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PAT Testing: Frequently Asked Questions

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What Is Portable Appliance Testing?

A Portable Appliance Test (PAT) is an inspection of electrical equipment and appliances. PAT testing is done to make sure that they are safe and ready to use.

The majority of electrical safety flaws are found through visual examination, however, certain flaws can only be detected by checks via specialist equipment.

PAT testing is a vital part of electrical maintenance. Brief user inspections are valid for checks done in shorter intervals. However, for systematic checks, this inspection is what picks up on the unknown, otherwise invisible, electrical issues. A combination of formal visual inspections, performed by professional electricians, with specialist equipment makes for a comprehensive and informative report.

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Is PAT Testing Legally Required?

It’s complicated.

On the one hand, you have the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. These regulations require that you maintain and keep safe any electrical equipment that can potentially cause injury.

On the other hand, said guidelines are somewhat vague. The regulations do not specify what checks need to be performed to certify this safety. Nor do they say who should do them or how frequently they should be done.

So, what does all of this mean?

Technically, PAT testing is not legally required, nor is any form of inspecting electrical appliances, let alone their frequency. However, if you are found to have done no such testing and an accident occurs, then you could be held legally responsible for it.

Most employers, tenancies, and other miscellaneous institutions use PAT testing to demonstrate their commitment to safety.

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How Often Should I Get PAT Testing For My Electricals?

As mentioned, there is no legal requirement dictating the frequency with which you should get this inspection. However, regular checks is recommended. How often this takes place depends on the tools in question.

For more information, check out the government guidelines on maintaining portable electrical equipment.

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Should I Test New Electrical Equipment?

No. New electricals will have already been tested for functionality and safety at the end of the manufacturing process. Look over the equipment when you first receive it to make sure it hasn’t been damaged in transit. However, aside from that, the equipment should be fine as long as it is within warranty.

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Contact Us

For trusted and reliable PAT testing, contact our experienced, qualified, and certified team at KS Electrical Solutions.

Our team is fully certified under the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) and boasts decades of experience.

To find out more about PAT testing and how it can safeguard your business and property, contact us today.


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