PAT Testing AtoZ – D is for DIY

I’m going to let you in on a secret today.

You can do your own PAT testing. You don’t need to pass an exam, you don’t need a qualification, you don’t need years of experience.

But it helps.

Doing

Most firms decide to try DIY PAT testing in-house to save money. That’s fine, and I fully understand it, but here’s the thing.

It probably works out more expensive.

For example, let’s take an office with 100 items. We would charge £110 for that testing.

For you to do the testing in-house, you need a PAT testing machine. You can either buy one with the intention of recovering the cost over several years, or you can hire one. For the best-case scenario, we’ll say you’ll buy a very cheap tester for £118 and use it for the next 10 years. That works out at £11.80 for your tester.

If you’re buying the tester, it needs to be calibrated every year. At £49.50 plus VAT.

Now you want to buy some labels. You can get 250 for £7.14 plus VAT, that’s enough for two years.

So far you’ve spent:

  • £11.80 on your tester
  • £59.40 on calibration
  • £4.28 on labels
  • £75.48 in total.

That leaves you with £34.52. If you’re only paying national minimum wage at £6.50 per hour, then your staff member needs to get your DIY PAT testing done in 5 hours or less for it to work out cheaper. But that doesn’t include the cost of any lost work. A reputable PAT tester should be able to manage that, as long as they are PAT testing regularly and the conditions allow it. But an inexperienced newbie will take longer, especially if they are trying to do the job properly.

Even if your minimum-wage employee manages to do the testing in 5 hours, what do you have to show for it? By choosing us, you’d be spending the same amount of money, with the following additional benefits:

  • No additional costs (for tester calibration, overtime, training, plugs and fuses etc)
  • No staff downtime
  • Free replacement fuses and 230v plugs where needed
  • Certificate of completed PAT testing
  • Full detailed report, which can be used as a maintenance and asset register
  • Records stored securely off-site
  • Free product recall advice
  • Free cable management advice
  • No hassle – we turn up and test when you want us to

IT

PAT testing IT equipment can also be a bit hairy if you don’t know what you’re doing. For example, an inexperienced PAT tester once put a rather well known mobile phone company in a very awkward position when he accidentally unplugged one of their servers. All our engineers have been testing for at least five years, so they know better than to pull a lead without tracing where it goes first!

There are currently a lot of recalled computers in circulation. A reputable PAT tester knows what computers have been recalled, and what the dangerous counterfeit chargers look like. How long will it take your employee to check your office computers properly, and to learn about all the electrical recalls we look out for?

Yourself

No matter who you choose to do your PAT testing, the responsibility is ultimately your own. You have to decide who is competent to check your electrical appliances. If you choose a cheap company who come in, slap labels on items, and walk out out without ever opening a plug, you are still liable if anything goes wrong. Of course, you could decide not to bother with PAT testing at all, in which case you are still responsible if anything goes wrong.

Or you can choose a good PAT testing firm – maybe a member of the PAT Testing Network, maybe just somebody your friend recommended. If something goes wrong, it’s still your responsibility – but it’s far less likely to happen, and you can prove that you’d taken all reasonable steps to prevent it. You can also train your staff to carry out user checks on the appliances they work with, which also helps. We’ve even designed a user checks poster you can download and distribute.

DIY PAT testing user checks visual cheat sheet by Skybur Testing

One final note: many companies try to add DIY PAT testing to the job role for the maintenance team. We’ve found that having it as part of a job usually means it doesn’t get done; the maintenance team simply has too much else to get through. If it does get done, it’s often bits here and there, as and when there’s time, and before you know it the PAT testing that should be completed every year for your insurer is three years behind in some parts of the building.

There are many ways to try and save money on your PAT testing, but the best way is to simply make sure you’re getting the best value possible. It’s going to cost you one way or another; why not pay to have it done properly and get a good night’s sleep into the bargain?

So for excellent service that takes all the hassle out of your electrical appliance maintenance, just give us a call on 07518 688 233 or drop us an email to hello@skyburtesting.co.uk. And don’t forget, you can find us on social media too!

Take care,

Adrian

 

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