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FAQs

What Is PAT Testing?

PAT Testing stands for portable appliance testing and it is the method you use to check whether a portable electrical appliance is safe to use. The expression ‘PAT Testing' covers everything from the visual inspection of the appliance to the specific electrical test carried out by the PB500 PAT testing machine.

To gain confidence in PAT testing, Parker Bell run a beginners course each month.

Why PAT Test?

The Health & Safety Executive ask that you ensure that portable electrical appliances are inspected regularly to ensure that they are safe to use.

Many insurance companies request that at least the Health & Safety Executive guidelines are followed, and in some cases they may specify the need to check appliances as a direct requirement of the policy. Ultimately, you perform PAT testing to ensure that the electrical appliances that you, your employees, visitors, guests or residents may be using are safe!

What Are The Health And Safety Requirements For PAT Testing?

Health & Safety regulations require that you check your portable electrical appliances on a regular basis and maintain them to ensure they are safe to use by anybody on your premises.

How often should you PAT test?

The frequency of PAT testing is determined by carrying out a risk assessment based on location, usage and storage of each appliance. The initial frequency of testing table can be found in the IEE Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment (4th edition). There is also free guidelines on the HSE website.

What Are The Insurance Requirements For PAT Testing?

The Health and Safety Executive request you inspect electrical appliances regularly. Some insurers state that electrical appliances must be ‘checked' periodically or that appliances must be checked to be in good repair. In the case of a claim you may need to prove you have had a program of maintaining appliances and carrying out appropriate checks. Such requirements can make up any part of building, contents or public liability insurance cover. Make sure you check your policy.

Who Can Carry Out PAT Tests?

Any competent person can carry out PAT Testing. This means you need to understand what you have to do and why you need to do it. It is for this reason that The PB500 Easy PAT Tester Kit comes with an instructional DVD, which takes you through all the steps required. We also recommend appropriate training and Parker Bell offer a beginner’s course for portable appliance testing.

What Is The ‘Class' Of The Appliance?

A term used to identify the difference between electrical appliances : The PB500 PAT tester is used on Class 1 and Class 2 appliances.

What Is A Class I Appliance?

A Class I appliance is an appliance that has an earth circuit built in and will therefore have an earth wire in the plug. Some appliances will be marked with this sign

For more information on Class I appliances, take a look at our video:

What Is A Class II Appliance?

A Class II appliance has no earth circuit and therefore has no earth wire in the plug. Some will show the double insulated symbol.

What Is A Class III Appliance?

A Class III appliance operates at less than 50v and therefore does not need to be PAT Tested with the tester. It will require a full visual inspection. However the lead used to charge many low voltage electrical items (like mobile phones or laptop computers) will need to be tested using the PB500.

What Can Be PAT Tested Using The PB500?

The PB500 will test all Class 1 and Class 2 items as well as carry out a cord/extension lead test and power socket test.


Portable appliances are basically anything with a lead or a plug on it and can be anything from a large photocopier to a small can-opener. It is surprising just how many appliances there are once you add them up! Don’t forget to look in cupboards for items that are stored away too and only used occasionally i.e. Summer fans, Christmas lights, etc.


How Do I Make A Visual Inspection?

Before you begin to carry out your PAT Testing it is vital that you carry out a thorough visual inspection. You should check for the following: 


There are no cracks, loose parts or screws.

There is sign of damage to the outer casing, burn marks or stains.

Cables are not damaged, crushed or grazed in any way.

Check the plug to ensure there are no cracks in the casing and that the pins are not bent or damaged in any way.
Check that wires are attached to the correct terminals and that no bare wires are visible other than at the terminals.
Terminal screws must be tight.

Check that the correct fuse is inserted.

Check that the cable clamp is securely fitted over the outer insulation cable
It is good practice to put a fuse label on the plug detailing the correct fuse value that should be inserted.

If you have any questions relating to carrying out a visual inspection you can call out technical team on 01392 308110.

Carrying out the visual inspection is covered in detail on the instruction DVD supplied with the PB500 Easy PAT Tester.


What Are The Correct Fuse Ratings?

Appliances up to 700 watts = 3amp fuse 
Appliances over 700 watts = 13amp fuse.

Appliances such as IT equipment will often have a 5amp fuse and these should be replaced with the same.

The Class I PAT Test

Plug the earth test lead into the round 4mm socket on the end panel of the PB500 Easy PAT Tester.

Plug the appliance into the mains socket on the front panel of the PB500 PAT Tester.

Connect the earth test probe or crocodile clip to the earth point you have located on the outside of the appliance.

If the appliance has an ON/OFF switch, make sure it is in the ON position.

Press the Class I PAT Test Button on the PB500.

The PB500 PAT Tester will now test the continuity of the protective earth. If the measured value is outside of the acceptable limits a cross is placed next to the earth continuity and a FAIL is shown, and the test is stopped.

If the measured value is within acceptable limits a tick is placed next to the earth continuity and PASS is illuminated.

The PB500 PAT Tester will now continue with the insulation test.

If the power switch is not in the ON position the PB500 PAT Tester will ask you to check connections - once the power switch is in the ON position the test will automatically proceed.

If the insulation resistance does not meet acceptable parameters a cross is placed next to Insulation and FAIL is illuminated.

If the insulation resistance is within acceptable limits a tick is placed next to insulation and PASS is illuminated. When this appliance has passed both the earth continuity and the insulation checks it is ready to be labelled and put back in to use

How Do I PAT Test A Class I Electrical Appliance?

Before you can perform the test you need to locate an external earth point on the appliance to use when carrying out the PAT Test. 
Finding an earth point:

An earthed point will usually be an exposed piece of metal, however not all exposed metal is earthed. You can use the electronic screwdriver to find an earth point first if you prefer (instructions will come with the kit).

Under no circumstances take the appliance apart to locate the earth point. It may take perseverance to find it but it is important to be sure it is the earth point as you will get a fail reading on any non earthed areas.

How Do I PAT Test A Class II Electrical Appliance?

Once the appliance has passed the visual inspection you are ready to proceed to the electrical PAT Test.

Plug the appliance into the mains socket on the front panel of the PB500 Pat Tester.

If the appliance under test has an ON/OFF switch, make sure it is in the ON position.

Press the Class II PAT Test button

If the power switch is not in the on position the PB500 Easy PAT Tester will ask you to check connections.

Switch the appliance ON and the test will automatically proceed. Do not press the test key again

If the insulation resistance is not within acceptable limits a cross will appear against insulation and FAIL is illuminated.

If the insulation resistance is within acceptable limits a tick will appear against Insulation and the PASS is illuminated.

When the appliance has passed the Insulation check, it is ready to be labelled and put back into use.

How Do I PAT Test An IEC Lead?

Once the IEC lead has passed the visual inspection, you can proceed with the electrical PAT Test.

Plug the IEC Lead under test into the IEC socket on the end panel of the PB500 PAT Tester and the plug end into the socket on the front of the PB500 Pat Tester.

Press the ‘cord test' Button.

The PB500 PAT Tester equipment will now test the continuity of the protective earth.

If the measured value is outside the acceptable limits a cross is placed next to the Earth Cont. and FAIL is illuminated. The test sequence will be stopped.

If the measured value is within acceptable limits a tick is placed next to the Earth Cont. and the PB500 PAT Tester will proceed with the insulation test.

If the insulation resistance is lower than the acceptable limit a cross is placed against insulation and the test sequence is stopped.

If the insulation resistance is greater than the acceptable limit a tick is placed against insulation. The PB500 PAT Tester will now proceed with the wiring test, checking the live and neutral conductors for short or open circuits or reversed connections. The IEC Lead should now be labelled.

How Do I PAT Test An Extension Lead?

First, carry out a visual inspection of the extension lead.

Plug the supplied 0.5m IEC Lead into the IEC socket on the PB500 PAT Tester and the IEC plug into the mains outlet socket on the Extension Lead. Plug the mains plug of the extension lead into the mains socket on the front panel of the PB500 PAT Tester. Press the cords test key.

Note. Remember to PAT Test your IEC lead regularly.

The PB500 PAT Tester will now test the continuity of the protective earth.

If the measured value is outside of the acceptable limits a cross is placed against Earth Cont. The test sequence will stop. The appliance should be updated and labelled as failed and taken out of service and repaired or replaced. If the lead passes the Earth Test, put a tick against Earth test on your records. The insulation test will continue automatically.

If the insulation resistance value is lower than acceptable limits a cross will be placed against insulation. The test sequence will stop. The appliance should be labelled as failed and taken out of service and repaired or replaced. If the insulation resistance is at acceptable measured values, a tick will appear. The PB500 PAT Tester will now continue with the wiring test checking the Live and Neutral conductors for short or open circuits or reversed connections.

If the Lead fails a cross will be placed next to the Cord. The appliance should be labelled as such and taken out of service to be repaired or replaced.

If the Lead passes the test a tick will be illuminated and you can continue the sequence for the remaining sockets on the Lead. All sockets must be checked! If one fails, the whole extension lead must be taken out of service.

What If My Extension Lead Has Surge Protection Or Is Longer Than 10m?

The PB500 has preset measurements to carry out tests up to 10 metres. Leads greater than 10 metres cannot be tested with this test.

If your extension lead has an RCD circuit breaker, surge or spike protection you will not be able to carry out the insulation test on the PB500. This is because the PB500 PAT Tester will put through more than 240v, which means that the lead will fail the test if the surge, spike or RCD circuit breaker protection is working correctly. It is useful to perform the test to check that it is working.

You can carry out a full visual inspection of the leads and mark this in your records.The leads could them be tested by an electrician during a routine visit. Depending on how many leads your company has will determine whether you should invest in a more expensive machine that tests long leads, currently around £500 - £1000.

What Should I Do If An Appliance Fails A PAT Test?

If an appliance fails a test it must be removed and taken out of service. It must be labelled clearly as failed. Your records should also be updated. It is important to remove the item as soon as possible and ensure you oversee it taken to the repair workshop or disposed of. The person responsible for electrical equipment then needs to decide whether they want to replace the item or have a qualified electrician repair it.

Do I Need To Label The Equipment After I Have PAT Tested It?

It is good practice to label the equipment after every test. This will show the Health and Safety inspector, or any insurer or Loss Adjuster that testing has been carried out. It also shows users of the appliance that it is deemed safe to use. However, employees and users of the electrical equipment are also responsible for performing a user check of the appliance before use for signs of wear and tear. They are also responsible for reporting any accidental damage to appliances.


The Parker Bell labels conform fully to the recommendations in the IEE Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment (4th Edition)

Where Should I Stick The PASS / FAIL Label?

The label should be applied to the plug top. If the appliance has a detachable power cord a label must also be stuck on the appliance itself. Both labels must carry the same information. For a detachable cord, it is useful to perform a cord test separately before the whole appliance to check this is working correctly.

The Parker Bell labels conform fully to the recommendations in the IEE Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment (4th Edition)

Do I Need To Keep A Separate Record Of The PAT Tests I Have Carried Out?

It makes sense to keep separate records of the maintenance checks. It allows you to keep a record of work carried out, and helps you to organise your workflow. It also allows the Health and Safety Inspector and insurer to see what appliances you have and how often they are checked.

It also allows you to indicate what happens to your appliances. Some may pass through or be sold on. This can be indicated in your records.

How Often Do I Need To Carry Out PAT Testing?

Checks should be carried out according to the individual appliance, in particular it's usage. Appliances which are plugged and unplugged regularly, e.g. vacuum cleaners and extension leads should be checked more regularly than a PC that does not get moved around. It makes sense to come up with a schedule of checking that suits your needs. There are initial frequency of inspection and testing guidelines from the Heath & Safety Executive website and also in the IEE Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment (4th Edition). Please note that appliances and tools used on building sites have a more rigorous checking schedule, usually involving a weekly visual inspection by the user, and monthly visual inspection by the tester and a PAT Test every three months.

What PAT Tester Extras Might I Need?

Depending on the type of business you run, you may require additional items. Usually only where you are working with a different power supply or plug type. If you think you may need some kind of adaptor give us a call, and we will tell you the best way we know of carrying out the test. Usually there are ways of carrying out the checks but in some cases you may need to purchase an additional adaptor.

We supply 110v adaptors and these can be found on our Accessories page.

Who Manufactures The PB500 PAT Tester Machine?

The PB500 is manufactured by Seaward to a very high standard. Seaward is one of the largest and most trusted manufacturers of electrical safety testing equipment. Parker Bell have worked with Seaward technology to develop a machine that is easy to use for small and medium sized businesses, allowing them to meet their Health and Safety requirements simply and efficiently, and allowing them to focus on their core business.

Each machine comes fully calibrated and with 2 years warranty.

Why Should I Buy The PB500 Easy PAT Tester?

The PB500 Easy PAT Tester has a 2 year warranty offering you complete peace of mind. You have 14 days to return it (in perfect condition) if you change your mind. The PB500 Easy PAT Tester comes with everything you need to get started, including batteries and an instructional DVD. All of our accessories are delivered P&P free. Parker Bell is only ever a phone call a way if you have any questions or queries. Our Customer Service is second to none.

Why Should I Buy From Parker Bell?

Parker Bell is a small business, which started more than fifteen years ago. Parker Bell know what is involved with running small business and as such we apply our experiences to the way we work with our customers.

For most of the people who are looking to buy a PAT Tester, it is not their area of expertise, it is rarely a topic of particular interest and certainly isn't really something they need or want to do on top of everything else they need to get done. For this reason Parker Bell will do our best to help you identify the best solution for your PAT Testing needs. If it is likely to be more cost effective to get in an electrician to carry out the work we will tell you. We will also tell you if you should be looking to buy a more expensive and sophisticated machine. We won't sell you anything you don't need. We will also tell you if the product you are looking to purchase from us would not be suitable for job you have it intended for. We want to sell you the right product at the right price and then continue to offer you excellent Customer Service. This practice has served us well over the many years we have been in business and we believe it will stand us in good stead for the future.

If you want to discuss your businesses PAT Testing needs, large or small, please give us a call on 01392 308110 or send us an email. You won't get a long recorded menu to choose from, you'll get to speak to someone straight away!

What Debit And Credit Cards Do You Accept?

Parker Bell accepts all Mastercard, Visa, Maestro & Switch credit and debit cards. We do not accept American Express.

How Do I Pay?

You can order online and give your credit card details. You can send us your order with a cheque or if you need an invoice in order to arrange payment please send us an email with your requirements. We are regular suppliers to schools, local government & the armed forces and are familiar with their procedures.

How Do I Place An Order?

Debit or Credit Card

If you are buying the PB500 Easy PAT Tester Kit or any PAT Testing Accessory and paying by credit card, please click the ‘BUY NOW' option. This will allow you add and subtract any items from your basket. When you are ready to complete your purchase add in your delivery postcode and submit to go through the checkout process. As soon as we receive you order it will be shipped directly to you and an invoice confirming the sale will also be mailed to you. You may also order by email, phone or fax.

Delivery

PB500 Easy PAT Tester Kits are sent by 48 hour Fed Ex Courier. Orders are usually processed within one business day of receipt. If for any reason there is a delay on your order we will telephone you to advise of the situation. Accessories are mailed using First Class Royal Mail Post. Depending on the value the order may be sent by Recorded Delivery. Postage and packing on PAT Testing Accessories is free for the UK and Ireland, including the islands and highlands.

General

If you have any questions about placing an order or about the delivery of an item, please don't hesitate to contact us by email or telephone 01392 308110.

Please ensure that your details are accurate and clear to ensure there are no delays in processing you order. Please give us you contact telephone number so that we can contact you if we experience any problems. We promise we don't and won't pass on any of your details to any third party!