Portable Appliance Testing – The Visual Inspection

Visual inspections are carried out as part of the PAT Test and should only be carried out by persons competent to do so. The results of the inspection must be documented.

When conducting the visual test portion of the PAT Test the following must be considered

Suitability of the equipment and environment

The suitability of the equipment within the environment where the equipment is being operated need to be assessed. The frequency of testing and nature of the PAT test needs to be assessed according to the harshness of the environment.

Due Diligence

An assessment has to be made as to whether the equipment is installed and operated in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. In addition to the manufacturers instructions, the following are examples of items which should be checked:

  • Cables located to avoid damage and risk of damage
  • Means to disconnect and isolate must be easily accessible
  • Adequate ventilation
  • All sources of water – direct and indirect such as plants, taps etc. to be kept at a safe distance to avoid spills
  • Power cords and leads are not to be put under strain
  • Any appropriate covers and doors are secured when items are being operated
  • Indiscriminate use of multi-way adaptors, extension leads and trailing sockets
  • No unprotected cables run under carpets

Disconnection of the appliance

The source of the electrical supply and isolation must be readily accessible to the user – the plug and socket must be easily accesible.

The condition of the appliance

The following need to be inspected:

  • The power cable/lead
  • The power socket outlet
  • The appliance

The plug

All plugs should be tested for the following, (some checks may not be possible for equipment fitted with a moulded plug):

  • Check detachable power cords to Class 1 equipment
  • Look for signs of overheating
  • Internal inspection; cord security, polarity, correct wiring connections
  • Correct size fuse fitted, BS marked, ASTA marked
  • Security of plug cover
  • Check the flexible cable connections and anchorage at the equipment, if practical
  • If it is a moulded plug; cord security, burning odours

Want to know more about visual testing – Talk to a PAT Testing expert today and learn more about our Portable Appliance Testing Services, contact us on 01444 616206 or via email at enquiries@rmk-pat.co.uk