What Does PAT Testing Stand for?

As electrical service professionals, a question we have to answer very often is ‘What does PAT testing stand for?’.

PAT testing is a term used to describe a process of checking portable electrical appliances to make sure they are safe to use. It is also known as Portable Appliance Testing. A PAT aims to prevent accidents due to electrical shock or injury. 

An expert can find out the most common defects in electrical appliances through visual inspection. But some can found only through tests.

Which Appliances Need a PAT Test?

In simple terms, any appliance that has a cable and plugs into a wall should undergo a PAT. According to laws in the UK, there are seven categories of appliances that need PAT testing or visual inspection at least. They are:

  1. Fixed appliances like vending machines, industrial machinery, etc.
  1. Stationary appliances such as washing machines, tumble dryers, refrigerators
  1. IT appliances like floor-standing printers, desktop computers, photocopying machines
  1. Moveable appliances like lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, drilling machines
  1. Portable appliances such as irons, electric kettles, toasters
  1. Cables and chargers for mobile phones, laptops, and other gadgets
  1. Handheld appliances like hairdryers, flat and curling irons, beard trimmers

How is a PAT Test Done?

A full-scale PAT is a combination of a visual inspection and a thorough check using special equipment. The appliances are checked for earth continuity, resistance to insulation, and lead polarity. Depending on the nature of use, some appliances only need a visual check or an insulation check. After the PAT testing, an appliance is marked Passed or Failed. 

At IPF Electrical, we keep a record of every test we conduct. We immediately photograph any fault we find during testing and send it to you. You can let us know whether we should repair the damage or replace the part, if possible.

Is PAT Testing Compulsory?

A PAT is not compulsory. But according to current laws in the UK, businesses need to maintain electrical equipment in safe conditions. They are also responsible for the safety of their employees and the general public. PAT is an easy way to meet rule especially in high-risk and large, complex environments. 

Nowadays, insurance companies also ask for PAT testing reports while settling claims to ensure there was no foul play involved in case of an accident.

In case a company fails to meet the required electrical appliance safety standards and an accident occurs because of that, it can lead to 2 years’ imprisonment or an unlimited financial penalty. The final decision depends on the severity of the situation.

How Often Should Electrical Appliances Undergo a PAT Test?

There are no specific guidelines on the frequency of PAT. The regulations only mention that you must take precautions according to the level of risk. 

Experts recommend taking into account the following criteria while deciding the frequency of PAT testing –

  1. The level of risk in the environment where the appliance is used
  1. Its electrical class
  1. Its electrical category
  1. Manufacturer’s recommendations
  1. History, years, and frequency of use
  1. Effects of any modifications or repairs

What to do if you Need a PAT Test?

If you have old electrical appliances that need a PAT or have bought news ones that you have not gotten tested, all you need to do is give us a call. Our team is always there to help you. Our engineers will ask you relevant questions about your appliance and decide the kind of PAT testing it will need. If needed, they will even visit you and conduct an on-site assessment. 

To Conclude: What Does PAT Testing Stand for?

At IPF Electrical, are a team of experienced professionals who believe in honesty and ethics. We are a one-stop solution for any and every electrical need. We design and install new electrical systems with as much ease as we repair existing ones. A combination of training and experience help us handle most electrical or testing issues.

Our pricing policies are open and honest. We also believe in a fixed costing structure. This means, once we give you an estimate, we stick to it. There are no surprises at the end. So, get in touch with us for PAT testing and also tell us if we can help you with anything else!