Clients’ FAQs

Clients’ FAQs2021-07-05T13:46:27+00:00
How do we quote for a PAT testing job when you contact us?2021-07-05T13:11:28+00:00

When you contact us for a price, we take certain info such as the type of business, location, how many appliances etc. and from that work out a price for the job. As well as those factors we need to work out how long the job will take, how many repairs etc are expected and putting all that together gives us a price to work on.

We’ll then quote you at that rate. We may be able to negotiate, if necessary.

When you are ready to accept the price2021-07-05T13:13:12+00:00

When you are happy with the price offered, accepting it is easy – you just need to tell us. From there we will find a convenient date to carry out the work and book the job in.

Appointment booking2021-07-05T13:14:02+00:00

When the appointment is booked we’ll tell you; if more info needs to be sent out we’ll send you it but usually it’s not necessary or you can get the info from here.

 

Preparing for the appointment2021-07-05T13:18:06+00:00

The best way to prepare for PAT testing is to accept that we will need to access your electrical equipment, and when we are testing it you can’t be using it. So computers will need shutting down and users will need to leave their work area whilst we do our job. If you can cope with that it flows nicely.

If you’re business is office based, and people share desk space/banks of desks, it’s more than likely they will share extension leads so the full bank will need to come off. If this really isn’t possible, like we experience when testing the computers of Police 999 call handlers, then we will work with you to find the best solution.

For most people, its fairly easy to organise.

If you have equipment usually kept in drawers and cupboards; get them out ready – we don’t like to invade personal space by rummaging around, unless you tell us to.

Also, if you people working from home, or engineers with equipment in vans you need to make arrangements for them to come in to work, or we can go to them (additional costs will apply)

If you have any questions just ask.

What about the server?2021-07-05T13:21:43+00:00

The server is the problem… to test a server, it’s like any other appliance; it needs unplugging. But that isn’t always possible; you could arrange for it to be done outside working hours, or you could do what everyone else does, and get it visually inspected.

A visual inspection on something still plugged in is very basic, but sometimes is the best that can be done. However, this should not be done every time for years and years; at some point the server will need shutting down for a proper test. Usually this should be every 5 years from installation.

If your server isn’t a big server in a rack in a special room, but is just another computer in the office, make sure it can’t be accidentally switched off. Lockable socket covers are a great idea to prevent this.

We will never switch off a server; it’s up to you to shut it down and start it back up.

What if something needs repairing?2021-07-05T13:24:55+00:00

If something needs repairing, we’ll try to do it.

In-scope remedial work for PAT includes:

  • Repairing or replacing the existing plug
  • Replacing the existing fuse
  • Repairing the existing flexible cable
  • Basic repairs to the appliance

If anything else needs doing like replacing the full lead, or specialist repairs to the appliance additional work is needed. We may be able to replace the full lead but we will quote you for that work; and if the appliance needs specialist repair you’ll need to organise that.

If an appliance needs repair, it will fail our tests – you will need to get it repaired, and retested by us before it can be updated on the report, and be put back into service.

We have some ‘fixed’ appliances, can you test them?2021-07-05T13:29:12+00:00

Appliances that have been fixed to the mains are different, but we can still help you.

If you have a portable appliance (has a plug on) but remove the plug to hard wire it to the mains, usually via a fused spur unit, it will need testing.

When we are doing the PAT, we will check it for earth continuity, but not insulation. To do an insulation test we need to isolate the power (turn it off) and remove the appliance’s wiring – this is going to cause a lot of disruption to you, so may need doing out of hours.

A full fixed appliance test, is not part of PAT, but is part of inspection and testing of electrical equipment, and should only be done by a person competent in safe isolation, which most PAT testers are not.

We can do this for you, but not at a per item rate. For this service we charge our hourly rates. We recommend you speak to us about your options, probably best whilst we’re on the job. If we come across a fixed appliance we will recommend what to do.

How quickly can we get the PAT Certificate?2021-07-05T13:31:13+00:00

You can get it the same day if that’s when you need it.

In most cases we send the PAT Certificate within a few days; we do say we’ll get it to every client in 5 days but in particularly busy periods it may take a little longer, but we do keep you updated.

If you need the report faster, like the same day, that can be arranged, but we will need you to pay the engineer before he leaves site.

How do we pay the invoice?2021-07-05T13:33:21+00:00

Within a few days of the job we will send your invoice; this may come before or after the report.

The invoice should be paid on receipt, although we do give up to 30 days automatic credit.

Invoices can be paid by BACS (bank transfer), cash, or by card via PayPal (you don’t need a PayPal account). Sorry but we do not accept cheques.

An appliance has been missed on the PAT test visit2021-07-05T13:35:35+00:00

If something has been missed, let us know so we can come back to test it. When tested we will add it to the report.

If the mistake was ours, we will do this without charge.

If we get there and find it was tested, and is labelled, you will be charged the attendance fee.

If it got missed because it wasn’t on site, or was hidden in a cupboard or drawer for example, then a new attendance fee will be charged plus the price per item

We have bought something new since the last test, does it need testing before we use it?2021-07-05T13:36:57+00:00

It’s accepted that you get a year’s grace on a new appliance in a normal working environment; so if you have bought something new you should be ok, but to be safe we always recommend you do get it tested before use.

 

How often do we need PAT testing?2021-07-05T13:42:26+00:00

This is the hardest question to answer; answered more easily when we see the job, or after.

PAT testing frequency causes many arguments and discussions but ultimately it comes down to this – how big the risk of the appliance getting damaged or used incorrectly, is? 

If the appliance could get easily damaged, then it will need testing more often than something that won’t get much damage.

For example, a computer on a desk in an office, probably won’t get moved for a few years, so what’s the chances of it developing a fault? Not much. So it won’t need testing as often as a drill on a building site.

Why most people get annual PAT testing

Most people get PAT done annually because it’s preferred by insurers, accepted by Health and Safety, and usually the cheapest option. 

Under Health and Safety at Work you are responsible for ensuring electrical equipment maintains safety standards; how often you do that is worked out by a competent person doing a risk assessment. The Assessment needs doing on every appliance type and working environment at your site; it can be quite extensive. 

The assessment should show how often appliances need testing, how often they need inspecting and so on. 

Or you can do what everyone else does who can’t be bothered to do that – just get it tested annually or based on our guidance. 

In low risk environments like offices you could get a high proportion of your equipment done less often – PC and monitors that never move – the chances of them developing a fault are extremely small, so we may be able to put them on a 2-3 yearly frequency… but some equipment will need doing more often. 

This is how we tend to do things…

Option 1: we retest everything every year 

Option 2: we put appliances on a retest period based on HSE/IEE guidance periods with no risk assessments in place; different appliances/different environments on different frequencies and we manage that for you. There is an initial set up cost dependent on the size of the job. 

Option 3: you do own risk assessments or get them done by someone else and tell us what equipment to test, and when. 

 

Do you remind us when our next tests are due?2021-07-05T13:43:42+00:00

Yes we do. Every month we send reminders out by email to every client who’s PAT is expiring in the next 8-12 weeks. We’ll offer a date to come in to do the work, all you need to do is accept it or suggest a different date.

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