWER does not apply to fixed installations in a building. The electrical safety of these installations is dealt with only by the Electricity at Work Regulations.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 states:
"All systems shall at all times be of such construction as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger."
"As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger."
"'System' means an electrical system in which all the electrical equipment is, or may be, electrically connected to a common source of electrical energy and includes such source and such equipment"
"'Electrical Equipment' includes anything used, intended to be used or installed for use, to generate, provide, transmit, transform, rectify, convert, conduct, distribute, control, store, measure or use electrical energy."
Scope of the legislation
It is clear that the combination of the HSW Act 1974, the PUWER 1998 and the EAW Regulations 1989 apply to all electrical equipment used in, or associated with, places of work. The scope extends from distribution systems down to the smallest piece of electrical equipment.
It is clear that there is a requirement to inspect and test all types of electrical equipment in all work situations.
Does It Affect My Insurance If I Don't Have My Appliances PAT Tested?
That depends on your insurance company, for safety reasons, more and more insurance companies are insisting that Portable Appliance Testing is carried out before an insurance policy can be renewed.
You need to check the small print.
How Frequent Is A PAT Test?
There is no specific schedule set out. There are however guidelines to help. The frequency of testing depends on the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used. For example a high-risk item such as an electric drill should be tested more frequently than a low risk item such as a PC. Furthermore a drill that is used everyday in a high density manufacturing plant should be tested more frequently than a drill used only occasionally in an office environment.
Frequency also depends on your insurance company as for safety reasons, more and more insurance companies are insisting that PAT Testing (Portable Appliance Testing) is carried out before an insurance policy can be renewed.
- S Stationary Equipment
IT IT Equipment
M Movable Equipment
P Portable Equipment
H Hand Held Equipment
- User checks are not recorded unless a fault is found.
- The formal visual inspection may form part of the combined inspection and tests when they coincide, and must be recorded.
- If class of equipment is not known, it must be tested as Class 1.
- The results of combined inspections and test are recorded.
- For some equipment such as children's rides a daily check may be necessary.
(+) By supervisor/teacher/member of staff
(*) 110V earthed centre tapped supply. 230V portable or hand held equipment must be supplied via a 30mA RCD and inspections and tests carried out more frequently.
How Long Does PAT Testing Take?
This depends on how many appliances need testing, and the appliances are within easy access.
In normal office condictions we can carry out 15 to 25 tests an hour per testing engineer.
How Much Does PAT Testing Cost?
Many Companies say on there website's that they will PAT Test for 50p 75p £1.00 per test, this is only possible when these companies come in mob handed with 20-30 PAT Testers and test 1000's of appliance's.
We charged a minimum charge of £40 + VAT which includes testing for 20 items, thereafter its £1.25 = VAT per item tested, price includes free fuse and plug replacement if required, there is no extra charge for out of hours or weekend testing.
Please note we also offer to beat any like for like quote by 10% that betters our standard price.
- All items with a plug are tested using calibrated test equipment.
- All items are labelled with an electrical safety pass sticker showing date of test, item number and date of re-test.
- A full report and compliance certification will be emailed in PDF format to you upon receipt of full payment.
We Have Hundreds Of Cables And Appliances, Does This Mean The Same Amount Of Paperwork?
NO, We can supply all your test results and appliance register to you on a CD instead of or in addition to hard copies of reports. Hard copies are produced as standard following the completion of testing. These reports include a full Appliance Register, Fail Certificates (if applicable) and Pass Certificates, and are bound into a folder for ease of reference.
We will also email the documents to you for your safe keeping.
What Appliances Need Testing?
The IEE Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment states that this Code of Practice covers.
An appliance of less than 18 kg in mass that is intended to be moved while in operation or an appliance which can easily be moved from one place to another, e.g. toaster, food mixer, vacuum cleaner, fan heater.
Movable Equipment. (sometimes called Transportable):
This is equipment, which is either: 18 kg or less in mass and not fixed, e.g. electric fire, or equipment with wheels, Castor's or other means to facilitate movement by the operator as required to perform its intended use, e.g. air conditioning unit.
This is portable equipment intended to be held in the hand during normal use, e.g. hair dryer, drill, soldering iron.
If your appliance has any of these plugs below fitted, we can PAT Test these items.
Stationary Equipment or Appliances.
This equipment has a mass exceeding 18 kg and is not provided with a carrying handle, e.g. refrigerator, washing machine.
Appliances/Equipment for Building in.
This equipment is intended to be installed in a prepared recess such as a cupboard or similar. In general, equipment for building in does not have an enclosure on all sides because on one or more of the sides, additional protection against electric shock is provided by the surroundings e.g. a built-in electric cooker.
Information Technology Equipment. (Business Equipment)
Information technology equipment includes electrical business equipment such as computer and mains powered telecommunications equipment, and other equipment for general business use, such as mail processing machines, electric plotters, trimmers, VDUs, data terminal equipment, typewriters, telephones, printers, photo-copiers, power packs.
The use of extension leads should be avoided where possible. If used, they should be tested as portable appliances. It is recommended that 3-core leads (including a protective earthing conductor) be used.
A standard 13 Amp 3-pin extension socket-outlet with a 2-core cable should never be used even if the appliance to be used in Class II, as it would not provide protection against electrical shock if used at any time with an item of Class I equipment.
The length of an extension lead for general use should not exceed the following:
- Core Area Maximum Length
- 1.25mm2 12 metres
- 1.5mm2 15 metres
- 2.5mm2 25 metres*
- 2.5mm2 cables are too large for standard 13 Amp plugs, but they may be used with BS EN 60309 industrial plugs.
These maximum lengths are not applicable to the flex of an appliance, for guidance refer to paragraph 15.13 (IEE Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment).
If extension lead lengths do exceed the above, they shall be protected by a 30 mA RCD manufactured to BS 7071.
What Happens During A PAT Test?
A PAT Test Consist's of a visual inspection of the equipment or cable we check for damaged cable, plugs burn marks, we also check that the plug is correctly wired and the fuse is of the correct rating.
Then we carry out of series of tests with the PAT Tester checking for earth continuity, insulation resistance, earth leakage test and polarity test depending on class of appliance.
What Is PAT Testing (Portable Applience Testing)?
Portable Appliance Testing (commonly known as PAT or PAT Inspection or PAT Testing) is a process in the United Kingdom by which electrical appliances are routinely checked for safety. The correct term for the whole process is In-service Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment.
When people work with electrical appliances, health and safety regulations state that the appliance must be safe, to prevent harm to the workers. Many types of equipment require testing at regular intervals to ensure continual safety; the interval between tests depending on both the type of appliance and the environment it is used in.
Evidence of testing is clearly visible to workers in the form of 'Passed' , 'Tested For Electrical Safety' and 'DO NOT USE after' labels affixed to various parts of the electrical equipment they use.
Would It Be Cheaper For An Employee To Carry Out PAT Testing?
You may believe that purchasing your own PAT Test equipment and having your staff carry out the testing may be more cost effective, there are several factors to bear in mind.
Firstly, you would need to ensure that the requirement of competence is met, which will undoubtedly involve expenditure in training.
Secondly, you need to purchase the equipment and gain the expertise in its use. we have found that many companies who have tried to carry out testing in-house also take more time to do the testing as staff generally completes this as an “add-on” to their job, and do not have the experience to minimise the disruption factor in shutting down equipment, nor the disciplines to maintain retesting schedules.
Finally, equipment is also required to be calibrated annually and maintained, adding another expense and management task to the employee charged with the testing role. And do not forget, as soon as the trained employee resigns, or moves up through your organisation, you will need to go through the whole training process again.