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Q. Must my cables be PAT tested?

Published December 2017
By Hugh Robjohns

If your gear needs PAT testing, then your mains cables do too!If your gear needs PAT testing, then your mains cables do too!I’m looking to get some kit PAT tested at the moment and am getting some quotes, but everyone wants to know how many items there are to be tested? It’s not clear to me if a non-captive cable (eg. a standard IEC lead) and a mains-powered unit are tested separately or together? So if I have a power amp with an IEC mains lead, would that count as two tests or one?

SOS Forum post

SOS Technical Editor Hugh Robjohns replies: As far as the PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) regulations are concerned, anything that can be connected to the mains, either directly or through a removable cable, must be tested (and the results logged), and that includes each separate mains lead and mains plug-boards.

If you think about it, it must be done that way because there’s no point in having a nice safe PAT-tested device powered from an untested and potentially broken and unsafe IEC mains lead! So if your electrician charges per item then you may well need to double your budget as testing will be needed for each electrical piece of gear and each individual removable mains lead.

Published December 2017