One of the clients that we visited last week, was previously tested by us two years ago. Obviously we thought that we had lost the client when we sent our reminder for testing. However when we arrived on site this year after being contacted by them, we began to understand what had happened the year before …
What Should Your PAT Tester Do?
They had employed another testing company to do the work. It soon become apparent that this company had failed to even carry out the basic visual inspection. How did I know this? Well, when we check a plug, we open it to ensure that the fuse was the correct rating for the appliance, that it was seated in the holder tightly and that all the cables are the correct length and clamped in terminal holders correctly.
The number of times we have been asked “why are you opening the plug?” when we explain why, we have been told the company before didn’t!
Once we have carried out this simple visual inspection, we then seal the plug with a tamper evident seal. This indicates to our engineers that the plug may have been opened if the seal is broken. With moulded plugs we do not need to check the fuse again.
“On careful inspection of the previously tested items, not once did any of the plugs show that it had been opened and fuses and terminals checked!”
This is a basic visual inspection, which highlights that the company before us failed in their process of testing – letting the customer down – and potentially putting the client, their staff and even members of the public who attend the office at risk! This would be from either electric shock or worse still potential fire in the building.
A formal visual inspection should only be carried out by competent persons who can assess the appliance for its suitability for the environment or the nature of the work being undertaken.
More importantly, we always need to disconnect the appliance from the electricity supply to carry out the check on the plug. We also check the cable, the appliance (no cracks in casing) and even the socket being used.
“The number of times we find cracked or loose sockets! And all this before we even plug the appliance into our testing machine!”
Then we carry out the actual electrical tests on the appliance itself using our calibrated machines. The results are then stored and transferred back in our office to produce the clients reports and certificates.
In future, when you have your equipment tested, be sure to check that the engineer carries out the basic visual inspection and actually uses a machine to test the appliance. I have been told in the past that some engineers do not even ask for a computer to be turned off for testing so how can they do it properly?
Call us on 0330 6600264 if you want it done right!
Until next time …