What needs to be PAT Tested?
INSPECTION & TESTING OF ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT
Regular inspection and testing of electrical equipment, is an essential part of any preventative maintenance programme and helps to ensure that equipment is safe, as well as functional and available. While maintenance is legally required it also helps prolong equipment life and efficiency, which result in financial benefits to the owner. Equipment can deteriorate due to a number of factors, including damage, wear and tear, corrosion, excessive electrical loading and environmental influences.
The additional benefits of pro-active routine maintenance also include reduced downtime, extended lifecycles, warranty protection, increased user confidence levels and in some cases, improved performance.
What Needs PAT Testing?
Equipment that should be tested includes items such as electric drills, PCs, monitors, printers, kettles and larger pieces of equipment such as photocopiers and vending machines. Any cordless power tool would not need to be PAT tested. However, its associated battery charger that plugs into the wall would need to be tested.
Larger, seemingly non-portable items, that nevertheless require testing, include items as heated towel rails and built-in dishwashers. These items qualify as they also plug into a power source.
Power cords to IT equipment are required to be tested separately from the equipment they power as they are held to a different standard. Cable extensions are also tested as they are considered among the most common sources of safety hazards.
How often equipment is tested depends upon its type and the environment it is used in. A power tool used on a construction site, for example, should be examined more often than a lamp in a hotel bedroom.
Appliance Categories for PAT Testing
The categories for appliances are:
- Mobile Equipment – including desk lights, toasters and fan heaters
- Stationary Equipment – such as workshop equipment like bench grinders, IT racks and server bays and vending machines
- Fixed Equipment – such as hand-dryers, wall heaters, electric towel rails, audio-visual equipment and projectors
- Hand-Held Equipment – such as hairdryers, floor polishers and power tools
- Built-in Appliances or Equipment – which includes items like cookers and refrigerators
- IT Equipment – such as laptop power supplies, monitors, computers and printers
- Leads – extension leads, adapters, RCD adapters and electric vehicle charging leads
- Office furniture with built in electrical sockets
This is not a comprehensive list but a brief guide based on the latest Code of Practice 5th Edition published in 2020. For more information, please get in touch.
Items that don’t need testing
Generally, equipment should be checked in accordance with this Code of Practice unless it comes within an installation electrical maintenance regime or other specialised maintenance process.
Examples of such equipment may include, but are not limited to:
- Equipment where other maintenance programmes are in place
- Lifts and passenger conveyor systems
- Medical equipment