PAT Testing London and Surrounding Areas
If you’re a business owner or a landlord, you are responsible for maintaining the health and safety of a your premises and testing of electrical equipment. You will need to follow certain guidelines and there are clear legal requirements in place – with good reason.
Not only are you responsible for the physical building, but also the type of equipment it holds. As a result, you are responsible for the health and safety of those who live in, work at, or visit the premises, whether they be tenants, customers, suppliers or even delivery drivers.
Why is PAT Testing Important?
In order to protect the safety of your assets, and the people within the property, the electrics must be thoroughly and regularly maintained. This is done via a range of inspections, including PAT Testing.
While these tests can be conducted by a competent member of staff in low-risk environments, they would need the correct technical equipment, and the knowledge to properly interpret the results. Therefore, it’s safer if PAT Testing is completed by a fully qualified electrical engineer.
What is PAT Testing?
PAT Testing or Portable Appliance Testing (PAT test) is done to verify the safety of every single appliance within the building that has any electrics in it whatsoever.
The outcome of our visual inspections and PAT testing is to show that the electrical appliances are operational and in safe condition to use and will be for the foreseeable future.
PAT Testing Categories
There are certain categories of items that should be subjected to regular PAT Testing, from IT equipment to extension leads, as well as:
- All handheld electrical appliances and test equipment
- All portable or movable equipment
- Any appliances which are stationary
- Fixed equipment or appliances
- Corded power tools
- Multi-way adaptors
- RCD extension leads and RCD adaptors
What Items Should Be PAT Tested?
The following items should be regularly PAT Tested to ensure they are functioning as they should:
- PCs and monitors
- Printers and photocopiers
- Kettles, microwaves and toasters
- Fridges and vending machines
- Heaters and radiators
- Power tools, such as electric drills
- Washing machines and vacuum cleaners
Why Do You Need to Conduct Commercial PAT Testing?
Business owners have a duty of care to ensure their employees and visitors are safe. Furthermore, any business owner will also want to protect their assets – the building, machinery and equipment within it – and any stock or items used to run the company.
Faulty electrical wiring is responsible for a staggering number of accidents, so maintaining the general well-being of all the electrical systems and appliances is crucial. Not only to protect the health of the people within the building, but also to protect the business owner from liability.
PAT Testing Legal Requirements
If an incident such as a fire occurs and you cannot show a proper record of safety checks conducted, you may be found liable. Your business insurance may also be void if you are found to have neglected basic safety measures.
Legally speaking, an employer must make sure all the electrical items within their property are effectively maintained. Aside from the legal obligations, there is of course a moral and ethical obligation to protect lives, too.
PAT Testing for Landlords – Why Conduct Residential PAT Testing?
If you’re a landlord and you provide appliances for your tenants to use, you are legally responsible for their maintenance. If a problem should occur, such as a fire, or a tenant gets a jolt from an item, you may be held liable if you cannot prove that you have maintained your appliances.
Portable appliance testing is one way to do so. We can carry out a visual inspection and comprehensive testing of all portable electrical and fixed appliances. Approval stickers will be affixed and an official PAT register will be produced.
What Happens During PAT Testing?
During your PAT inspection and testing, we will make sure that all the portable electrical appliances in use at your premises are safe. We will examine them to ensure they fully comply with the current Electricity at Work Regulations.
PAT Testing comes under those safe practices that ensure compliance, and it offers legal protection in the case of potential claims. Insurance companies also require regular PAT and EICR testing record keeping, which we can assist with.
Conducting a PAT Test
In order to conduct a PAT Test, the first stage is a visual appraisal of the item. This will allow the appliance testers to determine the overall condition of the item and problems might be immediately obvious, so faults and fire hazards can be avoided.
If the visual condition looks acceptable, the next stage is to carry out the electrical tests, which include:
- The earthing and grounding continuity
- The standard of insulation
- Main cord wiring
- Contact with exposed metal
PAT Testing Equipment
In order to ensure these tests are completed as thoroughly as possible, the technician from Hexo Services will use only the very best PAT Testing equipment. There might be some appliances that don’t require mains power and therefore the lack of connectivity will mean the tests conducted are a little more limited than those listed above.
Regardless of the situation, it’s usually the case that there is a basic pass or fail result given after user checks. However, when you use a more professional PAT Testing service, such as the one provided by Hexo Services, a great deal of additional information and data will be provided, so the issue itself can be isolated and rectified.
How Often Should PAT Testing Be Carried Out?
Depending on the type of equipment you own, and the environment in which it is used, the schedule for PAT testing will differ. For the most part, electrical items in low-risk environments, such as offices and hotels, should be looked at once a year.
Higher risk premises, such as gyms and construction sites, will need PAT Testing carried out far more frequently. Business owners are encouraged to take a risk-based approach to such matters and there is currently no formal requirement as to the frequency of PAT Testing.
PAT Testing Classes
There are three classes of PAT Testing for electrical equipment:
- Class 1 includes appliances with basic insulation resistance that rely on earthing for protection. These include office PCs and photocopiers
- Class 2 appliances benefit from extra insulation and don’t solely rely on earthing for protection. These include the likes of lamps and television sets
- Class 3 items are low voltage and therefore safer. They include items such as cameras and laptops.
What Do We Look For During A PAT Test?
When appliance test for earth continuity, we will verify the connectivity between the earth pin (the protective element) and the exposed metal parts of the plug in Class 1 appliances.
In order to check verify, the PAT tester will probe the exposed metal parts, once the item is connected to the portable appliance testing machine and a current is passed through. The current flows via the earth conductor, back to the PAT tester, so the results can show the resistance of this protective earth path.
How Does PAT Testing Work?
When the portable appliance tester starts insulation testing, the appliance is connected to the PAT testers. The mains plug sockets will then receive a test voltage of 500v DC and if all is well, will result in a high resistance reading shown on the PAT tester’s screen.
This will show high insulation, as desired. If there is a low level of insulation between the live parts and earth, this will also be shown and will be evident because the current flows via the protective earth conductor.
To measure the predictive conductor current, the PAT tester will connect to the appliance. The energising of the appliance will mean that current flows from the mains and goes via the neutral and live conductors that should both be neutral. If there is any kind of imbalance, this will need to be addressed.
PAT Testing in the Workplace
Whilst not a legal requirement as such, in order to keep your workplace safe, it is advisable to follow certain recommendations, so you maintain due diligence over this extremely important area. The expectations per industry are laid out below:
Offices, shops and hotels
All Class 1 test equipment should be tested every two years. This includes stationery and IT equipment. Anything movable, like extension leads or portable equipment, should be tested at least every 24 months. Any handheld equipment should be tested every 12 months as a minimum.
Public use equipment
Any moveable, portable or handheld equipment within the Class 1 category should be tested every 6 months as a minimum. Stationery and IT equipment (e.g. computers) should be tested every 12 months, and any Class 2 category movable, portable or handheld equipment should be tested every 12 months.
Any test equipment falling within the Class 1 category should be PAT tested every 12 months in schools, as an absolute minimum. All Class 2 type equipment should be tested at least every 48 months.
Any test equipment of 110V used on building sites should be tested every 3 months as a minimum.
Any type of industrial sites, including commercial kitchens, should have their portable and handheld equipment tested every 6 months. Furthermore, IT equipment, stationery equipment or anything movable should be tested every 12 months.
Why Choose Hexo Services for Your PAT Testing?
We can carry out expert-led PAT Testing at weekends and in the evenings, to prevent disruption or business downtime. We can also arrange to test all appliances in one go, or schedule them in batches across a given time period. We work to keep PAT testing costs low and make it work for you and your business.
Our expert engineers have an unmatched understanding of how to find safety defects during visual inspections, using the latest electrical testing equipment and accessories manufactured by Megger® and taking all necessary precautions.
Our PAT Services Across London and the South East
We offer PAT services across London and the South East, including:
- Visual inspection and testing for portable appliance testing: we will look at all portable appliances, including flex and plug tops
- Fuse and connection inspections: a thorough examination of the wiring within every plug
- Electrical applicance testing: each appliance will be submitted to a series of electrical tests to ensure that it is properly earthed (Earth Continuity Test, Class 1 appliance) and insulated (Insulation Resistance Test, Class 1 and 2 electrical appliances)
- Labelling: we will affix a label to all electrical appliances, indicating whether it has passed or failed, as well as additional information including the test date, re-test date and the Appliance ID number assigned to it
- Records: we will provide a detailed record for each appliance tested, as well as an inventory summary. These records will also be available in an electronic format
When you have your electrical inspection and appliance testing done by Hexo Services, you can expect all of the following and more:
Experienced Electrical Inspectors
- Fully trained and qualified, with years of user experience
- Helping you achieve electrical compliance for your business
- Minimising disruption and downtime
Fast Electronic Certification
- Reports are provided quickly in electronic format
- Expert explanation and assistance available
- Suitable for insurance and compliance purposes
- We hold £5,000,000 public liability insurance
- All our inspectors and engineers are DBS checked
- Health and Safety compliant with regular user checks
Fixed Price Services
- Fixed price quotations for all of our services
- No more unexpected cost over runs
- Easy quoting and ordering process
Complete Electrical Compliance
- Electrical Condition Reporting
- Emergency Lighting Testing
- PAT Testing
- Follows Government Guidelines
- Out of hours and weekends to minimise disruption
- Reminders when your visual inspection and testing is due
- Helpful advice available always
We are experts in all types of electrical appliance testing, including portable appliance testing for commercial and residential premises.
We always deliver a high-quality service and aim to ensure you comply with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Work Regulations 1989. We work flexibly to ensure our service works for you and there will be minimum disruption.
Our PAT Testing CostsOur PAT Testing Costs can be found here and it’s easy to make a booking.