This is a question we get asked often, so we thought we would run you through a general scenario or two
- Scenario A
We are in an office environment and there is a work station that needs testing, now the general population think a work station is one item two at the most (although this is generally not the case). the work station will generally consist of:
- IEC lead for the PC
- IEC lead for the monitor
- IEC lead for the printer
- Extension lead
- Phone charger
This one or two items has now turned into 8 items (shock horror).
Each item has to be tested individually and are generally NOT all led out separately nice and neat, in this scenario the user has a quick email to finish off before sending, then there are 10 updates to do as the PC is never switched off, the leads are hidden and zip tied under a dusty desk covered in cobwebs, paper work, chewing gum and last weeks used tissues.
Before any testing can take place on these appliances they need to be un-clipped, briefly cleaned, routed out and made accessible.
After the search and rescue has been completed testing can finally commence
Each appliance needs a full visual inspection, which on a lead for example involves unscrewing the plug (if its not molded) and checking terminal tightness and fuse, examining the lead for splits, tape, cuts, exposed wires and checking general condition.
Next would be the actual appliance test which on a lead would consist of a an earth bond test, an insulation resistance test then a polarity test (each test takes a few seconds).
Next would be logging the appliance type, make, model and serial number (which isn’t as easy as texting your buddy).
After the lead has been tested the same would start again with the next appliance.
All in all for the test alone takes a minimum of 2 minutes, times this by 8 appliances = 16 minutes, add in the time to complete work, switch off, unplugging, routing out, cleaning = minimum 5 minutes and finally 2 more minutes to route wires again and switch back on leaves a total off 23 minutes to test 8 appliances…. on this basis a tester could test maximum 20 items an hour
- Scenario B
We in the same office environment, with the same amount of appliances, except this time everything has been switched off, unplugged and ready to test
Simply put this would take 2 minutes a test as you cannot properly test an item quicker than this unless you are cutting corners. 8 items =16 minutes which would be 30 items an hour
- Scenario C
We often go to previously tested premises and it could be either scenario A or B and the previous tester would have tested the whole office (100 items for example) in an hour, funnily enough they generally use their iPhone to test everything by flashing it over the appliance.
Testing an appliance every 6 seconds is impressive, It would possibly take most of the general population more than 6 seconds to shut down the screen of there PC, so its one hell of a magic trick.
The point of this post is
If your PAT tester is spending less than 30 seconds to test an appliance that is unplugged, molded plug, cleaned, lead out and completely accessible… Then alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear… At 30 seconds they would be setting some sort of record, with sweat running down their brows and fingers Jimmy Hendrix would be proud off.
Next time you are looking for “THE CHEAPEST QUOTE” think on and get a professional company such as PAT Testing Northwest as the responsibility of safety is on the business owner, not the person that did or did not test the equipment.