Whilst you don’t really need to do anything to prepare your business for PAT Testing, it’s a good idea to at least be aware it’s going to happen and let your staff know.
If for no other reason than to reduce disruption. When staff don’t know who we are we get asked by everyone “who are you?” and we have to explain to them all who we are and what we do, and that doesn’t half slow things down, which in turn causes disruption.
If you can just tell your staff that we’re coming in on whatever day it is, and warn them that we will need access to their electrical equipment it’ll make all our lives much easier.
This article is intended to give some handy hints on how to best prepare your office, or other business for PAT testing.
In order to best prepare your business for PAT testing, you first need to know what is involved. This is the same for every industry, no matter what you do.
When we arrive on site our engineer will benefit from a tour of your facility – this is helpful for at least these 5 reasons – he can check sufficient time has been made available for the job, he can see your site and talk to you about any issues he foresees, such as appliances that can’t be turned off or equipment stored at height. He can also do a personal risk assessment, and an assessment of how best to conduct the testing, which can be discussed with you to minimise disruption.
In order to carry out a PAT test we need to unplug the appliance; so it can’t be used whilst we’re testing.
It would be a big help if the worker will leave their work area whilst we’re doing our job, it won’t be for long, depending on what equipment they have.
We’re going to unplug the appliance, open the plug, check it’s ok inside, check the power cord and the appliance all around it, and if necessary make any repairs. General repairs include repairing the existing plug or replacing it fully, replacing the fuse if incorrect or defective, checking the cord and if necessary repairing that. Any other repairs would be more in depth, so we’d speak to you about the best course of action.
If an appliance is beyond repair, or repair is not within scope for us, we’ll fail it, label it as failed and advise you on what action to take.
If anything cannot be unplugged you need to tell us – such as server systems. If we suspect something shouldn’t be unplugged, such as the server we will talk to you about the options available.
We check each mains powered part of an appliance. For example this includes the computer plus detachable IEC power lead – that’s 2 items, both are inspected and tested, in different ways, to check different safety measures. If an appliance is battery powered, we don’t test it, but we will test it’s chargers.
If there are more items to test than quoted for – we’ll test them and charge for the extras. The additional per item rate is on your estimate.
If an appliance is fixed to the mains – the plug has been removed and its now hard wired via a spur, we’ll do the best we can – this may simply be a visual inspection, or if possible a test for earth continuity. You should get this item properly tested (see fixed appliance testing) in line with your EICR; usually every 3-5 years from installation.
When we have done what is needed, we label the appliance, then put the parts back together and plug it all back in. We’ll switch it on and let the worker know we’re done. It’s all theirs again now.
On completion of the job our engineer will advise you of the next steps; they’ll conclude what has been done, tell you when to expect the report and anything else necessary. They’ll also ask you to review their work – if you can do that please we would appreciate it.
We issue the invoice with or after the Certificate, which should be paid on receipt, although we do give credit on request.