PAT testing refers to the independent safety inspections carried to ensure proper use of electrical equipment. It’s a measure that helps reduce accidents in the workplace and helps to prevent unnecessary costly litigation. But do you want to know how much it would cost you to carry out PAT testing? In this article, we breakdown the various aspects you need to consider when assessing the PAT testing cost and how you can make sure you don’t overspend.
PAT testing is an annual compliance check that tests the electrical installations in commercial and industrial premises for safety against fire and electric shock. You will need to take every reasonable step to make sure that your appliances are safe. It’s also one of the reasons why you need to hire qualified electricians to get the job done.
How much does PAT testing cost?
When considering PAT Testing cost, it’s important to know that there are two main cost components involved: an intial fixed fee for a batch of items and a per item fee for each appliance tested , and those associated with repair or replacement. These fees must be taken into account when putting together a budget.
Generally, companies would charge you around £1 – £3 per item. Alternatively, they would charge an hourly rate which can be in the range of £40 – £50 per hour. However, you can easily negotiate with the company if you have a large number of items that need to be tested.
Below is a rough estimate on how much it could cost you based on the initial fee and the additional items that need to be tested.
|NUMBER OF APPLIANCES||INITIAL FEE (UP TO 10 ITEMS)||10-50 ITEMS (£2-£3 PER ITEM)||50-100 ITEMS (£1-£2 PER ITEM)||TOTAL COST|
Labour cost for PAT Testing
PAT Testing is carried out by a suitably qualified electrician or person whose job it is to carry out the PAT testing. They will usually charge by the hour or by the item being tested. A general rule would be around £40-£60 per hour, although there is no set price.
Hiring a qualified engineer may cost around £40-£50 per hour, and the engineer can usually test about 40-50 items within that time. For larger jobs in places such as office buildings or construction sites, the daily rate of the engineer is around £330-£360 per day on average.
In most cases, there will be a minimum fee regardless of the number of appliances that need testing. This is to cover the fixed cost of traveling, labeling, VAT, equipment hire and time involved.
It is often advised that you keep the items that need testing ready and ensure they are not in use. This will make sure that you make the best use of the item the engineer spends in testing your items and can bring the overall cost down.
Factors that affect PAT Testing Cost
There are many factors that can determine the final cost of PAT Testing. Below is a list of the main items that you need to be aware of when calculating the overall budget.
The type of item tested
Smaller items usually don’t take too long and therefore the labour charges would be less. On the contrary, larger items would take longer and can therefore be more expensive.
Number of items tested
If the company charges on a per item basis, the overall cost is likely to increase if there are more items to be tested. However, you can always negotiate for a discount with the contractor when drawing up the quote if you have more items.
Depending on where you are located, your PAT testing cost can change too. Generally, if it is further away from the company’s working area, you will be charged a fee to cover the travel cost. It’s therefore recommended that you look for PAT Testers closer to your area.
Any additional work
If there are any appliances that fail the test, require repair or need to be replaced, these will be added to the quotation which can eventually increase your cost.
Steps involved in PAT Testing
There’s a series of steps that one has to go through when conducting a PAT test. It broadly goes through 2 stages; visual test, full electrical combined test and finally issuing the result.
This includes the following:
- Check for any visual damages on the plug casing
- Remove the cover from the plug
- Check if all the wiring is in place correctly
- Check if the fusing rating is correct
- Check if all the connections and terminals are secure
- Check if there’s minimal bare wire
- Check if there are any signs of overheating
- Check for any presence of liquid or any foreign matter.
Electrical combined test
- Conduct an earth continuity test
- Conduct a test to check for insulation resistance
- Check for any earth leakages and conduct load testing.
Once the above processes are complete, the result will be issued (pass or fail). A certificate will be provided based on the results. Any minor issues will be rectified whereas if there are any significant damages, necessary action will be taken to correct them.
Regulations for PAT Testing
It is usually possible to carry out PAT testing without having to go through the building regulations process, but other considerations may need to be taken into account such as The Electricity of Work Regulations and Health and Safety Act. Although PAT testing isn’t a legal requirement, it is thought to completely cover any obligations of the regulations.
PAT Testing for different appliances
Any appliance that weighs less than 18kg is considered a portable appliance and they need to go through PAT testing. Generally, any item that is connected to a power source is subject to PAT testing. They can be put into 3 different classes.
Class 1 appliances are the highest priority for PAT testing and relates to any earthed items.Items that come under Class 1 include electric heaters, microwaves, fridges and toasters.
If you’ve got a double-insulated system, it’s likely to be Class 2. This class includes goods such as televisions, computers, irons, and hair dryers are some examples.
This class covers products like charging leads for products such as laptops and mobile phones. Additionally, power supply leads for any portable appliance or equipment should be PAT tested.
PAT Testing Benefits
There are many benefits of carrying out PAT Testing especially in a corporate or industrial setting.
- It’s vital to ensure that your employees are safe and that they can carry out their jobs without risking injuries. This is where PAT testing comes in; it ensures that all devices are safe for use.
- PAT testing is important because it means your electrical equipment is working correctly and safely, reducing the risk of an electrical fire.
- If a fault occurs in equipment that is supposedly working correctly, your insurance claim may be denied if no PAT Testing had taken place.
- A regular PAT test will keep your electrical equipment in good working order. Regular maintenance can extend the life of everything from electrical cables to fuses significantly.
Hiring contractors to conduct PAT Testing
Before choosing a contractor for PAT Testing, there are few questions you need to ask them to evaluate if they are a good fit.
- Do they offer any guarantees for their work?
- Do they provide a detailed quotation of the work involved? Does it have a breakdown for the cost?
- Does the contractor have experience in conducting a PAT Test?
- Do they have testimonials from previous customers who have used the contractor for carrying out a PAT Test?
- Does the contractor fix the issues when anything arises?
Fortunately for you, our contractors at Complete Electricians can answer YES to all the above questions. If you live around Taunton, Somerset or any of our working locations, do get in touch with us for a free PAT Testing quote. We will be more than happy to carry out PAT Testing for you.