Portable Appliance technicians holders of City and Guilds qualification – Electrical Equipment Maintenance and Testing (2377).
What is PAT Testing?
Portable Appliance Testing, more commonly known as PAT testing, involves a process of periodically inspecting and testing of electrical equipment or appliances to ensure they are safe for use.
To begin with, all appliances will receive a formal visual inspection to ensure both the flexible cable and the appliance are free from wear and tear, damage, signs of burning, plug tops are also opened to ensure correct wiring, correct fuse rating and again free from damage or signs of overheating.
Providing the appliance successfully passes the formal visual inspection, the appliance will then be subjected to a series of electrical tests depending on its classification; all testing will be performed by a PAT tester with a valid calibration certificate.
Equipment passing both the formal visual inspection and testing will be clearly labelled with a PASS label containing a unique asset number, test date, re-test date and engineer’s initials.
Equipment failing either the formal visual inspection or testing will be clearly labelled with a FAIL label containing a unique asset number, test date, engineer’s initials and the reason for failure. The appliance will also be removed from service and reported to your nominated responsible person.
In order to maintain standards all testing performed will be in accordance with the IEE’s code of practice for in-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment 3rd edition.
Why PAT Test?
Portable Appliance Testing is an effective process of inspecting and testing electrical equipment and maintaining maintenance records to ensure compliance with various legal Acts, Regulations and Insurance requirements.
Who Is Responsible For Portable Appliance Testing?
It is up to the employer to ensure that work equipment is appropriate for the purpose for which it is provided, only used in the place and under the provisions for which it is provided. It also requires every employer to ensure work equipment be efficiently maintained and kept fit and suitable for its intended purpose. It must not be allowed to deteriorate in function or performance to such a level that it puts people at risk. This means that regular, routine and planned maintenance regimes must be considered if hazardous problems can arise.
Classification and Types of Appliances
The IEE’s code of practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment 3rd Edition states that there are 5 classifications of electrical appliances these are class 0, 01, 1, 2, 3. Classes 0 and 01 are extremely rare and not commonly used.
Class 1 Equipment
Basic insulation and relies on an earth for protection and will receive an Earth Continuity test and Insulation test. Examples of Class 1 equipment are Kettles, Toasters, Irons, Microwaves, Electric Heaters, Fridges, Freezers, Washing Machines and Tumble Dryers etc.
Class 2 Equipment
Has supplementary insulation and therefore does not rely on an earth for protection and is easily identified by the double square symbol and will receive an insulation test. Examples of Class 2 equipment are Televisions, DVD Players, Lamps, Power Tools, Hair Dryers, etc.
Class 3 Equipment
Relies on protection from a SELV (Separated Extra-Low Voltage) supply, which is usually less than 50vac or 120vdc and therefore does not require testing. However, the power supply will be tested.
Information Technology Equipment (IT)
IT equipment will receive a soft earth continuity test of 100mA and an insulation test (at a reduced voltage of 250vdc) or a touch current test. Examples of IT Equipment are Computers, Visual Display Units, Printers and Scanners etc.
Appliances With Detachable Cables
E.g. IEC cables or Fig 8 cables are to be tested as a separate item and also tested attached to the appliance.
Types of Electrical Appliances
Electrical appliances can be categorised into the following types of appliances:
These appliances weigh less than 18kg and can easily be moved from one place to another when in operation e.g. Kettle, Toaster, Food Processor etc.
These appliances weigh less than 18kg and are usually fitted with either wheels or casters to enable the operator to move the appliance easily when required to perform work tasks e.g. Mobile Compressor, Power Washer, Oil Filled Heaters etc. Hand-Held Appliances – these appliances are designed to be held in the hand under normal operational use e.g. Hair Dryers, Irons, Hand Blender, Power drill etc.
These appliances weigh in excess of 18kg and are not provided with a means of carrying e.g. Washing Machine, Tumble Dryer, and Chest Freezer etc.
These appliances includes such items as Computers, Mains Powered Telecommunications Equipment, Printers, Plotters, Photocopiers etc.
PAT Testing Labelling
All appliances which pass both the formal visual inspection and test will be clearly identified with a Green pass label; the label will contain a unique identification number, engineer’s initials, test date, and re-test date.
Any appliances that fail either the formal visual inspection or test will be clearly identified with a Red failed label; the label will contain a unique identification number and reason for failure. These items will be reported to your nominated responsible person and removed from service until adequately repaired.
Upon completion of the Portable Appliance