What appliances need PAT testing?

There are 2 main factors to consider to determine whether or not an electrical appliances requires a PAT test…

  • The electrical ‘classification‘ of the item, and
  • The ‘category‘ of the item

The class of an appliance helps to determine whether it needs testing for earth and insulation, just insulation, or simply requires a visual inspection. Some appliances, class 3 for example, don’t even need the inspection. 

Electrical appliances are generally categorised into 3 classes:

  1. Class 1 – regarded as the most dangerous, has only basic insulation for protection and so relies on earth protection
  2. Class 2 – these appliances have extra, or double insulation and so doesn’t rely on earth protection, making it safer
  3. Class 3 – these appliances are low voltage, or battery operated, and are the safest of all electrical appliances – they rarely need a PAT test, although an inspection may be recommended for some items. If they have charging leads and adaptors – they will need testing. 

Class 1 Appliances

Class 1 appliances carry this symbol:

The following appliances are usually class 1

Photocopiers IT power (IEC) leads
Washing machines Extension cables
Fridge Freezers Electric heaters
Vending machines Computers
Bench grinders Monitors
Steam irons

Class 2 Appliances

Class 2 appliances carry this symbol

Double insulated symbol

This symbol is usually referred to as the ‘double insulated’ symbol

Class 2 Appliances include

Desktop printers Food mixers
Desk lamps Hair driers
CD players Hair straighteners
DVD players Vacuum cleaners
Power drills

Class 3 Appliances

Class 3 appliances carry this symbol

A class 3 appliance is designed to be supplied from a separated/safety extra low voltage (SELV) power source (usually a power lead and adaptor)

Examples of class 3 appliances:

Laptops Low voltage IT units
Mobile phone chargers AC Adaptor plugs