Frequently Asked Questions

How can we be sure every appliance has been tested?

We have built procedures into our testing process that ensures tests are carried out on all equipment and that all equipment to undergo a full PAT test is unplugged and checked correctly.

For you complete peace of mind, we actively ensure the quality of our engineers work as part of our service promise to you. At Electro-Test, we are proud to be different in our business approach. Unlike many companies whose PAT engineers are paid per test and earn more money based on the number of tests performed per hour, our engineers are paid an hourly rate irrespective of how many tests they carry out. Therefore you can be certain that quality comes ahead of quantity,and that you will receive a first class service every time.

How often should PAT Testing be carried out?

This varies depending on the workplace environment and the equipment to be tested. Contact Electro-Test today for free advice.We will be happy to help you to select the optimum time periods between tests.

Is Emergency Lighting Testing a legal requirement?

Emergency lighting is a legal requirement under The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 and 14(2)(h) of the Fire Safety Order. As a life safety system, Emergency Lighting is necessary in all premises where people are employed. It is designed to assist in the evacuation of a building in an emergency situation and in the event of a power failure. Penalties for inadequate or non-operational emergency lighting can be severe.

Is the testing disruptive?

No,not really, In the case of an office environment,each PC would need to be shut down for 5 to 10 minutes in turn for the testing to be carried out. Typically, the operator pops off for a cup of tea while the work is being done! Server rooms etc. do need to be shut down to be tested, but the frequency of testing these resources can be lengthened as they are deemed low-risk environments.

Should you prefer, we can carry out the testing outside of working hours (e.g. after 5.00pm Mon-Fri or all day Saturday) at no extra cost. Our engineers can be more productive without your workforce such that it is generally a preferred method by all involved.

What are the benefits of Thermal Imaging?

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 places a duty of care on employers to maintain electrical systems to prevent danger where otherwise it may exist. Thermal Imaging can be a valuable tool to highlight any potential causes for concern without the need to isolate circuits. This allows corrective action to be taken before any costly system failures.

What happens if an item fails PAT testing?

The next course of action will depend on the reason for the item failing. Small repairs such as fuse replacements or loose wiring can be corrected on the spot; larger repairs will require further action.

What is a Portable Electrical Appliance?

A Portable Electrical Appliance is any electrical appliance that is moved when in use or can easily be moved from one place to another, e.g. kettle, toaster, power tools, vacuum cleaners. It can also include larger items such as printers and photocopiers.

What is Emergency Lighting Testing?

Emergency Lighting is a necessary requirement in all premises where people are employed. It is a Life Safety System which is designed to assist in the evacuation of a building in an emergency situation and in the event of a power failure.

What is Fixed Wire/Installation Testing?

Fixed Installation Testing, also known as Electrical Installation condition report,Periodic Inspection or Hard Wire Testing, is the testing of all electrical services and systems that conduct electricity around a building. This includes all parts of a distribution system, from the main incoming supply point through to wiring accessories such as sockets and light fittings, and everything in between.

What is PAT Testing?

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT Testing) involves a series of electrical and visual inspections on all portable appliances within a place of work. These tests determine whether or not the electrical appliances are safe for use.

What is Thermographic Imaging?

Thermal Imaging, also known as thermography, is the production of infrared or heat pictures which can pick up concerns which are often invisible to the naked eye. Potential problems are highlighted where there is an excess of heat being released by a component.If left undetected, these can result in failure and in extreme cases fire. Thermal Imaging can detect:

Loose connections
Phase imbalances
Blocked or restricted cooling tubes in transformers
High resistance in fuses and switchgear

What reports do we get?

A full report of the test results and all appropriate certificates in hard copy or digitally on CD-ROM in PDF format.

When PAT Testing, do you test leads separately?

Yes, as a part of our standard procedure.This is not to charge more, as some mite fear, but simply because we believe it is important.However, the final decision is yours. Here is an explanation.

Firstly the code of practice for inspection and testing states that leads should be tested and labelled separately. The code of practice is not a legal document but can be used in a court of law against the defendant should a case was brought to trial. It is your opinion or understanding of the code of practice which is important, as how you interpret the information is key to your decision.

Secondly, the leads receive a different test to that for the equipment. This necessitates that they be unplugged from the appliance. For example a test for an IEC lead would be Visual, Earth Bond, Insulation test and finally a polarity test. The test for a piece of IT equipment would be Visual, Earth Continuity test (soft test so as not to damage equipment), Insulation test and Earth Leakage test. As you can see, the tests are quite different and you would not be able to enter results for both lead and appliance under one item.

Additionally, the polarity test on the lead, which is an important test, requires both ends of the lead to be plugged into the tester, requiring it to be detached from the appliance. It would not be physically possible to carry out this test as part of the appliance.

The choice remains yours. We are always happy to test the lead as part of the appliance with no additional cost. The same tests as the appliance will be performed on the lead, though please be aware that in many cases it will only be a soft test designed specifically for IT equipment.

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