PAT (portable appliance) testing is a vital part of any organization’s security risk management plan. While this is an important task, it does not necessarily have to be hard. By following the right measures and avoiding the mistakes that most people do, you can provide a safe working place to your employees.
In this guide, we will walk you through a list of mistakes most people make during PAT testing in London.
#1 Incorrect Test Order
When it comes to checking Class I appliances, ensure that the conductive earth path is secure before conducting an insulation test. If it is not done beforehand, expect the test results to be incorrect.
#2 Not Switching The Appliance On
You want a test result you can count on. To ensure the same, it is important to switch on the appliance in the first place. During the insulation test, if the appliance is not switched on, it would be impossible for the voltage to pass through the wires.
#3 Not Checking The Fuse
When you forget to switch on the appliance, you cannot tell whether the fuse is working properly or not. There is no need to do a separate fuse test in order to check if the fuse is conducting. You just do a simple operation test and know if the appliance and the fuse are working fine.
#4 Coming In Contact With The Appliances
It is risky to touch appliances during insulation testing. Many do this to improve probe contact without realizing its adverse effect. While most appliances tend to pass insulation tests, you are likely to encounter one that fails. And in that case, if you touch the appliance, chances are high that you will get a 500V shock.
#5 Only Conducting One Earth Bond Test
Earlier, many PAT testers provided standard testing sequences with one earth test. This is not the right practice. In case an appliance has several separate outer parts with isolated earth paths, each and every one of them must be earth bond tested.
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#6 Taking Improper Readings
If an appliance has several separate outer parts with separate earth paths, it will need several earth bond tests. Therefore, it is required for the tester to take readings of each earth test. If you take the average reading, be sure to get an improper test result.
#7 Doing One Insulation Test
Just like the earth bond testing, testers used to do only one insulation test. This should not be the case. There are multiple areas on an appliance where insulation can degrade. For instance, insulation can wear down around the ventilation slots, assemble screws, chuck, or speed control of a power tool. Experts, therefore, recommend conducting a second insulation test.
#8 Not Conducting An Operation Test
Some PAT testers, often, indulge in the practice of not conducting an operation test. They are unable to do so. In such a scenario, to ensure the appliance is in good working condition, make sure you plug it into a socket after PAT testing and then switch on the power.
#9 Conducting Earth Bond Test On Class II Appliances
This is the most common mistake testers make, which can be deadly. They try to test the earth bond on Class II appliances. This is dangerous because there is no earth on these appliances. And doing so can result in improper readings.
#10 Not Inspecting The Cable Size
While testing, it is important to ensure that the cable diameters are correct. The appliance can be problematic if the tester measures the cable size wrong. Problematic protective equipment may enable a cable to bear additional weight than it is designed to. This could lead to a melt in the wire and fires.
#11 Not Arranging Periodic Inspections
If you do not schedule routine PAT testing for various devices, you cannot be aware of when they require replacement or restorations. This might lead to the usage of subpar equipment, which can result in a casualty or harm at any moment.
To evaluate the appliances at least once in two years, depending on how frequently you use them, it is vital to plan routine inspections. If you fail to plan this strategically, there is no way you can know if anything is wrong with the device until it turns into an emergency.
To ensure your employees’ well-being, you must do a PAT test in the most appropriate manner. While the test is taking place, make sure your employees are away from the areas where tests are taking place. Also make sure there are no obstacles in the testing areas, including boxes and cables. This is because they could pose a risk during testing.
While there are many common mistakes testers make during PAT testing, some simple steps can avoid these. Make sure you are aware of the risks of making these PAT testing mistakes and employ the right people for conducting the test.
You can contact Electric Works London for PAT testing and other related electrical services.
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