FAQs – Frequently asked questions about PAT Testing
PAT Testing FAQs
There could be hundreds of PAT Testing FAQs but we have chosen the most popular for this page; each question links through to another page on this site giving a more thorough answer should you require it.
We always recommend though, save yourself the time – simply email or call us to ask your questions.
A PAT test is like an MOT; it’s as good as the day it is done. An electrical appliance can be damaged later that day or any time after, making it unsafe, which is why it is good practice to retest as often as a risk assessment recommends, and to ensure you are doing your own in-house checks before use. Checking appliances regularly ensures any faults are found and dealt with, hopefully before they become a major issue, but by doing so you should be doing enough to satisfy investigators in the event of an accident. That is why we PAT test. PAT, or Portable Appliance Testing is a process to make sure electrical equipment fitted with a plug is safe to continue using, and is an important part of health and safety.
You need to PAT test electrical equipment as often as your risk assessment suggests, or the HSE guides, whichever method you choose. Some people prefer to get equipment tested annually to save the bother, whilst easier, this may not be the best option for you. Read more on our PAT testing frequency page.
This depends on the job requirements, we always recommend you contact us to discuss your requirements, from which we can provide you with a PAT testing quote. Our average price is just 90p per item
Not usually, new items do not need testing if you are sure they are from a reputable supplier however if you have the slightest doubt, and by the fact you are asking the question there may be an argument to recommend that new items are PAT tested for you.
We do recommend that you register new appliances with register my appliance, to be notified if any recalls are released for your new items.
It depends on your company policy but most would say no; guidance suggests not; that new electricals need PAT testing – providing you are sure the appliance is from a reputable source. If so it should be British Standard, and should have been safety tested before leaving the factory. If you get appliances tested regularly new equipment will be picked up by the tester when the next testing period begins. For further guidance refer to the HSE or your speak to us directly.
You are legally required in the UK to operate a business or organisation in line with the regulations, requirements and guidance of Health and Safety. Where electrical safety is concerned we have to consider the:
Not complying with these regulations is very serious and can result in fines, even imprisonment. One of the easiest and most recognised methods to help you comply with these regulations is PAT testing.
The law requires employers and the self employed to ensure that all electrical equipment that they provide for their business is safe and correctly maintained. As PAT (portable appliance testing) confirms safety it should be an important part of your health and safety regime.
A PAT test Certificate is like an MOT – it’s only as good as the day it is done; it confirms that the equipment listed was tested, and passed at the time it was tested. After that it is up to you to maintain safe equipment, until the next time it is tested, which is dependent on a risk assessment. (read more…)
If you are sure they came from a reputable supplier than they shouldn’t need PAT testing. New equipment should be safe when manufactured, and are tested before leaving the factory, so there should be no need for you to have to PAT test them before using them (read more…)
It depends on the situation; if there has been an electrical accident at work and you can’t prove that your electrical equipment is safe; it is possible you will. (read more…)
Surge protectors is designed to protect electrical equipment from voltage surges, and they should be used to protect important equipment (more…)
PAT Testing has been systemically carried out in the UK since the 1980s because it is seen as an effective way of minimizing electrical risks in the workplace.
Periodic PAT testing helps organisations to follow Health and Safety Regulations, such as The Electricity at Work Act (1989) and the UK Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (1998).
By having a managed programme for inspection and testing you are more likely to find and deal with potential electrical problems before they become too much of a major issue.
Electrical systems and equipment left unchecked are likely to degrade which could lead to further issues – both financially and in terms of health and safety legislation.
When the plug can’t be accessed we can carry out an earth continuity test on the appliance, using the nearest socket or spur.
If the appliance is wired directly into the mains, we can also test that, but there is a bit more involved in that process so see our page on Fixed Appliance Testing.
It is always recommended that the equipment of other users of your facility have their equipment tested – how do you know it is safe otherwise? If their equipment starts a fire will your insurers validate the claim?
Electrical equipment should be tested inline with a risk assessment.
Risk assessments should be carried out on the electrical equipment you use, to determine the most appropriate testing procedures.
We do not turn off or shut down server systems – it is up to you to do that.
We recommend you make arrangements for your server to be shutdown to be tested either for this appointment, or we can arrange a more convenient out of hours solution. A server system should be tested at least once in five years.
If the server can’t be turned off (or has been tested once in the last five years) we will carry out the best visual inspection we can on each part of the appliance.
We may carry out a thermal survey on the server – we don’t provide you with images of this, unless excessive hot spots are detected
We don’t turn back on servers that have been turned off – its up to you to do that
Yes; we do not do this as standard, but if you require microwave ovens testing, let us know.