How long is a PAT test valid for?

To ensure that electrical appliances and equipment are in good condition, safe to use,and will not cause injury,they are examined periodically according to the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. This is referred to as PAT testing (Portable Appliance Testing). PAT testing law requires that landlords, employers, and the self-employed should ensure that their portable electrical appliances are only used for the purposes they are meant for and that they are safe and suitable for the job at hand.

To ensure preventative maintenance, the Health and Safety Executive state that PAT testing should be done regularly. However, there are no set rules on how frequently this is. The reason why there are no set rules is because a variety of situations that require a variety of measures could potentially happen. It is left toeach individual to determine when to carry out PAT testing, since there are a number of factors that affect the testing frequency.

Most types of electrical safety defects can be detected by visual examination while some can only be detected by testing. Regardless, visual examination is a key component of fault detection since most faults may not be detected by testing alone.

There are a few different factors to considerto determine how often to test your appliances:

  1. A major factor in determining the frequency of PAT testing is the type of equipment in question. Appliances that are stationary are less likely to become damaged than appliances that are hand held. Class 1 appliances should be tested more often since they pose the greatest risk of danger.
  2. Equipment that is less frequently used may suffer less damage than that being used regularly. Therefore, frequently-used equipment and appliances should be tested more often.
  3. There is a lowerrisk for a major hazard to happen when people immediately report any noticeable damage. If it happens that people tend not to report damage once it becomes noticeable, and that equipment is handled with little care, then testing and inspections should be done more frequently.

There are recommendations for PAT testing frequency although there are no set rules:

  • Industrial equipment testing: commercial kitchens included, portable and handheld equipment testing should be done every 6months on all industrial sites. Stationary, moveable, and IT equipment should be tested every 12 months.
  • Hotels, shops, and offices: testing should be done every 48months for class 1 equipment, including IT and stationary equipment. Handheld equipment should be tested every 12months. Portable equipment and moveable equipment should be tested every 24months.
  • Public use equipment: portable, moveable, and handheld equipment that is under Class 2 should be tested every 12months. Those under Class 1 should be tested every 6months. Stationary and IT equipment, such as computers, should be tested every 12 months.
  • School: Class 2 equipment should be PAT tested every 48months, while Class 1 equipment should be tested every 12months.
  • Construction: there should be a PAT testing every 3months for all 110V equipment on construction sites.