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PAT testing

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    Posted: 08 November 2019 at 11:51am
HI Guys

My sparky friend helpfully said he can't do this for me, but more importantly, he mentioned some equipment can be damaged by a PAT test- eg speaker management rack..is this "toilet" or is he right... ?

Sorry for the dumbest question yet....but we finally succeed in securing our first proper venue- it even has a 16a outlet :)

AKA the typo king...bear with me, my hands are big and the keyboard small....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote imageoven Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2019 at 12:19pm
Not by someone with the right equipment and who knows what they're doing.

A half decent PAT machine will have an "IT equipment" setting which should be used with anything with a processor in it.
Keep pushing on, things are gonna get better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ceharden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2019 at 5:44pm
The most important part of a Portable Appliance Test is the visual inspection.

One of the tests you can do is a high Voltage insulation 'Flash' test but anyone with any sense won't do it on equipment which would be damage by it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Radius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2019 at 7:00pm
Thanks guys..now I know what to tell them if they don't know ...there is a test place in Uxbridge..I reckon it will be £100 or so to test everything
AKA the typo king...bear with me, my hands are big and the keyboard small....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote James Tengo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2019 at 7:47pm
A pack of stickers is only £3.40... 
A brand new calibrated machine is only £210...


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote JonB67 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2019 at 8:37pm
I hire space to leave some of my rig at a venue I use. When I came to use it 2 months ago, someone had opened the pa room its kept in and pat tested everything,  including our gear. Amps, leads,  lights, the lot! They even went through all the boxes of cables and did them.

I had two amp racks, 4 boxes of leads and 30 light fixtures in there 

The venue only has about 4 leads and a couple of powered tops. 

Imagine their pat testing bill was a surprise!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote James Tengo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2019 at 8:51pm
There are courses that set people up to run their own PAT business, for £2k you get trained in how to use the machines, a machine, a roll of stickers and a certificate. Two days training and away you go. A friend's Mrs did a course, set up her own company, made a lot of inaccurate claims on her website (about the legal requirement for PAT etc) incompetent doesn't even start to cover it, she is several sandwiches short of a picnic. This is why you have to be careful when engaging a PAT testing company.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote csg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2019 at 9:27pm
I had a good old chuckle a few weeks back when working in a large hotel venue, the venue has a large lx rig in house, 100’s of dmx cables, every one of which had a PAT sticker on it!

Good business to be in...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote JonB67 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2019 at 9:35pm
Especially as I doubt they did any more than a visual inspection. 

Makes a mockery of the whole thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ceharden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2019 at 11:22pm
We've had the testers come round our office at work, put stickers on things powered from low Voltage DC supplies, cables where I can be sure they weren't even able to see both ends of them.  At least one which I know would have been a fail if they'd actually looked properly.

It's actually worth reading the HSE Website on the subject.  http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/faq-portable-appliance-testing.htm  The yearly testing is one of the biggest myths.  The interval should be chosen based on how the equipment is used.  Arguably in our industry that could be every time it's used.  My take on that is that I 'visually inspect' my cables etc every time I take them out of the trunk and if there's any issue I won't use them.  For IT equipment that's not moved, the HSE suggest every 5 years may be sufficient.

I'm doing a hotel gig tomorrow where they're insisting on a 'PAT Certificate'.  Sod that, I'm not paying some other incompetent person to 'test' my gear.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Danielr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 November 2019 at 12:12am
There is no such thing as a PAT certificate. - you have a record of maintenance. 


My best pat tester at work story is when the guy stuck a sticker on my old laptop power brick dating pass, then changed it when I said, "are you sure, I mean it comes apart into two pieces exposing bare mains wires inside...

As above the industry is full of Cowboys, go do a day course, buy the gear and test yourself, keep good records etc. -they'll teach that in the course. 


Edited by Danielr - 09 November 2019 at 12:14am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Digbethdave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 November 2019 at 7:58pm
It's just a box ticking exercise. Pat yourself, aslong as you record that you have done a visual inspection which is the basic. 
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