faulty electrical wires

Electrical Contractors: What Is PAT Testing

Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the assessment of electronic equipment usually performed by electrical contractors to ensure that they are safe for use. Here we answer some frequently asked questions about the service.

So, what is involved?

A full PAT test consists of a visual inspection and then a specialist assessment using testing equipment. Electrical contractors will firstly look at the appliance or piece of equipment, searching for any obvious damage or faults that can be seen. This could be exposed wiring, broken casing, or damaged plugs. If anything is found, this should be fixed as soon as possible. Specialist equipment is then used to carry out further checks that evaluates if the appliance is in working order and is safe to use.

plug being plugged in

 Is PAT Testing A Legal Requirement?

Whilst PAT testing is not a legal requirement, it helps to abide by the current UK legislations. The obligations of businesses is to keep electronics maintained well and in a safe condition. PAT testing is a simple solution to abide by these laws, which is why it’s recommended for businesses.

How Frequently Do Electrical Contractors Need To Test My Electrical Appliances?

The regulations in place for keeping equipment maintained in a safe condition do not specify how often this needs to be done. The time between testing can differ depending on the environment’s level of risk, the item, and how often it is used. This could range from annually to every 4 years. For example, office buildings won’t have items moved around very often and there is very little specialist equipment used. In contrast, construction sites are high risk as this can be a chaotic environment and specialist electronic tools are used frequently; these should be looked at often.

plugs after pat test

What Can Be Tested?

Anything with a plug can be PAT tested. Items come under various categories and classes, and this impacts how often they should have this test. Class 1 equipment needs full PAT testing; class 2 needs an insulation test; and class 3 doesn’t need to be tested at all. Class 1 appliances usually include, but not always, things like photocopiers, microwaves, heaters, irons, and kettles, for example. Class 2 could include appliances like drills, televisions, and hair straighteners. Class 3 category includes laptops, phone chargers, and cameras.

If you’re unsure of when to get PAT testing, ask your electrical contractors and they will be able to provide more specific insights.

Contact Us For Reliable Electrical Contractors

If you or your business require any electrical tests, maintenance, repairs, or installations, get in touch with RCD Electrical today. We can carry out the necessary assessments to ensure that the equipment used is safe to use.

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