The portable appliance testing is a term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Even though most of the electrical safety defects can be detected by visual examination, some types of defect can only be found by testing. That’s why it’s important to understand that visual examination is a really important process and getting to know and understanding the equipment is essential. However, a more formal and deeper inspection is required in order to make yourself sure that all your electrical appliances work properly. Normally these tests have to be performed by a skilled and competent person depending on the type of equipment and the environment in which they are used.
It’s true that the frequency of the PAT testing depends on the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used in, but it also depends on the company’s risk assessment and maintenance schedule. For example, it’s clearly obvious that a power tool that’s used on a construction site should be examined more frequently than a lamp in a restaurant, so understanding the importance of the examination is really important when it comes to PAT testing. In order to perform the test, you’ll need to own PAT testers, equipment that comes in many different types. The simple pass/fail PAT testers can only tell you whether the device has passed or failed the test, which means they are the cheapest and the least effective testers around.
There are also manual PAT testers that are something in between the basic and the high-end models. They require a greater knowledge of PAT testing and it’s important to know how to correctly interpret the results derived from the test. Although there are some manuals that still use the pass/fail technique, most of them are modernized and use different methods to show the testing results. However, the best testers available to this date are the downloadable PAT testers. These devices normally have all kinds of advanced and fancy features such as keyboards, LCD displays, they are easily connectable to computers and have internal memory storage. Their testing results can be downloaded on the device itself or on a PC, a mobile phone or a tablet.
Note that some of the PAT testers are inappropriate for some devices and may even damage some of the equipment unless appropriate precaution measures are taken. That’s why it’s important that the people working with the testers understand all about the devices that are being tested.