If you are a land lord, business owner or manager of a public sector organisation then you should have your electrical appliances tested on a regular basis to ensure that they meet health and safety legislation. However you may be wondering what to do if an appliance fails the test. This article will look into this subject further.
Why should you test your electrical appliances?
PAT test stands for Portable Appliance Testing and covers electrical items which are not fixed or wired into a socket. This includes PC’s and computers, devices such as printers, phone charger, lamps, stereo, washing machines, TV, Irons and power tools such as drills. Any item or lead that has a plug should be tested regularly. This can be done by a qualified PAT tester, who will usually use a machine for pat testing.
Electrical items should be tested in order to reduce and risks and ensure that they are in good working order. Employees have a responsibility to keep staff and customers safe and one of the ways to do this is to keep appliances working correctly. This will also help to reduce the number of claims against your organisation.
PAT testing is part of the Fire regulations and organisations and businesses should regularly have their appliances tested to reduce the risk of fire and other electrical damage.
A PAT test is generally valid for one year for items in a normal environment. However, if you are using electrical items in a more dangerous environment such as a construction site then it is recommended that they be tested ever three months.
Why has my appliance fail the test?
An appliance can fail a PAT test for a number of reasons. It could be deemed unsafe for use due to faulty parts or frayed or damaged cables for example. A PAT tester will remove items that fail the PAT test for repair or safe disposable. It is a legal requirement that PAT testers must mark appliances with a sticker that shows it has passed the test. This sticker will also have a date for retesting. If an appliance fails the test then the PAT tester must remove it from the organisation.
Any items which have failed the PAT test will be recorded as part of the service on a failure sheet so that the business or organisation is aware that it can no longer be used.
Can my Appliance be repaired?
In some cases, an appliance which has failed a PAT test can be easily repaired. This may be a simple process such as replacing one or more parts. If you have been told that your appliance has failed, the PAT test then it is worth discussing with the tester the reasons behind this. You can request that the appliance be repaired.
Many PAT testers will make small repairs free of charge. Plugs can be replaced if they are damaged or can be rewired if necessary. Faulty fuses can also be replaced as part of the testing fee. If larger repairs need to be made, then an extra charge will probably apply. You may also need to find a specialist company who can make the repairs; this is particularly true for larger appliances such as washing machines or dish washers.
However, if the appliance is very old or damaged it may be beyond repair. In this case it would be safer to replace the item. If, like many people you are not technically aware the tester will be happy to make any recommendations about your testing report and what action should be taken regarding failed appliances.