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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:13 pm 
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Since I've done the course recently and been surprised by just how much is now covered by In Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment, to give PAT Testing its new name, I'm writing this post to show just how much even in the average office is now liable for testing.

In a nutshell almost anything which is supplied by a cord is now liable for testing in order to comply with the requirements for maintenance under the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

Examples of just some of the items now liable for testing under the most recent version of the Code of Practice include:

IT Equipment - PCs, Photocopiers, Laptops, Scanners etc
Portable appliances - Radios, Toasters etc
Handheld - Drills, Kettles, Irons, angle grinders etc
Movable: Airconditioning units, air compressors etc
Stationary: Washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers etc
Fixed equipment: Hand Dryers (the wall mounted types found in almost every public bathroom in the world), panel heaters, storage heaters (yes seriously), immersion heaters, wall mounted air conditioners
Equipment for building in: Built in appliances like ovens, fridges etc
Multiway extensions and RCD adapters (RCDs whether plug in types or included as part of the distribution board need to be verified for correct operation and compliance with tripping times and tripping currents)
Extension leads and RCD Extension leads
Detachable cordsets for appliances - kettle leads, removable lawnmower power cables etc

This includes items supplied by fused spurs and flex outlet plates, not just items connected to plugs and sockets.

All items liable for testing should be formally visually inspected and be subjected to combined inspection and testing at appropriate intervals, suggested intervals can be found in the Code of Practice.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:37 am 
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it is stupid how they view this. i remember arguing this about a built in walk-in-freezer in a chip shop. you would need a crane to move it but because it was supplied by a 13A SFCU they classed it as a portable appliance..pathetic money making schemes as usual.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:59 am 
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Thats why its no longer called Portable Appliance Testing Rich, its now described as "In Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment", therefore the freezer you mentioned above becomes a fixed appliance and needs to be tested for electrical safety.
The changes close a loophole in the testing regime which the 1989 Electricty at Work act created requirements for, think of this - how many fixed appliances like freezers and hand dryers out there are there, which have been installed for years but never have been tested for electrical safety? Probably thousands, if not more. Cost to a business of getting that appliance tested is at most a few pounds every x years (some class II appliances in certain situations don't need testing for example, just a formal visual inspection to check for insulation or cord damage) , compared to several thousand or tens of thousands in fines and compensation if someone becomes injured or killed due to a fault which visual inspection and testing would have uncovered.

Users should also be doing simple checks when they use the equipment - checking to make sure plugs do fit securely in the sockets, that the cable sheath isnt split etc and reporting items which are damaged or they believe has a fault.

Example:
There was a local nightclub, owner went into the toilets and touches the hand dryer, gets a nasty shock and burns, turns out the earth had broken loose over time and the casing had become live, no one usually touched the casing as it was a touchless dryer but he happened to brush against the casing and got shocked, hand dryer hadn't ever been tested as the PAT tester had deemed it a non portable appliance, so hadn't tested it, electrician doing a PIR hadn't tested it either as it wasn't under his remit.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:11 pm 
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We rent our old house in west London on an HMO basis. On the subject of PAT or what you now call it, the chances are that it would take about half a day at most to test and certify the appliances within. How much would it cost (ballpark figure), and more to the point is there anyone on here that wants the contract?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:29 pm 
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dextrous:
Depends who you ask, be aware that many Testers haven't done the newest course / read the new code of practice so ask some questions and be wary of initial cheap pricing as some jack up their prices in subsequent years.

Locally we were quoted the going rate tends to be between £1.50 and £2.50 per item or any 50 items for £80, however it does depend on your area.
Also you might want to look at what they will do, as the 2377 course covers both administering a testing scheme (which could fall onto your head as its your premises) and the actual testing.

Link in next posts down :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:30 pm 
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Scot,
The link does not appear to work even when the spaces are removed.
As it is not spam, you are OK to post the correct link to get to the PDF.

mod5


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:30 pm 
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http://bit.ly/xolodE

That should work, oddly took out the spaces on another PC and it worked fine....not sure why it didn't for others :scratch:

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 7:21 pm 
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Dextrous,

How many items are there to be PAT tested.

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 7:42 pm 
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Blakey wrote:
Dextrous,

How many items are there to be PAT tested.

I will get back to you when I've had a chance to get a provisional list up. It may work out that it could be part of an the annual safety inspection anyway. Am sort of assuming you'd be interested - the house is in Chiswick if that helps.


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 11:29 pm 
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Know the area lived there for 10 years, not a million miles away from Surrey, don't know about Annual safety inspection, but do have C&G 2377 do a bit in spare time, if I can help let me know.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 1:00 pm 
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I first got deeply into In Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment in 2000 when I became responsible for a small concrete works. And it is a problem, back earlier in 20th Century I had many an argument over items like grinders with missing guards, should it be passed as electrical sound or failed as unsafe to use. As Electrical engineer it was my call so I instructed any faulty equipment should be failed what ever the fault but that's not done universal.

When I took my course no one referred to 552.1.3 and many a grinder I have found does not comply. Normally a active RCD socket will do the job but so easy missed. 0.37 kW is not very much and so many drills, hand grinders etc have a button to allow it to run without finger on the trigger. Again Active RCD plug will make it comply but is that being pedantic?

Items like mag mount drills where the magnet is class I but drill is class II are easy to make errors with.

Freezers, Washing Machines for example have timers so unless one was to test for an extended time you would not test the de-frost with frost free freezers or the water pump with washing machines. To test these one needs to do some dismantling.

So as the Manager one must decide what will come under a portable PAT tester list and what will have a maintenance contract.

This is the problem, the Manager not the person doing the PAT testing is responsible for the testing. If I was to give a guy the job of PAT testing and in one day he returned the results of 300 items as the Manager this should ring warning bells and tell me there is something wrong. OK if he found a cupboard of lead sets maybe he could exceed 300 items per day but I timed myself with a Top of Range Robin which did self check every time it was plugged in and had a min time for every test. And a normal office and garage which I used as a bench mark took 8 hours for 100 items. I agree other test machines may be faster but 300 items has still to ring alarm bells.

I know one place the hand drier had never been checked. It was hard wired and would take at least 1/2 hour to disconnect, remove from wall and take into an area where there were sockets to test it. OK only one every 4 years but will any guy paid by item really do that? Again down to Manager.

We had a portable batching plant with 126A three phase supply. It took three electricians two weekends to fully test. Including all the emergency stop switches. It was a massive machine but had wheels and came on 6 articulated wagons. How much per item?

And even with small items what should we pass. A 4 way extension lead arranged in a square with earth pins to centre will pass. But those where all the sockets are in a line often you can insert the plug wrong way around so disabling the shutters. We all know in sensible hands these are not really a danger. But what if your working in a school or nursery. Should you pass it or fail it?

It says you should test with consideration of the environment it is used in. The fig of 8, 2.5A class II appliance lead set is a good example. In the office I would pass even with 3A fuse when socket rated at 2.5A. But in the workshop or Lab I would fail as lead could be pulled out and end up in pool of water. But I know what happened, they would move their radio to office the day I did testing then return it to workshop after it had a sticker. But my plant record said it was found in office so likely I could worm out of it should worse come to worse and HSE was called in.

In theory we have class III in practice I never bothered. But it's all a watch my back exercise and ensuring if some one gets injured you can point the finger elsewhere.

And all that for between £1.50 and £2.50 per item! You must be joking! Only as a lost leader is it really worth it. A way into a firm which will then give one more work. OK some big firms do the work and specialise in Testing and Inspection. Look at their employment record, we all know the game, Oh sorry about that, it was Tom, d*ck, or Harry and we had to let them go. High staff turn around means near impossible to trace errors to firm rather than some poor spark that had just done as he was told.

As a spark we also do sneaky. We mark sheet as un-inspected due to asbestos in fuse carries. Or mark as un-found. It's a battle between office manager and electrician of who can shift the blame best!

And who is responsible for those silly socket protectors (Safety system disablers would be better word) there not electric, they are just a lump of dangerous plastic. I remove them and hand them to owners and say they are not kite marked and should not be used. Yes I know non of them are ever kite marked but saves the argument.

Or am I just Mr Pedantic? Fools rush in where Angles fear to tread!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:03 pm 
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Some interesting points ericmark.
In terms of the hand dryer, I would have considered isolating the hand dryer and testing it with a megger, which is an option, not a matter of plug and play but still does the job.
Other issue is enforcement, the rules are as gray as an RN warship. If complying with the code of practice was viewed as guaranteeing compliance then perhaps compliance would be better alongside a larger legal stick for not complying.

Cost is an issue, price wars have worn down the cost to virtually unsubstaniable levels in some areas.

Could be worse, could be mandatory in domestic situations also....imagine the number of fail tickets you would need for some homes :shock: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:23 pm 
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Thing is on the radio point, my view is tgar it would be an advisory note to fit an RCD socket or RCD at the distribution board, if the supply was fitted before RCDs became mandatory then it still complies and therefore passes.

Your industrial heavy machinery is also a special case and naturally I would expect it to attract special pricing due to the complexities involved.

You do make a valid point about fridge freezers, however part of that is checking for ice build up, if its full of ice its clearly not defrosting properly due to a fault somewhere.
Washing machines can be tested by starting and cancelling certain cycles ie starting rinse, then cancelling after x seconds, engage a spin cycle.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:38 pm 
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The testing of all functions is highlighted by the Beko recall.
It seems the fault was with the de-frost system. And water ingress was main problem. So if one could test the whole cycle one would have likely found the fault.
But to me the problem is if we had tested one of these items and has failed to find the fault we could be looking at a stretch in jail. I think one of the main skills we must have is knowing when to say "No".
We need to realise when it is specialist and we need to advise the client accordingly. The huge batching plant is easy to say no to. But washing machine, tumble drier, fridge are not so easy to back heal.
There is also a problem where we are contracted to test "All" appliances. Do we need to pay for the specialist? Or should we be writing the contract with more care.
To my mind we should be asking for a plant list and we should then mark the problem items and ask the client if he wants us to arrange special testing or does he want to do it himself.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:26 pm 
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ericmark wrote:
And who is responsible for those silly socket protectors (Safety system disablers would be better word) there not electric, they are just a lump of dangerous plastic.


I bought some in 1975 when our son was small and just starting to show an interest in electrical sockets. The first one he reached, he just prised upwards, pulling out the live & neutral pins and shearing off the earth pin, such that the slider was now stuck, exposing the terminals to anything he might have poked into the hole. Luckily I spotted it almost at once, & managed to extract the broken pin. I then threw them all away....

They should be banned.


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