PAT TESTING PORTABLE APPLIANCE TESTING - Electrical Testing

PAT Testing in the Workplace

A Quick Guide to PAT Testing for the Workplace

Electricity is a form of energy which can be exceptionally powerful and is used extensively in workplaces. It can be used to power offices, factories and shops in a variety of ways. But electricity can also be dangerous. Any workplace, packed full of electrical products, represents a significant risk to your staff and your customers. That’s why it’s crucial that you regularly test your electrical appliances.

The most common safety test carried out is PAT testing. It’s a series of checks which safeguards people coming into your business and ensures that you meet the Electricity at Work Regulations. You may not be familiar with the methods behind PAT testing, so we’ve put together a quick guide.

What is PAT Testing?

Portable Appliance Testing (better known as PAT ) involves the examination of electrical products to verify their safety and confirm they are fit to use. The procedure takes in the following checks:

  • A visual inspection of both the cables and the appliance to identify any significant damage e.g. split cables and exposed components
  • An insulation test which measures the quality of insulation that protects any parts of the appliance which carry a current
  • Carrying out an earthing continuity test to determine whether earthing conductors are suitable enough to protect against electric shock

A PAT test can be completed relatively quickly by connecting appliances to a PAT testing device. If the appliance passes the PAT test then it can continue to be used. However, any appliance that fails its PAT test must be removed from service immediately. Although not a legal necessity, it is considered good practice to label individual devices with a PASS/FAIL sticker.

Electrical Testing in the Workplace

The Electricity at Work Regulations state that all electrical systems must be maintained in order to prevent any form of danger. The regulations do not specifically indicate that PAT testing itself is a legal requirement, but the fact remains that it’s a crucial step in maintaining appliances. PAT testing is a guaranteed method for evaluating the safety of electrical appliances. As such, it should form a part of every organisation’s maintenance routine.

When it comes to PAT testing frequency it is recommended that these checks are carried out as per below:

  • Offices, Hotels and Shops: Electrical appliances that fall under the class 1 category – stationary and IT devices – should be tested every four years. However the recommended time between tests is much shorter for portable equipment (every two years) and handheld equipment (every year) 
  • Public Use: Stationary equipment, along with IT systems, should be tested every year if they are being used by the public. Class 2 appliances – those which do not require an earth connection – are also subject to this yearly test. However, any portable and handheld equipment that is handled by the public should be PAT tested every six months.

Final Thoughts

PAT testing is one of the simplest methods of protecting your staff and your customers. Not only does it help your business comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations, but it minimises the risk of electrical accidents. Accordingly, it’s vital that your business understands all PAT testing requirements and also adheres to the recommended PAT testing frequency periods. Most important of all is to work with competent PAT testers who can confidently certify your equipment.

 

Read more about Electrical Testing or call to discuss your requirements.

CALL US NOW Electrical Installation Services  020 3912 6200

Electrical Installation Services -Case-Studies

Electrical Installation Surveys During Covid-19

How can I get an electrical installation survey done during lockdown?

With the new guidelines on social distancing and the message to stay at home, conducting an electrical installation survey is becoming increasingly difficult or not possible to carry out in person.

However this time shall pass and those projects that need to be completed will still need to be undertaken. A delay in survey will lead to lag in quotation, approval and the project being mobilised and undertaken.

The aim now is to reduce that time lag by still carrying out the earlier part of the process using innovative techniques and systems to complete these surveys and quotations allowing clients to put these budgets into their cash flow so when social distancing is reduced these works can happen immediately.

How can surveys be completed without coming to my place of business?

The majority of surveys can still be undertaken “off site” and the more information that can be collated during this process the more accurate the quotation will be for the needs of the client.

The majority of the information doesn’t change whether it’s a meeting on site or an off-site discussion. The numbers of cables required, the number of users moving into a building, the requirement of the electrical installations, the timescales to complete these works.

Also the construction of the space can easily be communicated which with the knowledge of the project management team accurate quotations can be built. For example, does the space have a false ceiling, a false floor, is there dado trunking around the walls of the offices, how long and wide is the space and where is the electrical cabinet in relation to those requirements?

Drawings allow the process to be even more accurate and will show our quotation team a visual of the space to gauge distances, routes and requirements.

The final element which then allows a 99% accurate quotation is the provision of photos and videos. With the information above and photos or videos of the proposed requirements our team is confident that the quotation provided offsite will be as accurate as an on site survey.

If someone is still based at their offices or place of business a simple walk through the building with Facetime, Zoom or Whatsapp will allow our team to provide the quotations you need.

What Project Surveys And Quotations Can Be Undertaken Off Site?

The majority of projects can be quoted accurately off site and are especially suited to the following due to the similar nature of the spaces:

  1. Offices
  2. Warehouses
  3. Data Cabinet tidy ups and re-patching
  4. Audio Visual Installations and Video Conferencing
  5. Schools
  6. New office space where estimates are required (moving to new offices)
  7. Data Centres
What project surveys and quotations are not suitable be undertaken off site?

The following projects usually involve some deeper understanding of the requirements and survey of the spaces and even though these projects are not best suited to off-site surveys than can still be quoted with a quotation range as a budget which can then be confirmed with an on-site meeting once the opportunity arises.

  1. Listed building and building with restricted electrical installation routes / drilling

Due to the complicated routes and limitations on what can be changed, drilled and have containment fixed, an on-site survey is usually best for these buildings.

  1. Residential Homes

Homes by their nature have no obvious routes for electrical installations, so seeing the building internally from the start to end point is important. These projects are best suited to an on-site presence.

  1. External electrical installations and fibre optic links between buildings.

Using technology such as Google earth can assist in proving quotations for these works but in a population dense area such as London the routes externally between buildings or spaces sometimes follow many changes of direction and elevation which cannot be seen or understood off site.

The advantages of Projects during social distancing

With the ability to still provide quotations during the social distancing stage we can then follow through with structured cabling installations during the shutdown of many offices, schools and places of business.

The advantages are that the work can be completed win a much safer way as the premises are empty, the works can be completed in regular hours rather than incurring an out of hours installation cost and in some cases the works can be completed quicker and more economical as the absence of employees in the space allow the works to be completed faster.

Accuracy and Guarantee

The more information that is able to be communicated the more accurate the quotation can be for the client. However in 20 years of pricing so many different projects we know from experience that over 95% of projects we have quoted in the past from off-site information have resulted in no changes to the price, once an onsite meeting has followed to firm up requirements, and of the 5% that have had the change the price hasn’t deviated by more than 10%, once further information was known.

Therefore, during these challenging times if we provide an off-site electrical installation quotation for you based on the information received during a conference call and with the required supporting information we will honour that set price if the on-site follow up doesn’t change the pricing by more than 10%. In essence it allows the cost to increase by 10% and we will still complete the works at the originally supplied quotation

For those quotations that can’t be accurately quoted a range of budget pricing can be supplied and firmed up on site once the situation allows to still enable the clients to budget in their cash flow.

Call us to book an electrical installation survey or a quotation, or simply to talk through your current project.

 

Tel:  020 3912 6200

Electrical Installation Services – Client Case Studies

Coronavirus - Impact on Technology and Electrical Installations

Covid 19, Coronavirus and the Impact on Technology and Electrical Installations

Coronavirus and the Impact on the Technology and Electrical Installation Industry. A Truthful assessment of what’s coming.

The impact of the coronavirus on the world as a whole, as we have all seen, has been massive and a large proportion of industries will be affected; technology and Electrical Installation will be no different.

Many of our clients have been asking us what effect this means on currently planned in work and upcoming proposed projects.

Below is our honest opinion on how this will affect the electrical  industry and where it can be incorporated into your companies industry.

The Impact on Installations, Essential Works and Safety

The complications with the current coronavirus is that no one knows how long it will continue, when work can return back to normal or even a small resemblance on what was previously normal.

Companies are concerned that having installers in their offices during these times risk exposure and spread of the virus and as a company we wholeheartedly agree that for the world as a whole we need to practice social distancing, and this starts with the eliminating or reduction of installations where exposure to other employees, trades or workers is non manageable.

This then leads on to what’s essential and therefore able to be scheduled.

Each company’s definition of essential will vary based on requirements, the infrastructure of the business and the overall impact that the delay in those structured cabling works will have on the operation of that business.

As a company we have seen essential works having to be completed for UK essential businesses such as Royal Mail, Banking and Finance where installation that were mid project were required to be completed unless the overall operation of those deliveries would be affected.

However, in a contrasting manner we have seen many projects be delayed or cancelled due to the lack of essential requirements. Projects have also been rescheduled where health and safety can’t be guaranteed for the end client or the installation companies involved.

The impact on Surveys, Meetings and Quotations

The biggest impact on the industry so far has been the reduction and almost elimination of meetings, surveys and the knock on affect to quotations and proposals for Electrical Installations.

With many staff now working from home there is now a lack of presence within all the companies and buildings that would be arranging installation surveys or design meetings.

(Especially in the London area where public transport is massively reduced and seen as a medium to avoid where possible.)

The effect on the industry is: Reduced surveys leads to reduced structured cabling quotations and reduced installation projects.

The effect overall is a positive for battling the virus as each reduced element increases the social distancing.

Opportunities, Smarter Working and Solutions

This period of upheaval will pass although no one knows how long and how definitive that timescale will be. Once the initial rise starts to flatten and more is known on how to manage the virus, the distancing and how people will start to return to work then focus will return to how all those projects that have been delayed can start to put into place.

This will apply for all industries, not only the technology and electrical industry.

The opportunity here is to plan in advance and undertake those surveys, processed the quotations and schedule the works in anticipation of the return to a somewhat normal working week.

As a company we are undertaking increased surveys offsite with a detailed almost interview like discussion over the telephone or video conferencing. In those situations where employees are still based within their offices, photos, videos and live streams are being used to survey these works and enabling detailed and accurate quotations to be supplied.

Also, where quotations are accepted and works agreed on as essential and safe to install, engineers are able to attend almost empty buildings and undertake these works in a safer manner than was ever possible.

Not only are the social distancing elements upheld but a larger proportion of health and safety measures are now massively minimised or eliminated. Health and Safety concerns such as removing false floors in an active office, working on ladders around employees and especially noise pollution within an office or heard in other company offices.

Summary

Is the upcoming period going to be difficult and an upheaval? The answer of course will be based on what your company does and how the virus plays out.

However what we do know is at this time we have more technology and ways of filling voids than we have ever had before and these can be used to bring an element of normality back to the survey, quotation and installation process within the Electrical Installation industry.

So while others stand still waiting to see what happens, allow us to use these opportunities to actually increase the effectiveness and completion times of those important projects and leave the rest of the precious time to getting back to normal within your business.

Electrical Installation Services - Electrical Installations London - Electrical Contractors

Electrical Installation Testing Procedures

Electrical Testing Procedures

Electrical products are an essential part of modern living. Without these innovative (and sometimes lifesaving) products life would be very different. However, electricity is also unpredictable and  and without regular and rigorous testing can be incredibly dangerous. Check out our Testing Procedures below

That’s why there’s so much legislation in place when it comes to working with electricity. So, to ensure that your electrical installations are safe you need to work with certified experts. Not only will this keep you within the boundaries of the law, but it will also provide a much needed layer of safety. Naturally, you will want to understand the test procedures that these experts will use, so let’s take a closer look at them.

How Do You Test Electrical Installations?

Electrical circuits are complex and technical networks which require specialist training to understand and test. Two main tests are required to ensure that electrical products are safe:

  • New Installation Testing:

All new electrical installations need to go through an initial testing procedure to be verified as safe to use. This test, which can only be performed by a qualified and competent electrician, evaluates the electrical installation. Factors such as the earthing arrangements, types of conductors, supply parameters and safety devices are all evaluated and documented.

  • Periodic Inspection Testing:

    Existing electrical installations must, by law, be periodically inspected by an electrician to ensure that they are safe. These periodic inspections include both a visual and electrical inspection. The results of these tests should highlight any faults or hazards which either require attention or fail to comply with existing BS7671 standards.

The most common electrical testing procedures:

  • Protective Conductor Continuity:

    It’s crucial that every protective conductor in a circuit meets current electrical standards. They also need to be correctly connected in order to remain safe. An electrician will carry out this test on all accessible and exposed conductors using an insulation tester.

  •  Circuit Breaker Functionality:

    All circuit breakers, RCDs and isolators need to be thoroughly tested to confirm that they can disconnect an electrical supply if necessary. An electrician will need to confirm the effectiveness of these devices and verify that they are correctly maintained and labelled.

  •  Ring Circuit Testing:

    Every ring circuit must be tested in order to confirm the continuity of each conductor in the circuit. This procedure is completed using a continuity tester to determine whether the ring circuit is complete. This test, however, is not considered crucial if previous test records are available. If changes have been made to the circuit, though, it becomes essential that this test is completed.

  • Polarity Testing:

    Verifying the polarity of all circuits is an important procedure when it comes to testing electrical installations. The polarity must be measured at the point of installation, all accessible socket outlets, distribution boards and before any connection to the power supply. The best way to complete this test is by working with either a continuity tester or multi tester.

Electrical Installations Testing

The only way to confirm that electrical installations are safe is by combining all these test procedures. And, remember, these are not tests that can be completed by anyone. You need a fully qualified electrician to carry out these tests safely and accurately.

If you have any questions please visit our electrical testing page or just give us a call 

Electrical Installation Services Call us now: 01923 587 586

Electrical Installation Services – Client Case Studies

Smoke Alarm Regulations picture of smoke detector

Smoke Alarm Regulations

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations

It goes without saying that inhaling smoke and carbon dioxide is incredibly harmful for the body. Smoke has the potential to inflame your airways and cause respiratory failure. And carbon monoxide poisoning can also cause severe damage to the body. High levels of carbon monoxide reduce the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream which in turn, stops oxygen reaching tissues and vital organs. The end result can eventually be brain damage, heart failure and even death.

Thankfully, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are available to protect you from these risks. However, it’s crucial that you and your alarms comply with the regulations.

What are the Key Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations?

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations were introduced in 2015 to improve fire safety and protect homes in the private rented sector. The main regulations that you need to be aware of are the following:

  • A smoke alarm needs to be installed on every storey of the premises that are either fully or partly used as living accommodation.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in any room which is used, in any way, as living accommodation or contains an appliance that uses solid fuel burning combustion.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms need to be tested and confirmed as being in good working order when a tenancy commences.
  • Although not a legal obligation, it is recommended that landlords conduct regular testing to confirm that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in good working order.

All of these regulations are logical and sensible steps that can make a significant difference to the safety of all properties. But how do you make sure you comply with them?

How to Comply with the Regulations

It’s down to private landlords to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their rented properties, so they need to take the initiative to comply with the legislation. If you’re a landlord then you need to take note of the following:

  • It’s important to understand what constitutes a storey used as a living accommodation. A bathroom may not feel like a living accommodation, but the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations classes it as one. Meanwhile, a floor of a property which is purely used for access is not classed as a living accommodation and does not need an alarm.
  • There is no obligation to install a specific type of smoke or carbon dioxide alarm. As long as the alarm is in good working order and capable of detecting threats then it will comply with the existing regulations.
  • All alarms need to be installed and operating from day one of any new tenancy. Therefore, to avoid hefty fines, it is recommended that checking the status or existing alarms (or installing new ones) should be one of the earliest steps to take when renting a property.
  • Once a tenant moves in it is down to the tenant to regularly test the alarms with a recommendation of once a month. However, it is recommended that private landlords also take the initiative to test the alarms in order to maximise safety and guarantee peace of mind.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Legislation UK

By following the regulations to the letter, private landlords can rest safe in the knowledge that they will be providing properties which are safe for tenants. See the current Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations here

For more information or for help and installations contact us now

RCD residual current device

What is an RCD?

What is an RCD and How Does it Work?

 

RCDs, or residual current devices

A residual current device (RCD) is one of the best ways to protect yourself from electrical equipment. Accidents, after all, can happen. And the dangers of electricity mean that the consequences of these accidents can be severe and even fatal. By installing RCDs into your electrical systems you can significantly reduce the risk of electric shock.

Understanding what an RCD is and how it works could make a real difference to the safety of your electrical equipment, so let’s take a closer look at RCDs.

How Do RCDs Work?

An RCD is a safety device which is able to detect faults in electrical supplies and immediately switch the circuit off. This prevents the flow of electricity and provides protection against electric shocks. For example, a sudden surge of electricity will cause the RCD to trip out and shut down the current. As mentioned earlier, this reduces the risk of electric shock, but it also prevents the risk of electrical fires developing from faulty equipment.

Types of RCD

There are more than one type of RCD and the most common ones you will encounter are:

  • Fixed : Typically found within a fuse box, a fixed RCD delivers the best protection against electric shocks. A fixed RCD is capable or protecting individual circuits and more complex setups which are comprised of multiple circuits. This type of RCD is, given its fixed position, constantly providing protection to your circuits.

 

  • Portable : As the name suggests, a portable RCD can be moved to wherever it’s required. A portable RCD is most commonly used when your options are limited for installing an RCD such as on a construction site. The portable RCD simply plugs into an available socket outlet and is then ready to have an electrical device plugged into it.

 

  • Socket Outlet RCD: Replacing a standard socket outlet, a socket outlet RCD provides a much safer option for working with electrical devices. They are commonly found in extension cables and used for outdoor appliances such as lawnmowers.

What would trip an RCD?

An RCD is considered a highly reliable device and will prevent electrical shocks in around 97% of all cases. Naturally, this is a success rate which is highly favourable to your well-being, but it is not a 100% guarantee. Therefore, you should always be careful when working with electrical applications and RCDs by following these best practices:

  • Test Your RCDs
    All RCDs will have a test button built into them so that you can test that they are working and will disconnect the circuit. You should run a test on each RCD every three months to confirm that they are in good working order. If the test button does not activate the trip then contact an electrician to investigate this further.
  •  Check Your Wiring
    It’s important that any electrical installations (and the RCDs themselves) are checked every 10 years. Wiring can deteriorate over time and circuits can easily malfunction, so it’s crucial that you cover every base rather than relying on the promise of an RCD alone.
For more information on RCDs and the options available to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our expert engineers.

Electrical Installation Services – Client Case Studies

Faulty-Fuse-Box

Common Fuse Box Problems

What are the Most Common Fuse Box Problems?

Common Fuse Box ProblemsA fuse box is crucial for ensuring that each circuit in your building receives the correct amount of power. Not only does this allow you to keep all your appliances running without interruption, but it also prevents the risk of electrical fires. A functioning fuse box is a vital part of a safe and happy building. But sometimes a fuse box can develop problems.

A faulty fuse box will soon make itself known. And it can lead to scenarios where stress levels skyrocket. This is why you need to be aware of the most common fuse box problems. With this information in hand you can take steps to both prevent and repair any issues with your fuse box.

What are the Symptoms of a Failing Fuse Box?

You don’t need to be a qualified electrician to understand when you have a bad fuse box on your hands. When an electrical fault begins to develop then the symptoms are noticeable and many. Make sure you keep an eye out for these two major symptoms:

  • Circuits which become overloaded will blow the fuses in question and disconnect any associated devices. This is the most common sign that a fuse box is faulty.
  • A burning smell will often indicate that the fuses are burning out and further evidence will be present in the form of burn marks on the fuse box.

If either of these symptoms is present then it’s likely that you’re working with a problematic fuse box.

The Most Common Fuse Box Problems

You’re now clear on what the symptoms of a faulty fuse box are, but what is it that’s causing them? Let’s take a closer look at the most common problems:

  • A Faulty Appliance: Sometimes a faulty fuse box is the result of one single appliance. This could be a kettle, a laptop or a hairdryer. Regardless of the device, any electrical fault present can cause your fuse box to trip time and time again. The only way to identify a faulty appliance is by unplugging everything in each room and plugging them back in until the circuit trips and identifies the device. 
  • Poor Wiring: Fuse boxes can undergo a lot of maintenance work during their lifetime and this can lead to the installation of poor wiring. Wiring that has become damaged poses a major risk of electrical fire as does installing wire which is the incorrect size. Any wiring issues need an electrician to investigate immediately. 
  • Circuits Being Overloaded: Modern buildings are full of electrical devices and, sometimes, this can put significant strain on your fuse box. And this is particularly noticeable when extension sockets are being used. An overloaded fuse box can be very dangerous, so it’s important you carry out an audit of how many devices are running off each circuit. 

Dealing with Faulty Fuse Boxes

A faulty fuse box is an electrical system which needs to be treated with care and respect. And that’s why you should always use the services of a professional. Without the necessary knowledge and qualifications, you’re going to cause more damage and risk serious injury by delving deep into the inner workings of a fuse box.

Stay safe and work with a qualified professional who can fix your problem and stop it occurring again in the future.

Click here to learn more about electrical testing for fuse boxes

What is an EICR report?

EICR – Electrical Installation Condition Report

Electrical Testing-ELECTRICAL-INSTALLATION-TESTINGOur homes and workplaces rely on electricity to power the many devices we need to live and survive. But we have to make sure these devices are safe. Electricity is a powerful form of energy and can cause serious injuries when it gets out of control. Clearly, it needs to be respected and regulated. One of the most conscientious ways to achieve this is through an EICR report –  electrical installation condition report.

Why Do You Need an EICR? 

Electrical installations, like any product, age over time and this deterioration can cause malfunctions. Sometimes the end result will be that the device is broken and simply won’t work. But, at other times, the malfunction will lend itself to something more serious such as electrocution. Therefore, it’s important that these electrical installations are regularly monitored. This objective should ensure that the device maintains a level of safety that protects anyone using it.

What is Involved in an EICR report?

When it comes to completing an EICR then there’s one thing you need before starting: a fully qualified electrician. The knowledge required to complete an EICR involves understanding the BS7671 IET Wiring Regulations and is not something you can quickly brush up on beforehand. So, you need an electrician in place. And once they begin an EICR they will look at the following:

  • Visual Inspection:

    The first port of call will be to carry out a visual inspection to identify any issues caused by wear and tear e.g. damaged cables or power switches. These are often the most obvious risks present in electrical installations. Also, the presence of any outdated standards or equipment needs to be addressed during this section.

  • Electrical Testing:

    This is comprised of two sections: live testing and dead testing. Live testing looks to test disconnection efficiency in the presence of an electrical fault and the suitability of residual current devices for preventing electrocution. Dead testing concentrates on investigating resistance, polarity and continuity of any circuitry in place.

How Often Do You Need to Complete an EICR?

Until recently, landlords were not legally obliged to complete an EICR. However, the government has announced that an EICR will soon become mandatory. This move has been taken to safeguard properties, tenants and landlords from the risk of serious injury and ensure safer living standards. The guidelines for an EICR will require that the report is completed every five years to guarantee a level of safety that takes into account any deterioration of electrical installations.

There are, of course, other instances in which it is recommended to complete an EICR such as:

  • Following any major damage to a property such as flood or fire damage. These forms of damage can compromise electrical installations and render them dangerous to use. An EICR will help to identify any major defects caused by such events and allow you to rectify them.
  • Before a property is sold or is being prepared to let is an ideal time to complete an EICR as it will provide peace of mind to any new tenants or property owners.

For more information on whether you need an EICR, or what it involves, don’t hesitate to get in touch and speak to one of our expert engineers.

Electrical Installation Services – Client Case Studies

Common Electrical Problems around the Home

Common Electrical Problems

Common Electrical Problems around the Home

We rely on electricity like no other form of energy when it comes to powering our homes. Ovens, hot water and lighting are just three examples of how our homes rely on electricity. But electricity is not without its problems. And, due to the ubiquity of electrical appliances in the home, these problems can soon mount up.

Electricity, of course, can be dangerous when it’s not regulated correctly. So, to prevent a serious injury, it’s important that you understand when something is wrong. Thankfully, you don’t need a degree in electrical engineering to identify these problems.Is Your Electrical Equipment Safe

What Are the Most Common Electrical Faults?

It’s likely that, even with the most modern homes, you will encounter multiple electrical faults every year. Some, of course, will be serious whereas others will be considerably less dangerous. Nonetheless, it’s important to identify them, so let’s take a look at the most common electrical problems around the home:

  • Old, Faulty Wiring:

    One of the most dangerous electrical faults is the presence of old wiring. Much like any consumable product, wiring is prone to deterioration and can soon fall into an unsafe state. Insulation can break down and expose live wires. Older wiring can be of a low amperage unable to cope with modern demand. All of this can increase the risk of electrical shock and fire damage. Updating electrical panels to a higher amp capacity and inspecting any intermittent faults is crucial.

 

  • Electric Shocks:

    The most obvious electrical fault is the one which discharges electricity through our bodies: the electric shock. They most commonly occur when turning electrical devices on or off. It’s always difficult to determine whether it’s faulty wiring or down to the device itself, but the best way to identify this is by consulting with an electrician.

 

  • Circuit Breakers Tripping:

    A circuit breaker is in place to prevent surges in electricity. These surges are most often caused by the simultaneous use of electrical appliances using large amounts of electricity e.g. microwaves and tumble dryers. When the circuit breaker trips the supply of electricity is instantly cut off. This can be inconvenient, but is easily avoided by understanding which items run off which circuit. This knowledge will allow you to limit the usage of items on the same circuit at the same time.

 

  • Frequent Light Bulb Failures:

    It’s always irritating to be left in the dark and we feel this most keenly when light bulbs fail. But sometimes this can happen too regularly for comfort. These failures will usually be limited to one light fixture and this indicates a specific fault with that fixture. These faults may be down to issues such as the supplied wattage being too high or faulty wiring going to the fixture. And, in these cases, it’s best to contact an electrician to investigate further.

 

  • Electrical Surges:

    An electrical surge is any sudden increase in current or voltage through an electrical circuit. While these surges only last for a fraction of a second they can, over time, cause serious damage to your circuits. The most common cause of these surges tends to be a faulty electrical appliance. And the best way to identify the piece of equipment is by removing each one from the electrical supply and monitoring for future surges.

Who to call for electrical problems

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t attempt to fix electrical faults unless you are a qualified electrician. Electricity can be incredibly dangerous, and safety should always be the number one priority. Once you identified that you have one of these common faults, or any other electrical problem, call in an expert to be sure it is fixed quickly and safely.

If you suspect you have any electrical faults please give a call

Call us now: 01923 587 586

What is Portable Appliance Testing? PAT Testing

What is PAT Testing?

What is Portable Appliance Testing?

What is Portable Appliance Testing? PAT TestingPortable Appliance Testing is the description for the inspection of the safety of use for electrical equipment.

The inspection consists of a visual inspection of the equipment and an electrical test of the same equipment. Both are important in the inspection and testing due to all electrical faults not being detected just by electrical testing alone. An example would be a damaged casing that exposes the equipment but doesn’t have any fault on the electrical circuits

Visual checks can be undertaken as part of regular maintenance, however electrical testing should be undertaken by a component engineer

Why should I PAT Test?

 

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition

 

The UK Health and Safety Executive along with insurance companies will expect you to perform PAT testing to ensure that you are compliant with certain regulations including:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
  • The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 2006

Do I need to PAT test new equipment?

There is no formal requirement to test new equipment as it should be provided in a safe working condition. However due to potential damage / complications in transit and delivery it should be part of your routine visual inspections to check if new equipment is free from damage before using

Is Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) Compulsory?

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is not a firm requirement by law. However the requirement of all electrical equipment being safe for use is part of several regulations.

An employer is required by law to ensure that all electrical equipment is maintained to prevent danger. How that is done is down to the employer?

The requirements on the employer should be part of a risk assessed approach. Equipment that is heavily used or in higher traffic areas might be required to be inspected more often than those used less so

The more often equipment is moved is also a consideration. Visual inspections should be undertaken every time equipment is moved or reused for this reason

The decision on PAT Testing will depend on these factors

 

How frequently do I need to test my electrical appliances?

There are no requirements for PAT testing frequency, however there are recommendations:

 Offices, Shops and Hotels – Class 1 equipment including stationary and IT equipment should be tested every 48 months.

Moveable equipment such as extension leads and portable equipment should be tested every 24 months. Handheld equipment should be tested every 12 months.

 Schools – All Class 1 equipment in schools should be PAT tested every 12 months. Class 2 equipment should be tested every 48 months.

 Public Use Equipment – Stationary and IT equipment such as computers should be tested every 12 months.

Moveable, Portable and Handheld equipment falling into Class 2 should be tested every 12 months.

Moveable, Portable and Handheld equipment falling into Class 1 should be tested every 6 months.

Construction – All 110V equipment used on construction sites should be tested every 3 months.

 Industrial – All industrial sites, including commercial kitchens should have Portable and Handheld equipment tested every 6 months. Stationary, IT and Moveable equipment should be tested every 12 months.

Source: pat.org.uk

Do I need an Electrician to do Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)?

It is not a legal requirement for the testing to be done by a qualified electrician. However depending on the inspections required an experienced electrical person will be more suitable than in house members of staff. The only requirements is all tests are taken out by a competent person

For most visual inspections this can be done by employees within the company. However PAT Testing consists of both visual and electrical testing so the following is recommended and required

  • Do they understand what is to be looked for and what to test?
  • Do they have the correct equipment to undertake the tests?
  • Do they have the knowledge to use the test equipment correctly and produce the correct results?
  • Do they know how to understand the results and what to recommend for remedial works if the equipment doesn’t pass?

An experienced electrician will also complete the works in a timely manner due to their experience, knowledge of the equipment and knowledge of what to test

Do I need to label any equipment tested?

The requirement of labelling your equipment is not required by Law. However labelling serves as a quick visual reminder to which equipment has been tested and how long since it has been tested.

It also allows employees to quickly asses the suitability of a piece of equipment when moving or using it

 Do I need to keep Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) records?

Once again the keeping of records is not a legal requirement.

However records highlight to employees which equipment has been tested and the duration since in association with the labels as above

Read more on PAT Testing