Cheap PAT testing
Let me explain about cheap pat testing, what you get for your money…
To PAT test any electrical appliance there needs to be a sequence followed:
- Every appliance needs a visual inspection including checking the plug, the pins, the terminals, the fuse, the cord grip, the flexible cable’s full length and the appliance itself.
- Then depending on the appliance it needs 1 to 3 separate tests for earth, insulation and polarity.
- Then assuming all that was ok it needs a further functional check to make sure it works
- Then some appliances also need a load test.
Now get an appliance that is near you and repeat that process; how long did it take you? A thorough inspection, plus the tests should take a couple of minutes to complete. Add in a few repairs and that time increases. So based on 2-minutes an item, that’s a maximum 30 items an hour. That’s assuming everything is close at hand, there is nothing to move and no moving around to do, and no people to wait for.
So if that is 30 items an hour, in an 8 hour day that would be 240 items. Take into account lunch, and a break or two and we’re looking at 200 items.
So how can some companies expect their engineers to hit 4 or 500 items in the same period? Cutting corners that’s how.
We recently interviewed a guy for a job, he was working for a national company and he was expected to hit 500 items in a day to make target, and that didn’t matter whether he had one place to go to or 6. He had a massive area to cover too, and didn’t get paid to travel. We pay our engineers for their travel time. When I asked him, “but how do you have time for repairs?” He said they didn’t do them – because they didn’t get paid to repair!
PAT testing is an acceptable form of preventative maintenance – if the engineer is not doing repairs then he is not maintaining, so you are not getting the service you pay for. He would simply pop on a fail label and move on to the next appliance; without a word.
We repair the appliance, and if we can’t, we report it to the contact on site and advise what to do with it.
When a good quality PAT tester can achieve around 200 items a day, and do his repairs, that’s why the price reflects the quality of the work – a price of around 75p to £1.00 per item is acceptable. If the engineer owns the business he is making a decent income, and if the engineer is employed he makes his wage, and is paid for the quality of his work rather than the quantity.
Lets compare that to that company mentioned in the interview. That company charged its customers between 40p and £1.00 per item depending on the job, and paid the engineer 20p per item. They don’t pay the engineer travel time or fuel but supply an old van and a fuel card, so the engineer doesn’t even get a bit extra off the fuel expenses. The engineer has to work extremely hard, extremely fast, and taking into account his travel can easily work a 12-16 hour day. This person frequently had to travel 3 hours to get to a job, then test 4-500 items then drive home. He basically ran the tests through the machine as quick as possible; he didn’t do visual inspections because they took too long, he didn’t test every appliance either. If he had a bunch of computers and screens he’d test one multiple times and pretend they’d all been tested; the same with power leads. He openly admitted to driving between jobs running tests on his meter to make up the numbers, or if using a manual machine he said he made up the results almost every time. This isn’t a one-off; this happens a lot of the time. This is a major issue with companies paying engineers peanuts.
This guy was being paid 20p an item; if he hit 500 items he would get £100.00 pay, before tax, so he’d come out with about £90.00, and have worked around 15 hours, which is £6.00 an hour – far less than the minimum wage! Do you agree with that? Because if you are using the cheapest bidder then you are encouraging slave labour.
Whilst all that is going on, that company is charging you, lets say 70p an item and you think you’re getting a bargain… it’s costing you £350.00 for a guy to put 500 stickers on your items and do little else. By the time he leaves you are no better off.
Remember, you are still responsible too, for health and safety in your workplace – if there is an accident it is you in trouble not him!
I was one of the founders of the Portable Appliance Testing Trade Association; we founded the association to raise awareness of the issues in the industry, mainly caused by cowboy like companies who offer these low rates and bad standards. You may think you are getting a bargain but in fact you are not.
Have you heard about the guy that bought a pair of jeans because they were reduced from £500 to £250? He got a bargain; no he didn’t – he spent £250 on something he didn’t need.
If you spend £250.00 on PAT testing you expect to get equipment tested, inspected and repaired where necessary, and you expect to get peace of mind that your equipment is safe. However, if you had paid the full price you would have got that; paying the cheapest bidder’s rate you didn’t. Of course I can’t guarentee that everyone charging full price is doing a better job, and I do know of some people charging less who do a great job but you need to make sure you know what you are going to get.
Check out testimonials of previous customers to make sure you’re going to get a great service and keep an eye on the guy doing the work.
Is he opening plugs?
Is he testing every appliance?
Is he talking to you and giving advice on ways to improve safety?
I have come across instances where the PAT tester has tested an entire call centre without a single person having to shut down their PC!
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE
You are responsible – are you aware of that?
It doesn’t matter if you have contracted someone to do a job; you are responsible. You are responsible for choosing the right company, and for that company doing the work right, and if there is an accident afterwards, you are still responsible!
What you get with us
When we test your equipment we repair it as we go, and we talk to you about any major issues. We discuss how often your equipment should be tested too. Our PAT Test Certificates show the electrical readings we got when we did the tests, and our engineer’s work is quality checked before being signed off.
Our focus is not on offering cheap pat testing, but offering value for money.
We don’t charge for repairs; we don’t charge to replace plugs and we don’t charge to replace fuses. But that doesn’t matter – we charge a sensible price for our testing so those costs are covered, and our engineers are paid a good hourly rate, and they are paid for travel time plus fuel costs.
Our engineers are trained to work for quality not quantity. The importance of providing an excellent service is paramount to use; we expect our engineers to fault find and either fix or offer an alternate solution, not to just forget it and move on. We’d rather an engineer spend 15 minutes on one appliance, getting it safe for continued use, at a cost of £1.00, than test 100 items in an hour and make us 100 quid!
With us you get a great service, high standards and the peace of mind that your equipment is safe for continued use, and that you are compliant with the regulations.
DRA PAT Testing – your local pat testing company
I wanted to introduce myself, as I feel it is important that you know who I am and who you are booking – I’d want to know that if I were you. I am Richard Ayre, the owner and Director of this company, DRA PAT Testing, which I founded in 2009.
I am a PAT testing engineer with over 10 years experience, qualified by City and Guilds for inspection and testing, trained in electrical maintenance and installation (Part P and Safe Isolation) and competent to test all types of electrical equipment with plugs, fixed to the mains via a spur, up to 415 volts including three-phase – so I can do everything you need doing.
I also employ 2 engineers full time, who are also experienced with similar skill-sets, trained in my ways of working and use 2 local electricians when needed. When we book a job I’ll tell you who is coming, as I feel you need to know that – we all wear the same company branded clothing.
From early on it has been my intention for the company to be well recommended, so I believe that every client should get an excellent service. I assure you that whether I do the work, or one of the team you get the same exacting standards. We strive to help you to maintain a safe working environment and to comply with workplace regulations.
Our work gives you peace of mind that your equipment is safe and being used appropriately; we carry out repairs automatically, minimise disruption and guide you in the most appropriate retest periods based on the risks and policies involved.
Furthermore, I also need to make sure we are totally transparent in our work, providing a great service, as I am a Director for the national standards raiser the Portable Appliance Testing Trading Association.
How long does a PAT Test Certificate last?
Whilst we’re on the subject of quality let’s quickly look at how long does a PAT test certificate last? It depends how well you look after it! We send ours as a PDF document by email so that you can keep it safe.
A PAT Certificate shouldn’t have a retest date on, because a certificate, like any certificate should only show the date it has been issued.
The report, may recommend retest dates or periods but they are not set in stone – you need to do a risk assessment to determine what measures need implementing to ensure equipment stays safe. We can do this for you, at no extra charge, saving you money long term too.
Need a PAT Test Certificate?
We can provide you with a PAT Testing Certificate Report after we have completed the inspections and testing of your electrical appliances, so to proceed you first need to book an appointment for the work to be carried out.
Our PAT Testing Certificate Reports include all the information you need to show that you are trying to prevent electrical accidents from occurring, including electrical test results.
We do better than Cheap PAT Testing
We don’t do cheap PAT Testing; we do cost effective inspection and testing at a high standard that give you peace of mind that your equipment is safe.
For the record; we’re not expensive either, our prices reflect our work.
Give us a try, you may be surprised how reasonable our prices are.
We offer a cheap PAT testing price offer; low cost portable appliance testing service for offices, schools, shops, etc. in the North East of England.
Send us the offer you have been made by another company and we will review it for you; if we can beat it we will, or we will show you where we can improve on their offer. I would rather guide you and you go elsewhere than you risk your employees lives by choosing the cheapest bidder every time.
We are here to help your business comply with UK safety regulations through effective portable appliance testing, and by giving good advice.
Whether you need PAT testing done for your health and safety policy or because someone has told you you need to get it done we can help.
Perhaps you need it for a third party like your insurance company, or fire assessment – whatever your reasons we can help, and on completion we’ll be able to issue you with your PAT test certificate.
We do PAT tests in all kinds of workplaces including schools, doctors surgeries, care homes, offices, factories etc for standard 230v type electrical appliances.
We cover all of the North East providing our cheapest PAT testing prices to save you money where it matters. Our prices are listed below, to arrange your PAT testing at these rates simply complete the following form with your price preference and we will be in touch to book you in for an appointment.
We are a fully established company, with over 10 years experience, DBS checked and fully insured.
We also offer free guidance on retest periods and how to improve electrical safety in your workplace.