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PAT testing

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Category: General
Forum Name: Newbie Discussion
Forum Description: Newbie Discussion/Questions. Look less stupid here...
URL: https://forum.speakerplans.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=104479
Printed Date: 16 July 2020 at 1:30pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.03 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: PAT testing
Posted By: Radius
Subject: PAT testing
Date 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 :)



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AKA the typo king...bear with me, my hands are big and the keyboard small....



Replies:
Posted By: imageoven
Date 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.


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Keep pushing on, things are gonna get better.


Posted By: ceharden
Date 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. 


Posted By: Radius
Date 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

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AKA the typo king...bear with me, my hands are big and the keyboard small....


Posted By: James Tengo
Date Posted: 08 November 2019 at 7:47pm
A pack of stickers is only £3.40... 
A brand new calibrated machine is only £210...




Posted By: JonB67
Date 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!



Posted By: James Tengo
Date 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.




Posted By: csg
Date 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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“The fact is this is about identifying what we do best and finding more ways of doing less of it better”


Posted By: JonB67
Date 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.


Posted By: ceharden
Date 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" rel="nofollow - 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.



Posted By: Danielr
Date 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. 


Posted By: Digbethdave
Date 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. 


Posted By: monkeypuzzle
Date Posted: 09 November 2019 at 9:06pm
As above, get a tester, do the course or if you’re pretty savvy then just read as much documentation as you can. You have to be classed as a competent person and more often than not, just doing no the course does not make you that. When I take plugs apart I test each screw that holds the wire in and replace with ferrules if it needs it. That is doing it properly. Many folks that have done the course just plug the thing in and rattle through the tests not even bothering to see if the item even works let alone is actually physically safe.

If you do buy a tester do some research as many are really horrible to use, think the tiniest screen on the worst system processor you’ve ever used and times that by how many cables you have and bits of kit you own.

Many also have far more feature than you will ever need. I got one of these from eBay boxed with loads of accessories for £80, I added a bar code reader (buy one and get a load of labels printed from one of the many places on the bay... it really helps) and £40 for calibration.

https://www.test-meter.co.uk/metrel-gammapat-lite-mi3311-pat-tester/?utm_source=google_shopping&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9v7k0oHe5QIVSLTtCh2p4whLEAQYASABEgJD-fD_BwE" rel="nofollow - https://www.test-meter.co.uk/metrel-gammapat-lite-mi3311-pat-tester/?utm_source=google_shopping&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9v7k0oHe5QIVSLTtCh2p4whLEAQYASABEgJD-fD_BwE

Oh and also make sure the software is good. I don’t rate the Mattel stuff but it really does do all I need it to and you can run it from batteries for that festival on the job appeasing of h+S



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blah blah blah blah blah......


Posted By: ceharden
Date Posted: 10 November 2019 at 1:11am
To avoid any issues at the gig, I spent this afternoon testing all the gear I would be using tonight.  Did it at a mates unit who owns a tester.

Although of course they never actually checked my equipment at the gig, it didn't turn out to be a waste of time because I actually found a few issues with a few of the mains plugs.  Loose screws, loose fuse holders and one cracked housing.  Those faults weren't found with the tester but by a thorough visual inspection.  Further confirmation that these PAT companies that just go round plugging the end of cables they can find into their tester and sticking a label on it are a complete waste of time and money.


Posted By: boots-hifi
Date Posted: 10 November 2019 at 3:23am
[QUOTE=monkeypuzzle]As above, get a tester, do the course or if you’re pretty savvy then just read as much documentation as you can. You have to be classed as a competent person and more often than not, just doing no the course does not make you that. When I take plugs apart I test each screw that holds the wire in and replace with ferrules if it needs it. That is doing it properly. Many folks that have done the course just plug the thing in and rattle through the tests not even bothering to see if the item even works let alone is actually physically safe.

If you do buy a tester do some research as many are really horrible to use, think the tiniest screen on the worst system processor you’ve ever used and times that by how many cables you have and bits of kit you own.

Many also have far more feature than you will ever need. I got one of these from eBay boxed with loads of accessories for £80, I added a bar code reader (buy one and get a load of labels printed from one of the many places on the bay... it really helps) and £40 for calibration.

https://www.test-meter.co.uk/metrel-gammapat-lite-mi3311-pat-tester/?utm_source=google_shopping&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9v7k0oHe5QIVSLTtCh2p4whLEAQYASABEgJD-fD_BwE" rel="nofollow - https://www.test-meter.co.uk/metrel-gammapat-lite-mi3311-pat-tester/?utm_source=google_shopping&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9v7k0oHe5QIVSLTtCh2p4whLEAQYASABEgJD-fD_BwE

Oh and also make sure the software is good. I don’t rate the Mattel stuff but it really does do all I need it to and you can run it from batteries for that festival on the job appeasing of h+S

[/QUOTE Totally agree with what you've said however ferrels are just another point of failure, I'd only use them solid core not stranded and I don't see how it benefits a failing connection. I'm also of the understanding ferrels reduce the current carrying capacity. I may be completely wrong and if so I'd appreciate you're knowledgeable otherwise. 


Posted By: csg
Date Posted: 10 November 2019 at 8:16am


[/QUOTE Totally agree with what you've said however ferrels are just another point of failure, I'd only use them solid core not stranded and I don't see how it benefits a failing connection. I'm also of the understanding ferrels reduce the current carrying capacity. I may be completely wrong and if so I'd appreciate you're knowledgeable otherwise. [/QUOTE]

No point in ferruling solid core connections, very good reason to use them on flex or finely stranded conductors as they will reduce contact resistance, increase current carrying capacity and reduce the chance of stray conductor strands causing faults. Naturally they need to be crimped properly with the correct die to obtain most of these advantages.


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“The fact is this is about identifying what we do best and finding more ways of doing less of it better”


Posted By: JonB67
Date Posted: 10 November 2019 at 10:35am
Boots, 

Spend £12 (amazon I think) on a ferrule crimper (I got the 6 jawed one), get some ferrules and have a play on some stranded cable.  The advantages are pretty much self evident. A clearly more solid and stable connection, and all of the cable is held tightly to be making decent contact.

I'm a total convert and won't terminate a cable without them now.

Take a look at the weidmuller ferrules white paper (Google it, comes up top)


Posted By: Digbethdave
Date Posted: 10 November 2019 at 4:05pm
Visual.

It's the best as a basic. But you should know that. Record it as a visual, test done. 


Posted By: Radius
Date Posted: 20 November 2019 at 11:15am
Guys, thanks for the help here- its very much appreciated, and I will be sorting it out , I haven't decided if its a tester or just a visual for now, but looks like eth testers are inexpensive 2nd hand …

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AKA the typo king...bear with me, my hands are big and the keyboard small....


Posted By: James Tengo
Date Posted: 20 November 2019 at 11:26am
A lot of the cheap 2nd hand testers are “out of cert”, getting them calibrated and certificated can cost as much as a cheap new basic unit. Just to re-iterate pat is not a legal requirement, but is an easy way to prove you are complying to regulations  https://www.pat.org.uk/is-pat-testing-a-legal-requirement/" rel="nofollow - https://www.pat.org.uk/is-pat-testing-a-legal-requirement/


Posted By: Plaguesguitarist
Date Posted: 20 November 2019 at 2:03pm
Originally posted by ceharden ceharden wrote:


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.


Should have asked them for their "Fixed Wiring Certificate"... See what their response is...


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Why did the lampy cross the road?

To steal MY sharpie.



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