Even though there are no formal legal requirements when it comes to PAT testing of portable electrical equipment, if you are a business owner, or you have some responsibilities towards electric equipment, it is important to ensure that they are correctly maintained. When you approach this task seriously and understand why PAT Testing is important, you can minimize the risk of dangerous occurrences.
Many people neglect the fact that electrical equipment can hurt others if they do not work properly. Therefore, it is highly recommendable for everyone that works or monitors electrical equipment to include regular PAT testing as part of the maintenance procedure. In this article, we covered everything that you should know about PAT testing and how often you should get your electrical equipment tested according to the place where you are working.
What is PAT testing?
First thing first, you should be introduced to the term PAT testing and what it represents. In general, PAT testing is the process of testing all portable electrical appliances and pieces of equipment with the purpose of establishing whether or not they are safe for usage. Many business owners, landlords, and other people that need to monitor the electrical equipment often use visual inspection forms for basic maintenance routines and then support the overall procedure with formal PAT testing from time to time. There are so many different factors that affect the interval of time between two PAT testing. Some crucial factors refer to the type of electrical equipment that is being used, the regulations of use as well as how old the electrical equipment is.
Whether or not PAT testing needs to be performed annually?
You should know that there are no specific and strict guidelines regarding the frequency of performing PAT testing on electrical appliances. However, everyone should know that there are some best practices for this type of testing that works in specific industries. We are going to talk about that in the following text. However, in order to avoid the situation where some electrical equipment can cause potential injury or danger, it is advisable to properly perform the maintenance in the form of PAT testing and ensure safe usage.
How frequently should you have electrical appliances PAT tested?
As we said, there are different factors that need to be taken into consideration when you are planning the PAT testing schedule. Primarily, you need to consider the type of equipment and whether it is portable, handheld, or transportable. You also need to check the class of the equipment because there are I and II Class.
Think about how frequently you have been using particular equipment and how old it is. It is important to take into account the professional competence of the people that used the equipment and the environment in which the equipment has been used. You should also check the results of previous PAT tests. Finally, it s necessary to check the recommendations of the manufacturer and whether the equipment has been repaired at some point.
Understand the difference between Class I and Class II electrical appliances
In the group of Class I appliances, you will find a fridge, kettles, irons, microwaves, toasters, etc. In the group of Class II appliances, there are hair dryers, computers, all plastic power tools, etc. No matter whether the appliance falls under Class I or Class II, it will need to be PAT tested. The only difference is how it will be tested and how frequently. Both of these classes included powered appliances, which means that they need to provide high protection for the user.
How often should you PAT testing electrical equipment for offices and shops
You should know that the equipment that belongs to the Class I group needs to be tested every 4 years. All moveable and portable equipment needs to be tested every 2 years, and handheld equipment needs to be tested on a yearly basis.
How often should you PAT testing electrical equipment for construction businesses
You need to test the 110V pieces of equipment that are used in construction every 3 months.
How often should you PAT testing electrical equipment in industrial
All portable and handheld equipment in industries, such as commercial kitchens need to be tested every 6 months. When it comes to stationary IT equipment and moveable equipment, they need to be PAT tested every year.
Do You need to keep records for PAT tests?
There are no legal requirements for keeping PAT test records. However, if you keep them it will be easier for you to track how often the equipment is tested and this is very good in the terms of organizing and scheduling future testing. You will always have a clear picture of how safe the appliances are for usage.
Do You need to label the appliances that have been PAT tested?
Like in the previous case, there are no strict legal requirements for labeling the equipment that completed PAT testing, but this will certainly be useful for you. More precisely, it will be easier for you to manage and review the schedule of performed maintenance.
Does new electrical equipment need to be PAT tested?
When it comes to new electrical equipment, they all need to be safe to use right away and there is no better way to ensure this than to perform PAT testing. This will provide you an insight into the quality control of the appliances and whether the manufacturers did not make the mistake when developing the product.
Do You need an electrician to conduct PAT testing on the electrical appliances?
The only thing that is important is that the person who is performing this type of testing is competent and knowledgeable to do the task. Only in that way, the PAT testing will be correct. Therefore, it is better to leave this job to experienced professionals. There are different companies and individuals that are providing this type of service, so it is up to you only to find reliable and credible ones that know what they are doing.