PAT testing is required for businesses operating across all sectors. The test is not mandatory under the law, but it helps an organization retain its position in commercial settings.
As per the Electricity At Work Regulations 1989, all appliances do not have to undergo PAT testing regularly, but the equipment should be maintained well and tested regularl to work adequately. Simply put, no legal legislation dictates the number of PAT tests an appliance should undergo within a specific duration.
More On PAT Testing
PAT is short for Portable Appliance Testing. Any business that leverages portable appliances must perform PAT testing once in a while to ensure their devices are sound. The visual examination helps determine most of the electrical defects, but some other dangerous defects need to be discovered earlier to ensure safety. The testing is hence carried out to assess the soundness of an appliance. To have a better idea of PAT testing, visit southerneettesting.com.
Different types of equipment that fall under different categories are usually PAT tested. For instance, appliances made of metal contain three cables and an earth pin. In addition to it, they are labeled with a symbol of Class 1. Examples of such appliances include refrigerators, kettles, microwaves, iron, etc. Other smaller devices also need PAT testing, such as laptops, energy-saving bulbs, televisions, hair dryers, etc.
The Class Of Different Appliances
The frequency of doing the Portable Appliance Testing depends on how the appliance is made. There are three types of electrical items. Class 1 is the most important one to test out of the three.
- Class 1: This is the type of electrical equipment that has only the most basic insulation and gets its protection from the earth.
- Class 2: This type of electrical equipment is insulated in more than one way and doesn’t rely on earthing to keep it safe. These devices are comparatively asafer.
- Class 3: Low-voltage appliances that are considered to be the safest. Depending on the item, their charging cords may need to be PAT tested.
As a general rule, Class I devices should be checked every 48 months, while extension cords and other portable electrical equipment should be checked every 2 years.
Frequency Of PAT Test
There is no hard and fast catch-all rule that determines the frequency of PAT testing. It needs to be ensured that the appliance doesn’t have a potential problem that can turn out to be risky with prolonged use. Based on the equipment class, there are some frequency recommendations to ensure the appliances are in good condition.
Testing Office Equipment
A range of appliances fall under this category, and the frequency of PAT testing is recommended based on their use.
i.) Office equipment categorized as Class 1, including kitchen appliances, stationery, and every IT equipment, should be tested at least every four years.
ii.) All portable equipment used in the office premises, like the extension leads, should be PAT tested every two weeks.
iii.) The handheld equipment should be tested every twelve months.
Testing On Construction Sites
All equipment 110V used at the construction sites must be PAT tested every three months. This timeline should be maintained in the industry to ensure the safety of the structures being developed.
PAT Testing In Public Buildings And Schools
Equipment used by such premises is also categorized, and different timelines are recommended for each category.
- The Class 1 equipment includes all IT equipment that should be tested annually.
- The equipment under Class 2 should be tested every four years.
- All portable, moving, and handheld equipment falling under Class 2 should again be tested every year to ensure safe operations.
- Portable, handheld and moving equipment of Class 1 should be tested every six months to ensure safety.
Critical Factors Affecting How Often Pat Testing Is Done
Follow these factors to understand which appliances need to be checked and how often.
How Do You Use The Device?
If you use an appliance often, you will need to have it checked more often. The more you use something, the more it will be prone to breaking down.
Type Of Appliance
Things like a personal computer, hair dryer, or iron used more often tend to get more wear and tear. This will cause them to be more prone to damage, unlike a fridge or oven, which are stable. They don’t need to be tested as often.
If you have a broken appliance, it’s more likely to lead to a big problem. So, it’s essential to take good care of these things. You should test them more often to take care of them.
It isn’t easy to figure out how often the appliances should be tested. Most of the time, the testing needs to be done once every 12 months for the clients or customers. Even banks and insurance companies recommend this time frame to keep everyone safe.
This is because the PAT testing theory is too hard to understand. The right guide is available from HSE. It gives general scenarios for testing portable appliances. The tests are based on the known risks in the workplace. Office equipment includes computers, printers, mouses, fax machines, and lighting.
When you get your electrical equipment inspected and tested, the person doing the test must know what they’re doing. In low-risk settings, a competent person could be a staff member with the knowledge and training to inspect the equipment correctly visually.
In higher-risk situations or when inspection and testing need to be done together, the person doing the work will require more knowledge and experience, the proper testing equipment, and the ability to use it correctly and understand the test results. In these cases, it is best to hire a professional electrician.
With this article, you should have a better idea of when to get your PC and other appliance PAT Tested. Since testing is not required by law, it can be hard to know when to get a device checked. If you follow these simple steps for PAT testing, your home and work appliances will be safe.