PAT Testing AtoZ – H is for How

There are three main questions that nearly every customer asks when they contact us; how do I know it’s being done properly, how long will it take, and how often do they need their testing done. So this week I thought I’d address those questions in one place!

How do I know it’s being done properly?

This one’s easy. Use the checklist on our What to Expect page. Any firm worth their salt will be doing all of these things, and if they aren’t then you need to know why. We’ll also ask different questions of your site contact, depending on the nature of the site (if all areas are public there are different needs to sites where the public only get as far as the reception desk; large sites might have different areas in use at different times of the day, and so on.) These questions might seem a little odd, but they’re all part of Getting it Right First Time!

How long will it take?

This is a question which is difficult to answer. In ideal conditions we expect to test 180-200 items in an eight hour day, assuming that there are no issues such as accessibility. Testing an office over a weekend or at night when it’s unoccupied is usually much quicker than testing a production facility during working hours. Some sites ask us to do a sit-and-wait service so that their employees can bring appliances to us such as tools and chargers; some may have everything switched off and unplugged in preparation for our arrival.
So ideally, we aim for around 200 items a day; however, safety is more important than speed and we will not cut corners to test more quickly.

How often should I have my appliances tested?

This is one which we cannot answer for you. It is your responsibility to decide how often your items need testing; this is why PAT testing firms aren’t supposed to use labels with retest dates on them any more. We can offer advice, however; the higher risk an item is, the more frequently it should be tested. Appliances using heat or water, such as hair tongs and pressure washers, are classed as higher risk than items which remain plugged in in one place, such as fridges; however both are lower risk than power tools used on construction sites which are often used hard and thrown into a box at the end of the day. Frequent user checks¬†and referring to results on previous PAT testing reports can help you monitor degradation on your appliances (which is why we don’t just do Pass/Fail reports but give you all the results) to determine frequency of testing. You can also use this cheat sheet to help you.

Risk factors to consider when thinking about PAT testing frequency
All these factors increase the risk of your appliances. The higher the risk, the more frequently you should think about testing the item.

If you have any other questions, or to arrange for us to come and satisfy all your PAT testing needs, please contact us on 07518 688233, via our contact page, or through the social media links at the bottom of the page.

Until next time,


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