There are many common myths about portable appliance testing (PAT) - find out the key facts about the inspection and testing of portable electrical equipment here.
Upon arrival on site our test engineer will introduce himself to the client’s representative and explain the purpose and nature of the work to be carried out. This person will then be asked to accompany our engineer around the site to highlight any sensitive areas and introduce the IT manager who should confirm any arrangements that have been made for shutting down any IT workstations.
The inspection and testing shall be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the following regulations and publications:
Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
Health & Safety at Work Act of 1974
IEE Code of Practice for the in service inspection and Testing of Portable Electrical Equipment
Identification of equipment
Every piece of electrical equipment will be allocated a Asset ID / number. This will be used to cross reference test results to the certificate supplied. A register of equipment will then be produced to include the following details:
Location in which the appliance/asset is kept/used
Description of appliance
PASS / FAIL result for tests completed
Date of test
Testing Procedures as stated by the IEE Code of Practice for In service Inspection and
Testing or Portable Electrical Equipment.
A visual inspection of the appliance shall be carried out prior to any testing. The inspection includes the following:
Socket Outlet is there any evidence of overheating, cracks or damage?
Plug is the flexible cable secure, are the pins insulated, is it free from cracks, or damage and signs of overheating?
Flex is in good condition, free from cuts, fraying or damage?
Appliance does it work? . Is it free from damage? . Can it be used safely?
In addition, the visual inspection will check that the means of disconnection from the mains supply is also readily accessible and that wherever possible, flexible cords are positioned so that they do not present a hazard.
All minor faults identified during the visual inspection, such as incorrectly rated fuses, damaged 13amp plugs, loose connections will be rectified prior to the testing procedure.
Subject to a satisfactory visual inspection, the following sequences of test are carried out.
Earth continuity – Class 1 appliances only
Insulation resistance (where appropriate)
Earth leakage test
A sample of the labels we use is shown here. Any FAILED appliances are taken out of service and are
immediately brought to the attention of the client representative on site.
Upon completion a report is produced usually within 5 working days listing the appliances tested, the results of the tests performed, and details of any remedial repairs necessary. We also provide the engineers observations on all failed equipment.
The frequency of inspection and testing depends upon the type of equipment and the environment it is used in. For example, a power tool used on a construction site should be examined more frequently than a lamp in a hotel bedroom. For guidance on suggested frequencies of inspection and testing, see: Maintaining portable and transportable electrical equipment.