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PAT testing - Is it legally required

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Re: PAT testing - Is it legally required

Postby ef37a » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:35 pm

One precaution I took at my last but one employer was not to use my normal initial..Still my name! But I included the first letter of my middle name.

Since I was testing 100 or so production items a month I did not want anything coming on top with my monica forged on it!

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Re: PAT testing - Is it legally required

Postby agent funk » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:26 pm

One thing to add (sorry if someone already has lots of replys here) is that I must say the testers do work in many situations where a visual test alone wouldn't have found the fault. Just in case some people might think they are a waste of time. Besides the obvious one of the earth connection hanging on by a single strand - passing the high current through burns it out and you get the fail - there is also the insulation test. The tester puts a high voltage across the connections and can spot many potential problems such as a hairline crack in the insulation of the wires, esp where they have rubbed on a chassis screw or fitting. There might be no connection, but the high voltage arcs across revealing the potential trouble. Of course you still have to use your eyes to find the fault, which can take awhile!, but at least you have confidence in it once it passes.

Some equipment might not like the insulation test, but I think most high voltage stuff would benefit from it. Not even sure if it's part of the PAT "test", even though the testing equipment can do it.
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Re: PAT testing - Is it legally required

Postby blinddrew » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:13 pm

Looking to get some kit re-tested at the moment and getting some quotes, obviously one question is "how many bits of kit to be tested?"
I have done some reading around but it's not clear if a cable and a unit are tested separately or together?
I.e. if I have an amp that has a non-captive cable (standard IEC) then is that two tests or one?
Thanks
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Re: PAT testing - Is it legally required

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:07 pm

blinddrew wrote:I have done some reading around but it's not clear if a cable and a unit are tested separately or together?

They should be tested, logged, and labelled as the entirely separate electrical items that they are.

H
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Re: PAT testing - Is it legally required

Postby blinddrew » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:56 pm

I thought as much. I shall double my estimate...
Thanks Hugh :)
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Re: PAT testing - Is it legally required

Postby Guest » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:27 pm

Don't seem to see anyone on this web site advertising The fact that there gear is pat tested and insured
https://www.lastminutemusicians.com/sea ... lists.html

But would you expect this at the base line level for 100-150 quid for crap pub jobs?
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Re: PAT testing - Is it legally required

Postby blinddrew » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:37 pm

Short answer: yes.
Slightly longer answer: yes, because the risks of not having appropriate 3rd party liability cover (or having it declared void because your kit wasn't tested) is simply far too great.
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Re: PAT testing - Is it legally required

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:29 pm

music master wrote:Don't seem to see anyone on this web site advertising The fact that there gear is pat tested and insured

They don't specifically say they can drive themselves to a gig or know how to set their equipment up properly either... But we assume they can and will! ;-)

But would you expect this at the base line level for 100-150 quid for crap pub jobs?

Yes, absolutely! I appreciate it's all additional overhead costs which you'd rather avoid, but it's one of those things -- like PLI -- that just has to be done because the potential risks of not being able to show that you took reasonable steps to ensure your gear was safe is far too serious and drastically damaging to contemplate.

And it's also seen by many as a mark of serious professionalism and commitment.

If you're lugging your gear around to gigs regularly its going to suffer wear and tear, so it's essential that it is safety checked on a regular basis. The PAT scheme isn't mandatory, but it is a very good way of checking everything important is safe and documenting the fact. Think of it as an MOT for your electrical gear. Having evidence of regular PAT testing will also keep venues and insurers happy, and the sensible venues will insist on it anyway before they let you in the door. Moreover, it could save your bacon should something bad happen outside your control!

So I would encourage you to get your gear PAT tested regularly. I do mine every 6 months for the most heavily used portable gear, annually for everything else.

Also, before you plug anything in at your crap pub jobs, use a mains socket tester first to make sure it's safe -- it's amazing how many duff ones are around -- and ALWAYS use an RCCB (earth leakage breaker).
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Re: PAT testing - Is it legally required

Postby DavidJGreaves » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:14 am

One issue is whether to use an automated PAT testing machine or a manual insulation tester. The automated machines are quite expensive and ultimately not as generally useful as an insulation tester with 500 and 1000 volt ranges. Whenever I am making a repair on mains powered equipment I make a manual insulation test. I make the earth continuity resistance tests with a multimeter that works to a tenth of an ohm.

Another issues is the calibration of PAT equipment. Sending it off to an approved lab is expensive whereas just testing it yourself on a few resistors is free. The tolerance required for safe calibration is not an issue, since a 2 to 1 error is not going to affect whether something is safe on not in any real-world situation.

I do not have to regularly test lots of equipment. So when my automated PAT tester failed I did not bother to replace it and I just use my insulation tester, multimeter and various mains cables and probes.

Don't be tempted to make insulation tests with a standard multimeter however. I have an old piece of twin-and-earth cable that makes a good demo: No resistance between live and earth is detected with a standard DMM but the insulation tester on the 500 volt range shows a clear fault. The same piece of cable, when wired to the mains, trips the RCD.

Remember to take great care when using an insulation tester. Mine beeps all the time the voltage is on to keep the user alert.

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Re: PAT testing - Is it legally required

Postby AudioPhilisopher » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:02 pm

I've always gotton a pass with my pat testing. It's a bit of an annoying tax you pay just for some beauracracy.

PAT testing was designed for stuff in offices, where you have no tech looking over things, kettles, photocopier etc. which may have electrical faults and the staff are none the wiser.

When studio equipment develops electrical faults, we know it immediately because there's tell tell signs from the audio & interference being output.

It isn't legally required but most insurances will require it to cover their backs. You may find that some insurance will actually require the equipment to be PAT.

it's fairly cheap to do if you don't bring in new equipment every couple of months. You can do just 1 annual inspection and for around £80 you can get 100 items tested. If you're bringing in new equipment, that means a new callout, and a flat fee starting from £80 to do the tests- it will add up.

Aside from the cost, it's the inconvenience of getting everything out, all the cables etc and having it prepared for the PAT tester to do their stuff.

A mate of mine doe PA hire, he ended up doing a PAT course, and self certifing his own equipment. It cost £300 to do the course and the device he got was £300 but he can issue his own PAT labels for the equipment.
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Re: PAT testing - Is it legally required

Postby AudioPhilisopher » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:04 pm

geefunk wrote:I neeed some advice on this too. I'm in a school, and we've just had an annual PAT test, and 8 of my brand new, still in the box power extension reels were failed because they have 10amp cable (13amp plug/fuse), and it is thinner than 13amp cable, so illegal?

We already had one in the school, and it was passed by the company last year, but a different company have failed it this year. What is the situation?

Thanks

Use a 10 amp fuse?
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Re: PAT testing - Is it legally required

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:42 pm

As I understand it you don't need to do a course* to be able to PAT test (ok I know but PA testing means something completely different on here) electrical equipment. The only requirement is that the test is conducted by a 'competent person'. The other crucial thing is to keep records. I do my own but would probably not get involved in doing anybody else gear. If you are not up to speed the prudent thing is to get an electrician to do the job for you.

* Obviously this may change in the future and, if you don't know how to conduct the tests then a course is a very sensible way to learn how.
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