Tests that ensure the safety of portable electrical devices or their electrical circuits are vital for workers’ life and safety. In many countries like Ireland, a PAT test which stands for portable appliance testing, is legally mandatory.
Whether a PAT inspection is compulsory or not, it is always good practice to get it done. It not only ensures the safety of users but also corroborates the quality of your appliances. If you want your electrical equipment to be tested for circuit leaks and earthing defects, you can visit this site for reliable and professional PAT testing.
9 Things To Do When Your Electrical Equipment Fails A Regulatory Check
You Do Not Have To Shut Down Your Business Immediately
It is true that safety tests for electrical equipment must be taken seriously, but in the United Kingdom, they are not mandatory. For business ventures, laws like the Health and Safety Of Workers Act make regulatory checks mandatory. But they do not prescribe the PAT, yet most people mistakenly believe that it is mandatory.
Make Sure That The PAT Testing Is Accurate
A qualified engineer is competent enough to make simple repairs if an appliance fails the test. But if many appliances fail the test, then you may need to consult another testing agency. At times, the equipment used for testing may not be calibrated properly; hence, the readings may be inaccurate. In other instances, the parameters used for testing a particular appliance may not be accurate, and this can happen if the inspector is not a well-experienced person.
For instance, experienced PAT inspectors will know that appliances having voltage suppressors in-built into them will not pass an insulation resistance test. So they will not perform an insulation resistance test for some specific devices.
Ask The Engineer To Confirm The Problem In The Circuit
If there is indeed a problem with an appliance, that appliance must not be used any further. It needs to be repaired and then tested again. The first step for repairing a device is to identify the problem.
An engineer will open the circuit board and look for the exact defect before proceeding with any repairs. Alternatively, if the problem lies with worn-out or torn insulation wires, then only the wires can be changed from the damaged part.
In the circuit board, the engineer looks for explosions or burnt parts. A burn can be spotted by smelling the circuit board. The soldered parts of a circuit are the parts that frequently have a problem, so you must pay close attention to the soldered parts.
Ask The Engineer To Repair The Shorted Portions Of The Circuit
For repairing a shorted point, it needs to be de-soldered first and then resoldered after replacing the burnt portions. Once such minor changes are made, the appliance can be used again once it passes the necessary regulatory checks.
Ask The Engineer To Go For Major Repairs If The Appliance Still Fails The Test
Locating major faults will require instruments like an ammeter, an analog or a digital multimeter, an oscilloscope etc. For troubleshooting, the voltage at both the end terminals of equipment is checked to see if all the components in a circuit are functioning optimally. Thus, the resistors, the capacitors, the voltage transistors etc., are all checked.
If the engineer finds a particular resistor or a capacitor faulty, he will replace it. This will be followed by a PAT test to see if the device is safe for regular usage.
Request The Engineer To Check For Blockages In The Power Supply
If all the internal components of a device are working fine, then you will have to look for defects in the power supply to the device. For checking for power blockages, the engineer will require a multimeter, and each part, like a diode or a resistor, needs to be inserted in the multimeter to check if the readings for volts in the multimeter are correct or not.
If there is a defect in the power supply, then the engineer may replace the device’s PSU or power supply unit.
Get The Main Controller Of The Electrical Appliance Checked
The main controller needs to be checked for grounding. Also, if the main controller has a special integrated circuit for timers, then individual pins of the integrated circuit have to be checked for short circuits.
Get The Earthing Tested
All electrical instruments are earthed to prevent electric shock; the earthlings make sure that any excess charge flows into the earth or ground, which is the huge reservoir of charges. The earth circuit must have a definite resistance which usually does not exceed one Ohm.
Sometimes a high current situation is simulated so that if a live wire touches any grounded metal component of the appliance, it should not give shocks. However, the excess current test may not be suitable for some laptops or modems.
If there is a problem with the earthing that needs immediate attention, the engineer will check the earthing rod of the house and get it fixed. However, such problems are tough to deal with, and only an experienced person can fix them.
Get The Polarity Tested
In some regions of the world, the socket is polarised. If the appliance is fitted with the incorrect polarity, then it might show some defect. So if the polarity tester shows that there is a problem with the appliance, then you can change the connection of the appliance accordingly.
A PAT may not be compulsory, but they are essential to ensure that the electrical appliances within a premises are safe and sound. Hence, you must get a PAT test done once in six months or whenever you see early signs of circuit damage.
Usually, problems in a circuit can be noticed visually by checking for broken wires or sparks or smoke that emanate from equipment.
However, a PAT tester may unearth those flaws that are difficult to detect visually. The appliance usually requires simple changes like replacing a fuse, rewiring a plug or repairing a damaged cable.