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Frequently Asked Questions


This is the acronym for Portable Appliance Testing, although it is not just limited to portable equipment. It covers the detailed inspection and testing of almost all electrical appliances in the work place. The procedure concludes with a detailed report of the results of those tests. This report can then be produced in the event of an accident investigation and is now becoming a requirement prior to Insurance cover.

Q. Why do I need to carry out PAT testing at all?

An array of legislation derived from the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 has resulted in the need to prove that you are maintaining all electrical appliances and keeping a record to prove it. The particular legislation for your business is shown in the links on the left of this website.

Q. How often do we need to have our appliances tested?

Please note that you can obtain a more detailed answer to this question during our initial meeting to discuss you requirements.
A. The recommended time interval between tests varies depending on four factors - the environment that the appliance is working in, the Class of the appliance, the Type of appliance, and who is using it.

For example,

  1. all 110V appliances used on a construction site should be tested every 3 months;
  2. Class I hand-held appliances in hotel rooms – every 6 months;
  3. Class I portable appliances in an office – every 24 months.
  4. If you ask us to do your PAT Testing, we will discuss all this in detail at the initial meeting so that we understand your testing policy.

Q. Which of our electrical items do you test?

A. In essence we test anything which is connected to the supply by plug and socket. We don’t test the fixed components of your electrical installation. That is, the wiring circuits, fuse panels, sockets or such things as ceiling lights, air-conditioning systems or appliances that are permanently wired in.

Q. Do you test a power lead together with its appliance, or separately?

A. To do the job properly we have to test the lead as a separate item. The reason is that in the IEE Code of Practice the range of tests recommended for a lead is always different than the tests for the appliance. There is also the possibility that an alternative lead may be used after the testing has been carried out.

Q. Why shouldn’t we use our Electrician to do our PAT Testing?

A. It will almost certainly cost you a great deal more to use an electrician to test your appliances than it will to use a specialist PAT Tester. Many electricians do not carry the equipment and have not carried out the necessary training. The best approach is to use an electrician to install, maintain and test your fixed wiring circuits and fixed appliances, but to use a PAT Tester to test your plugged appliances and leads. That way you can be fully compliant with the regulations at the lowest cost.

Q. Will the testing cause disruption to our work?

A. Before any item can be tested it has to be disconnected from the supply. Typically a test only takes a few minutes and, of course, we will try not to interrupt the working of your staff. If it is the case that some items really cannot be switched off during normal working hours, we will offer to test those items in the evening.

There is no extra charge for our working out of normal office hours.

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