PAT Testing FAQs

There is a lot of confusion around PAT Testing, your responsibilities, frequencies etc. Here are a selection of our most Frequently Asked Questions surrounding our PAT testing service, if you have a query not covered in this section please feel free to call us on 0330 6600264 or email [email protected]

What If I Buy Something New?
New equipment does NOT need to be tested – providing that you buy your equipment from a reputable supplier. The testing that has been carried out by the manufacturer is in any case stricter than that which is carried out during a PAT test. It’s a good idea to make sure that every new appliance is added to your inventory so that it can be tested next time you have a routine check – but there is no reason why you can’t use it in the meantime 
What Does PAT stand for?
PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing. 
What is Portable Appliance Testing?

Portable Appliance Testing is a process by which your equipment is routinely inspected and tested to see if it is safe.

Portable Appliance Testing is a process by which your equipment is routinely inspected and tested to see if it is safe. Every year, about 30 people die from coming into contact with electricity, and many more are injured. About a quarter these accidents involve portable appliances. By testing items of electrical equipment, we should be able to spot faults before they have a chance to harm anyone, the interval between tests depending on both the type of appliance and the environment it is used in. 

What is a Portable Appliance?

Any electrical appliance that is connected to the electrical mains by a cable and plug is classified as a portable appliance.

Any electrical appliance that is connected to the electrical mains by a cable and plug is classified as a portable appliance, and will therefore need periodic PAT testing.  In practice appliances less than 50v are deemed low voltage and therefore require no formal inspection.

The name suggests that the appliance should be ‘portable’, in reality any appliance that can be moved without unwiring is categorised as a portable appliance. As well as static equipment such as PC monitors, the guidelines cover electrical appliances owned by employees who use them at work, as these can obviously cause harm to those who use them and others in close proximity.

The regulations apply to all appliances as if they were the property of a business that are being used during working hours. They include the following appliances: – photocopiers, fridges, mobile phone chargers, fax machines, computers, music systems, heaters, irons, PA systems, drills, kettles, microwaves, monitors, ovens etc.

Why do we need our equipment testing?

Contrary to what others will tell you, there is NO specific legal requirement to have your equipment tested. However, there IS a legal requirement for all employers and self-employed people to make sure that their equipment is SAFE. The best way to do this is to inspect and test it on a regular basis, and this is why there is an expectation that testing will be carried out.

But remember, the law makes it quite clear that the employer or self-employed person is responsible for health and safety. There are a number of reasons why appliances should be PAT tested on a regular basis, but the most important ones are:-

How much will Portable Appliance Testing cost?
The pricing structure is based on the total number of appliances to be tested. This is a simple system so you know clearly in advance just how much your testing will cost. We tailor our quotes to a company’s individual requirements, bearing in mind the type of business environment and the type of equipment to be PAT tested so we can be as competitive as possible. We endeavour to beat any genuine quote. PLEASE NOTE: When estimating your number of items to be tested please remember a personal computer is made up of four parts, a monitor, its base unit and two mains power cords. 
What needs to be tested?
As a general rule, you should test everything with a mains plug. There are, of course, exceptions, but portable appliance testing does not, for example, involve testing the mains installation within a building. Confusion sometimes arises over appliances that are connected directly to the mains, especially large industrial equipment but also appliances such as hand driers in washrooms. Although these appliances may not come under the definition of “portable appliance” they do still need to be checked and inspected by specialist electrical engineers.