In-service inspection and testing procedure
The IEE Code of Practice recognises four test situations.
- Type Testing to an appropriate standard
- Production testing
- In-Service testing
- Testing after repair
The PAT test process is concerned with the In-Service testing only.
This is the testing carried out as a routine to determine whether the equipment is in a satisfactory condition.
In-Service testing will involve the following:
- (a) Preliminary inspection (Visual)
- (b) Earth continuity tests (for Class 1 equipment)
- (c) Insulation testing (Which may sometimes be substituted by earth leakage measurement)
- (d) Functional checks.
Electrical testing should be performed by a person who is competent in the safe use of the test equipment and who knows how to interpret the test results obtained. This person must be capable of inspecting the equipment and, where necessary, dismantling it to check the cable connections.
If any equipment is permanently connected to the fixed installation, e.g. by a flex outlet or other accessory, the accessory will need to be detached from its box or enclosure so that the connections can be inspected. Such work should only be carried out by a competent person.
Formal visual inspections should only be carried out by persons competent to do so. The results of the inspection must be documented.
The following must be considered when carrying out the inspection
- Suitability of the equipment/environment
The equipment should be assessed for its suitability for the environment or the nature of the work being undertaken. When the work environment is harsh or hazardous particular care needs to be taken when selecting the equipment and assessing the frequency of inspection and testing.
- Good Housekeeping
A check should be made to ensure the equipment is installed and is being operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Notwithstanding the manufacturer’s instructions, the following are examples of items which should be checked:
- (a) Cables located so as to avoid damage
- (b) Means of disconnection/isolation readily accessible
- (c) Adequate equipment ventilation
- (d) Cups, plants, and work material correctly placed to avoid spillage
- (e) Equipment positioned to avoid strain on cord
- (f) Equipment is being operated with the covers in place and any doors are closed
- (g) Indiscriminate use of multi-way adaptors and trailing sockets is avoided
- (h) No unprotected cables run under carpets
- Disconection of Equipment
The means of isolation from the electricity supply must be readily accessible to the user, i.e. in normal circumstances it must be possible to reach the plug and socket without too much difficulty.
- The condition of the Equipment
Prior to the commencement of testing, the users should be asked if they are aware of any faults and if the equipment works correctly. The following items need to be inspected:
- (a) The flexible cable
- (b) The socket outlet
- (c) The appliance
- (d) The plug head
Some of the following checks many not be possible for equipment fitted with a non-rewireable plug
- (i) Check detachable power cords to class 1 equipment incorporates a CPC
- (ii) Identify signs of overheating
- (iii) Internal inspection; cord security, polarity, connections
- (iv) If non-rewireable plug; cord security, burning odours
- (v) Correct size fuse fitted, BS marked, ASTA marked
- (vi) Security of plug cover
- (vii) Check the flexible cable connections and anchorage at the equipment
Electrical testing of portable equipment will involve the following:
- (i) Earth bond continuity tests
- (ii) Insulation resistance testing
- (iii) Functional checks
(a) Earth Bond Test (Class 1 equipment only):
Readings should show less than 0.1+R Ohms (where R is the resistance of the lead)
Tested at a current of 1.5 times the rating of the fuse and no greater than 25A for a period of between 5 and 20 seconds or with a short-circuit test current within the range 20mA to 200mA.
(b) Insulation Resistance Test:
The applied test voltage should be approximately 500V dc
- Class 1 heating equipment < 3kW 0.3M Ohms
- Class 1 All other equipment 1M Ohms
- Class 2 Equipment 2M Ohms
- Class 3 Equipment 250k Ohms
(c) Optional Tests:
Flash Test: No flashover or breakdown shall occur
Operation/Load test: Compare reading with stated details on nameplate
Earth leakage test:
- Class 1 Handheld Appliances 0.75mA
- Other Class 1 Appliances 3.5mA
- Class 2 Appliances 0.25mA
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.
Our PAT test Procedure – We Serve Manchester, Cheshire and Stoke on Trent
When we are providing PAT Testing in Manchester and the areas we serve, we will:
1) Client Liaison:
- Our engineer will make them self known to the person responsible for Health & Safety at the testing premises.
- The engineer will liaise with this person with regard to the schedule of testing on the premises
- we will ask when it is appropriate for shutdown of equipment
- we will advise of any appliances that fail testing
2) Guidelines for Testing:
- Testing will be carried out under the IEE’s Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing.
3) Visual Inspection:
- Flex (cable) – this is inspected for any damage, ensuring it is free from cuts, fraying, splits or stress.
- Plug – the plug will be opened to ensure that the flexible cable is secure in its anchorage and is correctly wired,
- The fuse will be checked to the correct rating for the appliance and it is free from any sign of overheating and in physically good condition.
- The Appliance – the appliance will be inspected to ensure that it is in good working order, including ensuring that it switches on and off properly and the casing or cabinet has no damage that could result in access to live parts.
- Polarity Test (only carried out on extension cables and supply leads)
- Earth Continuity Test (only carried out on Class I appliances)
- Insulation Resistance Test
- Operational Test
- Tests on IT equipment are “soft tests” of 200mA on earth continuity.
All our Pat Testing Label`s include the following:
- Appliance ID Test
- Test Date
- Retest Date
- Pass labels are GREEN in colour.
- Fail labels are RED with DO NOT USE Failed Safety Test printed on them
Our computerized print outs include the following:
- Asset id
- Test results
- separate pass and fail reports
- We aim to provide these within 2 working days of the completion of testing
- Display Certificate – A Certificate for display in the staff room, notice board or reception to advise that the appliances on the premises have been tested for electrical safety will also be provided after full payment is received.
Provision for Socket Testing
We can if required check a customer’s socket outlets, especially their earthing integrity, whilst testing the appliances. Performing these two tasks concurrently is worthwhile and is very cost-effective.