Socket testing – is it really necessary?

Socket Testing – is it really necessary?

Socket Testing – is it really necessary? Your electrical wall sockets should be tested by an electrician when they do an electrical installation certificate report; you hope they were installed correctly and so it’s just a case of checking them every 3-5 years in a business premises. 

However not all electricians check every socket when they’re doing the tests; so some PAT companies will check them for you. 

Which is a nice service to offer – those sockets get installed then may never get checked again until years later when something goes wrong or they need changing; but if they’ve been wired up wrong this may go unnoticed until something goes badly wrong. So some PAT companies use this to get some more money from you. 

Some PAT companies will charge you to do it. 

But charging you for something that takes seconds to do (in the way they do it) is pushing it a bit, if it were a sensible charge like 50p a socket it may be acceptable but they charge astronomic figures; mainly to bump up their overall fee because they’re charging such a low per item PAT fee to win your business. 

It’s actually a really simple process they do – they’ll plug in a ‘socket tester‘ to the socket and it will light up and beep to tell the tester that the socket is wired up correctly, or not, and then they will tell you. Watch our video to see. 

Your likely to be told that all your sockets are fine, or that the odd one has a fault. You may even get a little certificate. But is it really worth the money you will pay? 

Before you arrange your PAT Tests; are you being charged for socket testing?

A socket and see socket tester that can be used to check electrical sockets are wired correctly

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. 

Some PAT companies don’t charge anything to test sockets

One of the most regular mistakes people make when choosing a PAT tester is to only focus on the price per item. 

If there initial price per item is cheap, expect to pay for a host of hidden extras like socket tests, replacement plugs and fuses, and microwave emissions tests – all at vastly over inflated prices. 

We don’t charge to replace plugs or fuses so that we’re not inclined to replace when it’s not necessary, to make some more money; and we don’t charge to test sockets because it takes no effort to test them. 

In fact when we unplug an appliance, sticking a socket tester in the plug for a few seconds whilst we check the plug we have just removed, is no hardship for us. 

Don’t be taken in by what appears to be a cheap PAT testing offer

Check the small print before booking your PAT Testing; make sure you’re not paying for anything that you can get free elsewhere

By |2020-01-09T20:20:33+00:00March 5th, 2018|Health and Safety|Comments Off on Socket testing – is it really necessary?

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.