Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) Service
AC Gold Electrical Services Ltd are specialists in Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) and provide a professional, efficient and reliable PAT testing service aimed to cause minimal disruption to the daily activities of our clients, their tenants, staff or building occupants.
We provide managed and unscheduled Portable Appliance Testing (PAT Testing) services for a range of customers from large commercial offices, through to housing associations, letting agents and private landlords who want to make sure their rental housing stock is compliant with electrical regulations.
PAT Testing Process
The PAT test covers any movable electrical equipment that the landlord or building owner has provided as part of the tenancy (refrigerators, toasters, televisions, etc.) and must be carried out by either a registered electrician or any someone who has completed the appropriate training as a PAT Tester (which can include the landlord).
During the Portable Appliance Test AC Gold Electrical will carry out minor remedial works such as changing incorrect sized fuses and remake or replace damaged plug-tops – therefore enabling us to pass appliances which would otherwise unnecessarily fail.
Anything appliance that fails to pass the electrical safety inspection or PAT test must be replaced or repaired immediately.
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) Scheduling, Documentation and Record Keeping
We use a straight forward and effective administration system for all portable appliance testing carried out. This system provides an easy and effective solution for organising your electrical maintenance records and scheduling hassle free, future repeat testing.
Whether you are a business, local authority, letting agent or private landlord, AC Gold Electrical Services Ltd have an electrical inspection and testing service which ensures you effortlessly meet all of your legal, health & safety and insurance obligations.
- Electrical Inspection and Testing
- Test Labels placed on all Appliances
- Full Computer Generated Test Results
- Results Sent to Client in Paperback and/or electronic format
- Minor Repairs to Flex and Re-wire of Plugs
- Free Replacement Plug Fuses
- Free Re-tests if done on same day as test
You can get independent information about PAT Testing and your legal responsibilities by visiting pat-testing.info.
Portable Appliance Testing FAQ
Common examples of portable appliances include computers, phone chargers, photocopiers, printers, heaters, televisions, electric hand dryers, kettles, vacuums, fans, drills, work tools, fridge / freezers and extension leads etc.
All electrical appliances connected to a plug needs to be maintained in a good safe working order, even if you cannot physically move the appliance.
- Hotels & guest houses
- Public buildings
- Construction sites
- Other public accommodation including leasing
- University accommodation
- Tourist centres
- Industrial premises
- Nursery schools
- Fitness centres
- Letting agents
- Any business with staff and/or members of the public who have access to portable appliances
The Law requires that electrical equipment at work be maintained in good, safe working order. Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is the most common way of complying with the regulations outlined in the following sections.
Health & Safety Regulations
Portable Electrical Appliance Testing was introduced to ensure that all places of work and accommodation conform with the Electricity At Work Regulations, introduced in April 1990 under The Health And Safety At Work Act 1974.
Portable Appliance Testing is an important part of any health & safety policy.
The Health & Safety Executive statistics reveal that 25% of reportable electrical accidents involve portable appliances.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 place a legal responsibility on employers, employees and self-employed people to comply with the provisions of the regulations and take reasonably practicable steps to ensure that no danger results from the use of electrical portable appliances. This requires a systematic and regular program of electrical maintenance, inspection and testing.
The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) places such an obligation in the following circumstances:
- Where appliances are used by employees
- Where the public may use appliances in establishments such as hospitals, schools, hotels, shops etc
- Where appliances are supplied or hired
- Where appliances are repaired or serviced
The legal requirements for the inspection and testing of portable electrical appliances
The legislation of specific relevance to electrical maintenance is:
- The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
- The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
- The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 puts the duty of care upon both the employer and employee to ensure the safety of all people using the work premises. This includes self employed people.
The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 state:
“Every employer shall make suitable and sufficient assessment of:
(a) the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst at work, and
(b) the risks to ensure the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him or his undertaking.”
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 state:
“Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is so constructed or adapted as to be suitable for which it is provided.”
The PUWER 1998 covers most risks that can result from using work equipment. With respect to risks from electricity, compliance with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 is likely to achieve compliance with the PUWER 1998.
PUWER 1998 only applies to work equipment used by workers at work. This includes all work equipment; fixed, transportable or portable, connected to an electrical source of energy. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 does not apply to fixed installations in a building. Instead, the electrical safety of fixed installations is dealt with only by the Electricity at Work Regulations.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 state:
“All systems shall at all times be of such construction as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger.”
“As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger.”
“System” means an electrical system in which all the electrical equipment is, or may be, electrically connected to a common source of electrical energy and includes such source and such equipment”
“Electrical Equipment” includes anything used, intended to be used or installed for use, to generate, provide, transmit, transform, rectify, convert, conduct, distribute, control, store, measure or use electrical energy.
Scope of the legislation:
It is clear that the combination of the Health And Safety At Work Act 1974, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 apply to all electrical equipment used in, or associated with places of work. The scope extends from distribution systems down to small pieces of electrical equipment.
- The Law requires businesses and public places to maintain the safety of electrical appliances
- You can be prosecuted if you do not comply
- Appliances will be safe for employees, clients and others to use
- Faults will be rectified ensuring productivity of appliances
- Appliance testing will find safety faults on appliances that otherwise would not be found
- Insurance companies may require the testing of appliances
- Don’t wait until it’s too late. Good maintenance and a regular appliance inspection and test will help to prevent future and unexpected problems
What dangers could occur in portable appliances?
From experience, appliances in the workplace are often found to have the wrong fuse rating inside the plug top. This can result in appliances failing to automatically switch off if a fault occurs, leading to potential electrical fires and the risk of shock.
Dangerous and lethal electrical wires in the plug top and in the flex may be exposed, frayed or not tightened to the connections properly, putting staff and the public users of the premises at risk of electric shocks and fires.
Appliances with have metal casings rely on an earthing connection between the outer casing and the earth connection in the wall socket. This earth connection is often incorrectly connected or broken meaning that the electrical appliance is not earthed and can result in an electric shock to the user if an electrical fault occurs.
It is important that a system of regular electrical inspection and maintenance is employed to reduce the risk.
Every portable appliance tested during a PAT test by electrical contractor AC Gold Electrical Services Ltd is visually inspected to check the condition of the plug, flex and body of the electrical appliance. In this visual inspection we will inspect the electrical device for damage including frayed flex or cords and/or flex cords taped up to cover unauthorised joints, flex wiring pulled away and exposed from the internal casing of the plug, signs of overheating on the flex and internal wiring inside the plug, cracked and damaged plugs including loose and faulty wiring connections inside the plug.
A high number of electrical appliances fail the visual inspection because they have the wrong type of fuse in the plug, loose plug connections, exposed wiring at the plug and damaged plugs. As part of our PAT test service we will repair minor faults free of charge, allowing the appliance to pass the visual inspection and cause minimal disruption to our client.
PAT testing procedure
When we are satisfied that the electrical appliance has passed the visual inspection, a series of tests using the latest state-of-the-art testing equipment are carried out to detect hidden faults and potential hazards. This ensures the electrical safety and good working order of each portable electrical appliance.
Industry standard tests are carried out using Portable Appliance Testing equipment to test the following:
- Earth Bond Test: Tests the metal casing of equipment to confirm the integrity of the appliance earth conductor. A high AC current of 10amp or 25amp is passed between the earth bond terminal and the earth pin of the appliance.
- Earth Continuity Test: When testing IT Equipment such as office computers, it is undesirable to use the high current Earth Bond Test as this could damage the equipment. On IT equipment our testing procedure involves testing the equipment with a low current earth continuity test. A low current (200 mA DC) is passed between the continuity terminal on the testing equipment and the appliance’s test socket earth pin.
- Insulation Test: An insulation test is carried out on all equipment to verify that the insulation resistance is correct and sufficient between the appliance wiring and internal components. In this test a 500 volt direct current (DC) supply is used to test the insulation resistance.
- Operation Test: This test will start up the equipment being tested as if it were normally plugged into a 13 amp socket outlet. This test will verify the power consumed by the appliance, which we check against the manufacturers rating stamped on the appliance. This also determines if the correct size of fuse is inserted in the plug top.
- Earth Leakage Test: During the Operation Test we will also discover if any electrical current is flowing to earth. Appliances usually have no earth leakage current. The appliance tester can also detect earth leakage in Class 2 (Double Insulated) appliances which enables account to be taken of all leakage paths to earth (such as through its mountings or by user touch/contact) rather than just that flowing in the earth wire.
- Flash Test: Dielectric Strength Test is not a routine test and is rarely carried out. The test stresses the asset insulation and is usually only carried out if the appliance has been completely overhauled and is being put back into working service.
Both visual inspections and instrument tests are carried out in accordance with guidelines and testing procedures laid down by the IEE Code of Practice for Inspecting and Testing of Electrical Equipment.
Following testing, each appliance will be labelled “PASS” or “FAIL” and we will provide you with a detailed electrical test certificate and a full register of your portable electrical appliances.
This certificate may be used for your own records or for your insurer’s records.
Should an electrical accident occur on your property, the test certificate contained in the logbook, which is produced by AC Gold Electrical Services Ltd is invaluable evidence that you have fulfilled your duty as a responsible employee or landlord to prevent electrical accidents. Electrical Appliances should be tested regularly – in many cases it is sufficient to test appliances annually.
Portable Appliance Testing work is carried out by our experienced and qualified electricians (BS 7671:2008 17th Edition Amendment 3:2015) who are trained in our PAT testing procedures and have experience carrying out Portable Appliance Testing in a variety of busy work environments.
Scheduling your PAT Test so you stay complaint
After your first PAT inspection and testing service, AC Gold Electrical Services Ltd can arrange to contact you shortly before your next PAT test is due to help you stay electrically compliant. We can even use our past records to issue you with accurate quotations and time scales.
Visit Our Showroom
The AC Gold renewable energy showroom in Stirling offers an opportunity to see a range of renewable energy systems on display including solar PV, off-grid power solutions and a range of domestic biomass log and pellet boilers.
11 Back O'Hill Industrial Estate, Stirling, FK8 1SH
Mon-Fri: 9am - 5pm