PAT Testing for your Hertfordshire Business
Hertfordshire PAT Testing is your established service to help you comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (Free PDF HERE)
If you’re a new start-up, or a local office looking to ensure compliance, we’re here to advise and help.
Our customers include:
- Small home offices (Computers/Screens/Printers/Desk Lights)
- Bands (PA Systems, Mixers, Power Supplies, Lighting, Keyboards, Power Distribution)
- DJs (PA Systems, DJ Controllers, Lighting, Power Suppliers, Power Distribution)
- Beauticians (Wax Heaters, Hair Dryers, UV Curing)
- Small Factories (Hand Tools, small Heaters, Computers, Printers, Plotters)
- Crafts (Hand Tools, Lighting, smaller Heaters, Computers, Printers)
These small businesses benefit from our honest and free advice and testing services in and around Hertfordshire.
Contact us for a competitive Quotation,
Do you need your electrical equipment tested for electrical safety?
- You have equipment that is “portable”?
This is typically items that can be unplugged without any special tools. Good examples are Kettles, Electrical Hand Tools, Computers (Laptop Power suppliers, Monitors, Printers etc), and industry specific equipment that is mains powered (PA systems, Lighting, Hair Dryers, Clippers etc)
- You have no other testing regime in place to ensure compliance with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. compliance is a legal requirement.
- Members of the Public, Staff, Contractors or Suppliers may come into contact with your electrical equipment.
- You have equipment that is “portable”?
How Frequently do I need to have the equipment tested?
This will form part of your risk assessment and will vary with the business and equipment.
An office Photocopier/Printer that is rarely moved and is in good condition will require far less testing than an Electrical Hand Tool in a busy factory.
Many busnesses will opt for a standard 12 month test cycle, but onus is on the business to risk-assess this and determine the best test cycle for their needs.
We can help advise and also provide training on on-going visual checks.
What happens if there is a test failure?
We will make all reasonable efforts to get the equipment to pass. This can include replacing the plug or fuse, or if there is damage to the flex, shortening it.
If the equipment is clearly not able to pass without a major repair, it will be marked as a Failure. This will be listed on the test report and should be immediately taken out of service until it can be repaired or replaced.
Do I need to test new equipment?
A formal test is not required in most cases, but a visual check should be performed and recorded. If the equipment is from a reputable Brand and UK supplier, the visual check should be sufficient.
If the equipment is 2nd hand, or imported from countries that may not adhere to our quality standards, the item should have a formal test.
A visual test should:
- Ensure the equipment is marked with a CE or BS mark.
- Ensure the case is not broken or have hole that allow fingers to touch internal electrical parts.
- Check the fuse is correct for the device rating and is a correct BS 1362 type.
- Check the main cord is of correct quality and provides good protection from exposing conductors. This can be a fairly common problem on imported, low-cost equipment.
- Check the equipment functions as intended before putting into use.
- If the item is battery powered (Laptop/Hand Tool etc), then regulary checking the battery for damage is important. Swollen batteries should be removed and correctly disposed of as they can be a fire risk.
For companies where staff are regulary using electrical equipment, it is good practice to have a procedure of regular internal inspection and quarantine for any equipment that may require repair.
What equipment is not tested?
Not all electrical items are tested. If there is any doubt as to the safety of these items, we’ll be able to advise as part of the service.
The most common items are Laptops. Most Laptops run on low voltage (typically 19VDC) and so the charger is checked. The actual Laptop is not mains powered.
- Low Voltage/Battery Powered equipment. Torches/Battery Hand Tools, Tablets, Laptops etc. The chargers/power supplies for these devices ARE tested.
- Permanently wired appliances. i.e. Kitchen Ovens, Lighting, Heating that are permanently wired.
- Items that are left permanently powered and testing would cause a business risk/loss. This will typically be servers/racks where there is limited controlled access.
- Medical devices, these have their own rules and fall outside of our service.
What does the PAT Test involve?
Whilst the work may appear to be a bit of a black art, the basics are pretty simple and mainly common sense.
A Visual Inspection. This is a stage that is often skipped, so ensure your existing tester actually does this.
- Check the item for damage. A broken or cracked case is dangerous.
- Check the power cord for damage. Splits, cuts will expose live conductors over time.
- Remove the plug top, ensure the wiring is correct (unless the plug is moulded) and the fuse is an actual BS 1362 Type and not a dangerous copy.
- Check labels for power rating, CE/BS and the new UKCA Compliance.
- Connect the device to our test equipment.
- Set the test equipment to the correct operational mode. Class II devices have no earth, Class I devices will have an earth, Power Cables (4-way blocks/extension reels etc) have different settings.
- Identify a suitable earth connection (if appropriate)
- Test for Earth Continuity. This ensures that the Earth point is of good quality with a low resistance path to the Earth Pin on the Plug. If the earth continuity is missing or of poor quality, the device would pose a risk of electric shock if it were to develop a fault.
- Test for Insulation. This test will ensure Live and Neutral are not connected to Earth.
- Enter a Description into the test equipment and ensure the test data is recorded.
- Disconnect test cables.
- If the test is a PASS, adhere a green PASS sticker to the appliance, marked with a unique ID and test date.
- If the test is a FAIL, adhere a red FAIL sticker to the appliance. The item should be imminently removed from service until a repair/replacement is made.
From the above list, it’s clear that if a company is performing a high number of tests per hour, corners are being cut.
A proper visual inspection is usually the longest part of the test and if your tester is simply plugging the equipment into their test appliance, with no visual the test is leaving them, you and anyone that comes into contact with your electrical equipment at risk.
Most of our failures are detected during the visual check. Our service will include a free minor repair where possible so the equipment is left safe and re-tested as a PASS.
PAT Test Report
This is a formal document, created by our system. We use the excellent “Simply Pats” software to automate report creation and management, allowing use to pass on efficiency savings.
Test data is downloaded from the equipment and our test report will show the resistance values for each test.
We’ll typically email our invoice and on receipt of payment, the test report will be issued via email.
The invoice and report can also be issued whilst we are on site.
When the time comes to re-test, we’ll have your contact details on our system.
We are also able to re-issue documents quickly, should they be required for your insurance or HSE requirements.
Free Minor Repairs
We test because sometimes, items fail. If they never failed, we would not need to test.
But we recognise that a failure comes with inconvenience and cost implications for most business.
Where possible, we’ll endeavour to provide minor repairs. Most of the time this is a simple re-wire or re-make a connector.
Other times, we’ll fit a new plug or cut back damaged flex where it’s been damaged.
The photo below shows a dangerous cord, this was hidden from a casual glance, but picked up by our inspection. The repair was easy and the equipment was able to be used once the re-test was complete.
There was NO additional cost to the customer.