PAT and fixed wire tests are often viewed as the same service, when in fact they are hugely different. Each test requires various, diverse skills and equipment to complete. Read on to help better understand the differences between PAT and fixed wire tests.
What do each of the tests cover?
Fixed wire testing covers the safety inspection and testing of electrical systems within a building. This is a legal requirement for any business or organisation and must be completed by a qualified professional.
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) covers the testing of individual electrical appliances within a building, commonly tested items include kettles, toasters, printers, PC’s and monitors. These tests can be carried out by a competent and suitably trained responsible person or by a qualified PAT engineer.
How does your organisation pass each of these tests?
For fixed wire tests, your organisation will need to pass a certain amount of requirements, and take note and action any recommended deviations concerning flagged electrical issues that are currently safe but likely to deteriorate over time. The flagged deviations are coded in severity ranging from C1 ‘Danger Present’ to C3 ‘Improvement Recommended’, these are reviewed regularly and in line with the standards and guidance all electrical engineers should work to.
At this point, the tester can also recommend when the next test should be done, dependent on how many ‘red flags’ are brought up.
On the other hand, PAT Testing your equipment will simply receive a ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’ and tests differ slightly dependent on the piece of equipment. In more extreme cases, the appliance may be removed from the premises in the event of it failing. Reasons an appliance can fail include;
- The equipment not being properly set up.
- The age of the electrical equipment.
- Damaged equipment unsuitable for continued service.
Are Fixed Wire and PAT Tests required for all organisations?
All business owners and landlords should ensure that fixed wire tests are completed by a suitably qualified engineer; or in the case of PAT a suitably qualified or competent person. This is a requirement of The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.
How long do the certifications last?
Although there are no legal requirements defining how often you should get your PAT Testing certificate renewed, we would highly recommend that you get your portable equipment tested a minimum of every 2 years to ensure it’s compliant and safe for use. For more high risk items, such as appliances that are exposed to harsh weather conditions, or continued regular use a professional PAT Testing company will recommend more regular tests.
Fixed wire tests are slightly different and legally requires you to get tests done every 5 years in commercial premises, however in some circumstances we would recommend you have a re-test sooner than this. This period between tests will vary dependent on the type of premises. Learn more about the importance of fixed wire testing here >>
What is the price difference of the 2 tests?
This is completely dependent on the job at hand and will be calculated on survey or assessment. PAT Tests usually need to be done more often but are shorter jobs to complete, whereas fixed wire testing can take our engineers longer due to the complexity of the process. We can provide you with a no obligation quote and assessment of your requirements to ensure that we complete the job with as little disruption as possible. We commit to providing excellent quality of service at great value, and with a 96% customer satisfaction we really re getting there!
Can Reaction Group complete both PAT and fixed wire testing?
Yes! Our certified engineers are qualified to complete both of these tests and we are dedicated to bringing you quality, efficient service every time. Our team of fully qualified engineers are located across the UK. The team can also provide Emergency Light Testing, Fire Alarm Testing, Fire Extinguisher Servicing and we have highly skilled engineers who can repair faulty electrical systems.