So what is PAT testing? PAT stands for portable appliance testing and is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use and safe within the environment they are being used. This ensures the protection of staff and customers who are on the business premises or, in the case of landlords, of the people who are renting property.

A portable appliance is an electrical item which can be moved so simply put what is PAT testing and what items do you have to have PAT tested are; you need to test everything with a plug!  These include items such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, office equipment such as; printers and computers, garden equipment to name just a few!  Remember the simple rule is anything with a plug needs testing!

Who can PAT Test? A person deemed competent can be a PAT Tester, this could be a qualified electrician or technician with suitable experience and training.

Our PAT testing engineers can show you exactly what is PAT testing. A relatively brief user check (based upon simple training by our engineers and assisted by the use of a brief check-list) can be a very useful part of any electrical maintenance regime, which can be performed ‘in house’. However, more formal visual inspection and testing, normally annually, by a competent person is highly recommended to help you adhere to health and safety requirements. Using pat testing equipment the following tests are included; earth continuity (for class I items) and insulation resistance testing.  Our engineers are qualified and experienced, they use specialist testing equipment which performs specific electrical tests to establish the appliances are safe and that it is working within recognised guidelines for safety.  Many electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing, it is therefore of utmost importance to use a qualified and experienced engineer to ensure these tests, both visual and electrical, are done properly. 

What is PAT testing and is it a legal requirement? The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. However, the Regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently.  Although PAT testing itself is not a legal requirement, PAT testing has become an industry standard to ensure that you are complying to this regulation. In fact many insurance companies and rental agents insist on annual PAT testing on all electrical items. A risk assessment method can be used to determine the frequency of how often testing should be performed.

failed plug
This shows the importance of checking inside the plug.

Once you have booked a PAT test appointment, our engineer will come at the allotted time and will explain about What is PAT testing and they will test each item putting a sticker (pass or fail) with an identity reference number, date of testing and the initials of the tester. Where necessary, they may also give you additional advice on specific items if they pose possible problems or actions.  After the test, via email, you will receive the following:

  • An inventory containing each appliance type, name, location and description
  • A full set of test results for each appliance tested
  • A full list of any failed items with an explanation of their failure
  • Additional advice any appliance (if applicable) 
  • PAT test certificate

We will also let you know when your PAT test renewal is due, normally in a year, and we will message you one month before the renewal to remind you to book a renewal appointment.

If you have any questions regarding What is PAT testing please do contact us.