Portable appliance testing is referred is short as PAT or pat testing or pat inspection. In the United Kingdom, this is a process by which electrical appliances are checked routinely to assure safety. Actually this entire process involves in-service testing and inspection of electrical equipment.
People make use of electrical appliances and it is expected by the health and safety regulations of the state that the appliance should be safe so that there is no harm to the workers. The equipments that are in many types need regular testing at intervals and this is essential to ascertain continual safety. This interval is based on the appliance type and the environment it is put to use.
Procedure during PAT test
A PAT test comprises of a visual inspection of the cable and the equipment. There are many companies doing Pat testing in Kent and their main work is to check for damaged cable check the plugs for burn marks and they also check if the plug is wired correctly and the fuse offers correct rating.
On completing the checking, a series of tests is done with PAT Tester to ascertain insulation resistance, earth continuity, polarity test and earth leakage test, based on the appliance class.
Appliance requiring testing
There is IEE Code of Practice that specifies the Electrical Equipment In-Service Inspection and Testing and this Code of Practice entails testing of appliances or equipments:
- Portable Appliances: Appliances that are less than 18 kg and is anticipated to be moves in operation or appliances that are moved easily from one place to another such as food mixer, toaster, fan heater or vacuum cleaner.
- Hand-held Appliances: These are also portable equipments that are intended to be hand held during regular use and this includes soldering iron, drill or hair dryer. These appliances plugs undergo PAT test.
- Movable Equipments: This relates to equipments that are less in mass or 18 kg and are not fixed such as equipment with wheels or electric fire. This also includes equipments that facilitate movement while in use such as an air conditioning unit.
- Stationary Appliances: These include appliances having mass over 18 kg and do not feature a handle to carry such as washing machine or refrigerator.
- Equipment or appliances for building: The equipment to be installed in a ready recess such as your cupboard or anything similar. Equipment for building in that features no enclosure on all the sides such as built-in electric cooker. This requires more protection from electric shock that may arise due to the surroundings.
- Business equipments: The business equipments include computer, telecommunications equipment, besides general business use equipments such as electric plotters, processing machines, data terminal equipment, telephones, typewriters, power packs, photo-copiers, printers, VDUs and trimmers.
- Extension Leads: The extension leads use is best avoided whenever possible. However, if in use, it should be tested as the portable appliances. This is recommended as it is a core lead and it is expected to have a protective earthing conductor.