Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

  1. Visual Inspection: The process typically starts with a visual inspection of the appliance. This involves checking for any visible signs of damage, wear, loose connections, frayed wires, exposed conductors, cracked casings and missing parts.
  2. Electrical Testing: After the visual inspection, electrical tests are performed using specialised PAT testing equipment.
  • Earth Continuity Test: This checks whether the appliance is properly grounded, ensuring that any faulty current is safely conducted to the ground.
  • Insulation Resistance Test: This measures the insulation resistance of the appliance to check if it can prevent electrical leakage.
  • Earth Leakage Test: This assesses whether the appliance is leaking electrical current to the ground, which can be a safety hazard.
  • Functional Tests: Depending on the type of appliance, functional tests may also be conducted to ensure that it operates correctly and safely.

Based on the test results, appliances are typically classified into categories, such as “Pass,” “Fail,” or “Needs Further Inspection.” Pass-tested appliances are safe to use, while those that fail must be repaired or replaced. Appliances needing further inspection may require more detailed examination or additional testing.

A record of the testing results is maintained, including details about the appliance, the tests performed, and the date of testing. This documentation helps demonstrate compliance with safety regulations and provides a history of the appliance’s safety.

PAT testing is an essential part of electrical safety management in various settings in particular commercial and public buildings, as it helps identify potential problems with appliances that could lead to electric shocks, fires or other accidents. The frequency of PAT testing may vary depending on factors like the type of appliance, its usage and safety regulations in a given jurisdiction but it is generally recommended at regular intervals to ensure ongoing safety.

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