Our testing procedure adheres closely to that established by The Code of Practice for the In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment. Over the years we have seen electrical items which have apparently been tested (identified by a "pass" sticker) but the plugs have clearly not been opened. If a plug hasn't been opened, the appliance can't have been properly inspected. We have also seen Class 1 appliances which were "passed" without an earth protective conductor!
Our test & inspection involves the following procedure:
- Discussion with the responsible person as to whether there are any known faults. It is also ascertained if it is safe to begin testing the appliance.
- Preliminary inspection
- Earth continuity tests (Class I equipment)
- Insulation testing (which may be substituted by an earth leakage measurement for example on IT equipment)
- Microwave ovens are tested for any radio frequency emissions and that the interlock and power disconnection operates appropriately.
- Functional check where appropriate.
- Recording of the results and a comparison with any previous results.
This procedure helps to ensure that the appliance is safe to use at the time of testing.
Of course, our test equipment must be safe and accurate. To this end it is annually calibrated and tested by Alpha Electronics of Maidstone. Copies of our calibration certificates are included in our Exchange of Information file.
We find that many PAT companies will only do a "visual check" on sensitive IT equipment. At GTI we have invested in equipment which can safely test IT appliances so that a complete service is provided.
As each appliance is tested, the results are recorded in a computerised asset inventory which includes much more information than purely whether the appliance passed or failed.