It has been more than a hundred years since the first toaster was invented and since then, electrical appliances have come a long way. But, it was only recently in 1989 that electrical safety was covered with the Electricity at Work Regulations, which basically says that employers have the responsibility to ensure that all types of work that involve electricity is conducted safely.
When it comes to portable electric appliances, according to the law, they must undergo regular portable appliance testing or PAT. These tests can only be done by a competent person with the use of various PAT equipment accessories. It is important to note that some types of electrical defects can’t be detected by testing alone and visual examination is an essential part of the process. However, both visual examination and testing should be done by a competent person and at the appropriate intervals, depending on the type of electrical appliances and the environment in which they are used.
Choosing the correct PAT tester can be confusing, since there is a wide range of PAT equipment and accessories available on the market. Before selecting a certain model, there are a number of factors you should consider in terms of functionality, ease of use, reliability, and of course, price. With that in mind, I have selected some of the best PAT tester models that offer the most value.
Pass/Fail Testers are a model that does not display any measured values and can only display two possible results: pass or fail. Although a pass/fail tester is fairly easy to use, in order to precisely test an appliance you must interpret the measurements of the instrument and the pass/fail tester does not allow this, which means you need to use additional instruments to get more precise readings.
Manual PAT Testers require you to manually record test results and appliance details. This model of PAT testers most often has separate tests for class 1, class 2, and extension leads and usually the test sequence and pass limits are fixed, so some manual interpretation of the readings is required.
Downloadable PAT testers are probably one of the best models out there since they have a wide range of features and tests and they are easy and quick to use. On top of that, with this model you have the ability to download the test data and the appliance details which not only speeds up the whole testing process, but it also makes the tests traceable in order to show that they have been carried out correctly.
When choosing PAT equipment, depending on your needs, you should also consider all the features that it includes, such as earth resistance, insulation resistance, earth leakage, load test, 110V operation, RCD trip time, battery operation, test sequences and auto tests, barcode reader, label printers, qwerty keyboard and so on.