PAT Testing

PAT Testing Services
Here we explain in more detail what happens during a Portable Appliance Test

An electric appliance may be classed as “portable” if connected to the mains by way of a flexible lead and plug. Everything from TV’s, PC’s, office equipment, power tools, fridges, printers and microwaves come under this banner.

There is no specific regulation that demands PAT tests be carried out. However “The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989” (which came into force in 1990) impose a duty on all people in the workplace (employers, employees, self employed etc) to take precautions against risk of injury or death arising out of the use of electrical equipment.

It has quite rightly become common practice for PAT testing to be carried out as part of a regular system of maintenance and inspection.

In order to assist the testing process and help our engineer manage the work efficiently, the following recommendations are made:

  • Notify all staff that an electrical engineer will be on site.
  • Ensure that all staff are courteous and helpful to the engineer.
  • Computers will need to be switched off prior to each machine being tested.
  • Office staff may need to vacate their workstation for (usually) around 5-7 minutes for a PC to be fully tested.
  • Servers and other business critical machinery will not be switched off or otherwise affected. A visual inspection of such items is usually sufficient.
  • Kitchen equipment will be inaccessible whilst testing is being carried out.
  • A site contact will need to be on hand to welcome the engineer and sign off the work register once the tests have been completed. The engineer may also need to access secure areas of the site.
  • If the tests are to be carried out on building / construction sites, please ensure that all tools are readily available for the test to be conducted.
  • Any site access, ID or authorisation cards must be prepared in advance of the engineers arrival.

Visual inspection
Prior to testing each item, a visual inspection is carried out. This incorporates the following:


Checking that the plug top is not cracked and is in a safe condition. Cord grips must be in good condition and properly adjusted. Correct fuse must be fitted (to BS1362) or replaced if necessary.

Flexible cords

All flexible cords must have adequate insulation and must be in good condition. An inspection of both ends of any detachable cord is necessary to ensure the appliance is safe. Flexes shall be replaced or re-terminated if necessary.

Equipment enclosures

All enclosures must be fit for purpose showing no signs of damage or wear and tear. Live parts must only be accessible with specialist tools and all screws / bolts must be securely fastened

The test
The following specific tests will be carried out where appropriate:

  • 1. Earth continuity test
  • 2. Insulation test (or instead an earth leakage measurement)
  • 3. Flash test
  • 4. Load test
  • 5. Operation test
  • 6. Earth leakage test

Labelling and identification
An identification label specifying our company name, appliance ID number and date for renewal of the test, will be provided for each and every item tested. The labels are discreet and will be prominently affixed to each item / asset. All old test labels will be removed.

Bar code labelling and ID registry systems can be utilised at the customer’s request.

ID Register
A log of each item tested will be provided in database format. Bar coding systems can be adopted compatible with Seward PAT guard software. We can also deliver reports in MS Excel format or through additional electronic media upon request.

An equipment register or asset ID list is provided with each and every testing project that we carry out detailing all necessary information.

Items that fail the test will be clearly identified. As will the class of the item, the readings associated with the test and confirmation of whether the test was visual only or fully completed.

Reporting Following completion of the test, a compliance & reporting pack is provided which incorporates the following:

  • ID register
  • Summary of the test results data
  • Details of the next anticipated test phase
  • Details of any items that FAILED during the test (such items will be taken out of service by our engineer)
  • Details of any remedial works
  • Discussion or summary of any relevant points / recommendations.

Any equipment failing the tests will be fitted with a clear label stating “FAIL – Please do not use”. The item will be withdrawn from service and we will recommend a course of action regarding remedial repair or replacement. The item will be clearly recorded within the formal reporting documents

Remedial repairs
Our service and our pricing structure includes carrying out remedial works where possible provided that these are limited to any of the following:

  • Replacing plugs
  • Re-wiring plugs
  • Re-clamping
  • Replacing fuses

Our pledge to carry our remedial works free of charge is conditional on the assumption that equipment is generally in good order and well maintained.