Electrical Socket Testing & Replacement
We all hope that sockets have been installed by a sparky that knows what he is doing, so the chances of a wiring fault are low, so is there a need for you to be charged £39.99 to have a socket tester plugged in to every socket? Probably not.
However, there is a good chance that a socket has been broken or damaged, and thus will need repair or replacement, and that is where your PAT tester comes in.
Sockets do get broken, we see it a lot, and if we find a broken socket we’ll tell you. We can even fix it for you; providing you’re happy for the power to be turned off to do the job, so we may need to arrange to do it out of hours.
Internal damage to the socket connectors is often caused by your users, either from using appliances with plastic pins that are not suitable for use, or metal pins with the incorrect dimension for a British socket.
For example plastic ‘socket protectors‘ or ‘socket protective covers‘; wrongly used in educational establishments are not made to any British Standard and the pin dimensions tend not to comply with BS1363, which often results in internal damage to the socket outlet contacts or their own pins braking off and getting stuck in the socket. For this reason they are not recommend.
If we come across a socket damaged in this way, we will report it to you. As mentioned before, we can repair it too.
However, if you want us to check every socket for you this will take time, so there is a charge, but we don’t charge £39.99 as you may only have 3 sockets, or you may have 100; so we don’t charge for the first 10, after that we charge 50p per socket checked; or we may come to another agreement.
This video shows how socket testing is conducted using a plug in socket tester; as you can see it takes seconds to do. We don’t usually charge to do it, but if your site is particularly large and you really want us to test every socket then we will have to agree a fee to do it, as say 100 sockets will be time consuming.
Socket Testing – is it really necessary?
Socket Testing – is it really necessary?
Well yes, and no… A socket is installed by a competent electrician, who we all hope has wired it correctly. It shouldn’t need a PAT tester, who generally has less qualifications and electrical understanding than the electrician, to check the work.
However, if you have had say a maintenance person doing odd jobs who may have made mistakes then maybe it is. But there is more likelihood of your sockets becoming damaged from contact with heavy objects or misuse, then from a wiring fault.
So in most cases a visual check is usually sufficient.
When we PAT test, we have to unplug an appliance, and so in doing so we are looking at the socket and will notice any damage. If there is damage we’ll report it; if we can fix it, we will.
If you have lots of sockets, we may charge you to check the ones we’re not unplugging from – but only if you ask us to do that service, we don’t do it as standard.
When an electrician does your EICR – the periodic inspection he will likely check a selection of sockets, and in doing so will be checking the wiring in the circuit; there shouldn’t be a need for us to check the wiring of every socket – especially as it wasn’t necessary for the sparky to do that!
Now you need to watch out, as some PAT companies out there include small print and then test every socket, charging you a fee; how much of a need is there for them to do that? Except to get some money from you.
What we tend to do is only test sockets if you ask us to, and the rest of the time if we spot a broken socket we tell you; we may even be able to replace it for you.
You can actually do this yourself; just buy a plug in a ‘socket tester’, plug it into the socket and it will light up and beep to tell you if the socket is wired up correctly, or not. Our video above shows you what is involved in socket testing.
Some PAT companies charge £10 per socket!
Some PAT companies will charge you as much as nine or 10 pounds to do this!
Think about what that means; if you have 10 sockets in your office that’s an extra £100.00 onto your bill – you can buy your own socket tester for about a tenner and do it yourself!
I’m not suggesting what they’re doing is pointless; far from it – checking your sockets is important, after all the wiring may have been done incorrectly, but one check once, report it and get it fixed, it shouldn’t need doing again. Not every year that’s for sure!
But you also don’t need to pay a fortune for it to be done.
Check the small print before booking your PAT Testing; make sure you’re not paying for anything that you can get for less elsewhere, or isn’t necessary.