Portable appliance testing calibration

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the assessment of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use in domestic, commercial and industrial applications.

Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination whereas some types of defect can only be found by testing.

Which equipment is used to carry out Portable Appliance Testing?

Portable appliance testing is carried out with the use of electrical test instruments. Most devices are equipped with an earth continuity test, insulation resistance test and the ability to check the wiring of detachable mains cords. Mains powered appliance testers require AC power. Battery operated PAT testers are self-contained, convenient to use and are usually sold with rechargeable batteries.

What types of Portable Appliance Testers are available?

Pass / Fail testers

For businesses that carry out the testing in-house to save money, they will require the use of a simple-to-use portable appliance tester. They simply say “pass” or “fail” when an appliance test is carried out.

Advanced testers

Advanced testers display more information than just pass or fail, including: Earth continuity resistance (Earth Bond) tests, Insulation resistance tests, earth leakage tests, fuse test and lead polarity. Some advanced PAT testers are Bluetooth enabled which make the two way transfer of test data between the tester and PC-based record keeping systems much simpler, and can be used with other test accessories such as label printers.

Do Portable Appliance Testers require calibration?

To ensure accuracy and specifications are met, a calibration programme is essential. Hitek recommend that service and calibration of portable appliance testers are calibrated at least once a year.

As portable appliance testers are intelligent instruments, it is important to make sure that they are continuing to measure correctly. If a company fails to check and maintain calibration, it could face difficulty substantiating any measurements in the event of a claim.

When a portable appliance tester is calibrated it is configured to match the original specification. This includes:

  • Calibrating the unit to national or UKAS standards
  • If it is mains powered, then a safety test must be carried out
  • A calibration certificate is issued to prove the PAT unit has been successfully tested

Added to the benefits of having equipment looked after by a calibration company experienced in electrical test and measurement, Hitek also boasts a UKAS laboratory for electrical testing.

For companies that can’t afford product downtime or have large numbers of instruments that require calibration, then onsite service for portable appliance testers is available – a service which is proving popular. Onsite calibration allows equipment to be tested and returned back into service on the same day.

Hitek technicians are highly trained and competent to perform calibration services across the UK from the Mobile Calibration Laboratory. The mobile lab is available which goes direct to premises and provides effective on-site calibration.

The main brands that Hitek calibrate are Seaward, Fluke and Megger.

Hitek also offer a 100 mile radius collection and delivery service to and from the calibration laboratory in Horsham, West Sussex.

Contact Hitek for more information on PAT instrumentation calibration – 01403 243 535 | www.hitek.co.uk

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