What needs PAT Testing?

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
By |2019-10-01T20:58:32+00:00February 24th, 2014|Frequently Asked Questions|Comments Off on What needs PAT Testing?

About the Author:

I am Richard Ayre; editor for this site, owner of the site and the business, and a PAT testing engineer with over 10 years experience. I consider myself an expert in testing IT equipment in office environments; I have worked in many different industries for hundreds of different clients testing all kinds of electrical equipment. I am also Operations Director for the Portable Appliance Testing Trade Association As well as being the business owner I am also an employer; based in Wallsend near Newcastle upon Tyne. I am also involved in the running of the Portable Appliance Testing Trade Association as Operations Director and joint founder. "PATTA" attends important meetings and provides representation for the smaller businesses that do PAT testing in the UK, when decisions are being made that affect them.