Find below some of our most commonly asked questions, for any other questions you may have, please get in touch.
What is PAT Testing?
PAT Testing stands for Portable Appliance Testing. This is an inspection of your electrical equipment that plug into your mains power. This is to ensure that these appliances are in a safe condition to use.
Why should I get my appliances tested?
It is necessary to maintain electrical equipment for a couple of reasons, firstly, as faulty equipment can lead to the risk of an electric shock, overheating and fires. The second part is for practical reasons, you should ensure that the equipment that you have functions as intended.
Who can carry out PAT testing?
PAT testing should be carried out by a competent person with the necessary training and expertise. This can be an electrician or a specialist PAT tester.
Is PAT Testing required?
Whilst in England currently, it is not a requirement in law to have your electrical equipment, there are many legal requirements that put a duty of care on Landlords and Employers.
The Housing Act 2004 ensures that Landlords 'provide a safe and healthy environment for any potential occupiers or visitors'. From an electrical perspective, this includes the electrical installation and equipment provided in the property.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 state that 'As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practical, such danger'. Regular PAT Testing to the recommended frequency, will help to comply with this.
What does a PAT test involve?
A PAT test involves a visual inspection of the appliance and a series of electrical tests. These tests may include earth continuity, insulation resistance, and polarity checks.
How frequent should I test my equipment?
This really varies on the type of equipment that you are testing and the environment that this is housed within. For example, a Power Tool Hire Company should test their tools a lot more frequently than an Office Based Company that uses their Paper Shredder every 4 years.
What happens if an appliance fails a PAT test?
If an appliance fails a PAT test, it should be taken out of service until it can be repaired or replaced. The person responsible for the appliance should be notified of the failure and any necessary actions.
Do I need to test new equipment?
New equipment should be provided in a safe to use condition so this would not be required, it is recommended to do a visual check to ensure that it was not damaged in transport.
Am I required to keep records of testing?
It is not a requirement to keep records of your testing, however, it is a requirement within The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 that all systems should be maintained to reduce danger, if there was an accident within the workplace, you may be required to prove that you did all that you could to prevent this danger occurring, having these these tests recorded gives you this evidence.
Can I carry out PAT testing myself?
It is possible to carry out PAT testing yourself, but it is recommended that you have the necessary training and experience. You will also need to ensure you have the right equipment and know how to interpret the results of the tests.
How long does a PAT test take?
The length of a PAT test depends on the number of appliances being tested and their complexity. A small number of appliances may take a few hours, while a larger number may take a full day or more.
What types of appliances need PAT testing?
Any electrical appliance that is portable, or has a plug and socket, should be tested. This includes items such as computers, kettles, and power tools, as well as larger items such as fridges and freezers.
How do I know if an appliance has passed its PAT test?
If an appliance has passed its PAT test, it will usually be labelled with a sticker or label, indicating the date of the test and the name of the tester.
Can I use appliances that haven't been PAT tested?
While it is not illegal to use appliances that haven't been PAT tested, it is recommended that all portable appliances are tested regularly to ensure they are safe to use.
How long does a PAT test certificate last?
There is no specific length of time that a PAT test certificate lasts, as it depends on the type of appliance and how frequently it is used. It is generally recommended that appliances are tested at least once a year.
How much does PAT testing cost?
The cost of PAT testing can vary depending on the number of appliances being tested, their complexity, and the location. It is recommended that you obtain quotes from several qualified testers before making a decision.