portable appliance testing visual inspection

What is PAT Testing and why do we do it?

Health and Safety is a huge part of our lives, especially in the workplace. When we go to work, or visit a workplace we assume we’re going to be safe for any aspect of danger. Electricity is a killer if not handled correctly, and at work all aspects of electricity are managed by the Electricity at Work act.

The act places responsibility on business owners, managers, etc. to ensure all electrical installations and equipment are safe and up to standard. This includes everything contained in the installation, such as the fixed wiring, consumer units, lights and sockets and everything that is powered by them, namely the electrical appliances.

Electrical appliances include those that are ‘portable’ and those that are permanent or specialist. Permanent appliances such as showers, and specialist equipment like three-phase plant, electro-medical and static are managed by others, but portable, which is any appliance that connects to the power by plug and socket, is where we come in.

If you need fixed wiring inspections carried out, emergency lights tested or fire extinguishers serviced get in touch as we can recommend approved contractors for all these services.

(when we say ‘PAT Testing’ we may be referring to inspections and or testing; the term is used for ease of understanding)

Portable appliances connect to the power supply using a plug, which may be the standard 3-pin that we all use daily, or more specialised plugs including yellow 110v, blue non-standard 240v and his voltage 415v red plugs.

  • Standard 230 volt plugs
  • 110 volt yellow plugs
  • 230 volt non standard plugs
  • 415 volt red plugs

These appliances, plus appliances that have had the plug removed and connected to the mains via a fused spur, come under the jurisdiction of the PAT testing engineer.

  • We can also check appliances built in kitchen appliances

Using specialist knowledge and experienced we gain a level of competency that we use to carry out a visual inspection of the appliance and where necessary we perform additional tests using a portable appliance testing machine; if the appliance passes all of these checks it will pass pat testing.

If at any time a fault is found, we will aim to repair it, or if not possible, we will fail it and recommend further action be taken.

The process will then be repeated after an appropriate interval of months or years in the future, depicted by risk assessment.

Portable Appliance Testing is carried out on any appliance with a plug or manufactured to have a plug including those that are built in, stationery, movable, hand-held and IT.  

Carrying out appropriate inspection and testing of the appliance will find any faults or dangers, which will be dealt with, thus reducing the risks of an accident occurring. This confirms that you have taken action to ensure the electrical equipment you provide is maintaining a safe standard, and thus helping you comply with the regulations.

You are responsible for safety in your workplace

Contracting a PAT testing engineer to manage your appliance maintenance however, contrary to popular belief, does not relinquish your responsibility; you are responsible for choosing the contractor to carry out your PAT testing, and for the thoroughness of their work. When you choose a PAT tester make sure you are confident about the standard of their work – choosing the cheapest option is not likely to be the best service. 

Also remember if you choose to use a national supplier, and something gets missed you’re going to have to pay a large callout fee to get them back; you also won’t get the personal rapport you get with a local supplier like us.

Understanding PAT Testing prices

A good PAT testing engineer has a wealth of experience and is able to provide you with the peace of mind that he will have found any faults and dealt with them, but don’t expect him to come cheap. In most cases a good engineer will demand at least £1.50 per item pro-rata; that’s not to say we’re going to charge you a fortune either – our price is fair and based on many factors including time on site, admin, travel, other costs, labour, number of appliances, etc. Prices for a good PAT testing engineer are similar to those of an electrician.

The people who do it for less than £1 are usually cutting a lot of corners, and rushing through their job, which is where mistakes are made and errors are missed… so remember; if you choose the cheap option, a fault is missed and there is an accident, it is YOU, not the PAT tester who will be held responsible.

  • We don’t charge for repairs
  • We don’t charge to replace faulty plugs and fuses (standard type)
  • We don’t charge extra to do microwave emission checks

We provide high standards to help you be sure we’ve done an efficient job.

We don’t offer cheapest prices, guarantees or price-matches, the price we charge reflects the high standards we provide. We don’t rush through our work, ensuring when we say an appliance is safe we are sure it is. Get in touch and we’ll show you what we can do; most of our competitors will charge a rate and do the same thing every year, we don’t operate like that, we know we are providing an important service and offer peace of mind to our clients.

We’ll keep things simple and make the process easy for you

You don’t need to worry about what needs doing or how it’s done, we’ll manage that for you (by working with you); we use industry leading equipment, and provide you with simple reports that don’t baffle you with meter readings, although we do store recorded results in our database.

We can recommend intervals in-between tests appropriate to the risks of your environment, we can even provide you with written risk assessment documents to support the programme we implement with you (price on application). Alternatively, we can keep it simple for everyone, keeping insurers happy, by doing annual PAT Testing.

We take on all kinds of work

We work with small businesses including shops, cafe’s and hair salons, and bigger companies like hotels, large offices and schools, we work for manufacturers, industry and on construction sites – we work in various environments so please don’t hesitate to contact us about your PAT testing needs.

What needs PAT Testing?

The level of inspection and testing required depends on the risk associated with the appliance use for the environment it is being used in. For some appliances an inspection every few years is sufficient, whilst others need a monthly test.

Why you need PAT Testing

Portable appliance testing (PAT Testing) carried out correctly is widely regarded as the best way to ensure electrical appliances maintain a safe operating standard; we carry out PAT testing in accordance with the recommendations of the Health and Safety executive and the IET Code of Practice, and the standards of the PAT Testing Network’s working practice, to ensure that our clients get peace of mind.

  • We follow HSE recommendations
  • We follow IET Guidelines
  • We follow PTN Standards
  • We are City & Guilds qualified and have completed the PAT Testing Expert course