“as stated by the IEE Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Portable Appliance Electrical Equipment.”
Prior to the commencement of the inspection and testing, users should be asked if they are aware of any faults and if the equipment works correctly. The following items need to be checked:
1. Socket Outlet; is there any evidence of overheating, cracks or other damage?
2. Plug; is the flexible cable secure, are the pins insulated, is the plug free from cracks or other damage, are there signs of overheating? (If not it will be changed).
3. Fuse; is the correct rated fuse fitted? (If not it will be changed).
4. Flex; is it in good condition, free from cuts and abrasions, fraying or other damage? (If not it will be changed).
5. Appliance; does it work? Is it free from damage? Can it be used safely?
6. Suitability of equipment / environment. The equipment should be assessed for its suitability for the environment or the nature of the work being undertaken. When the work environment is harsh or hazardous particular care needs to be taken when selecting the equipment and assessing the frequency of inspection and testing.
7. Good Housekeeping. A check should be made to ensure the equipment is installed and is being operated in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. Not withstanding the manufacturers instructions, the following are examples of items which should be checked:
Cables located so as to avoid damage.
Means of disconnection / isolation readily accessible.
In addition to the above, the visual inspection will check that the means of disconnection from the mains supply is also readily accessible and that wherever possible, flexible cords are positioned so that they do not present a hazard.
- Adequate equipment ventilation.
- Cups, plants and work material correctly placed to avoid spillage.
- Equipment positioned to avoid strain on cord or flexes.
- Equipment is being operated with covers in place and any doors closed.
- Indiscriminate use of multi-way adaptors and trailing sockets avoided.
- No protected cables run under carpets.
All minor faults identified during the visual inspection, such as incorrectly rated fuses, damaged 13 amp plugs and loose connections will be rectified prior to test being carried out.
(Where any appliance cannot be isolated from the mains supply, a thorough external visual inspection will be carried out).
Subject to a satisfactory visual inspection, the following sequences of test are carried out:
1. Earth Continuity - Class 1 appliances only.
2. Insulation resistance (where appropriate).
3. Operation / Load test.
4. Earth Leakage test.
Having successfully passed testing, a pass label will be applied to the appliance or item of equipment. Any Failed appliance etc. will be taken out of service a DO NOT USE sticker will be applied and your representative informed. If the appliance can be rectified easily by a qualified person on site and time permits a retest may be possible.
Upon completion a report is produced listing all appliances, items of equipment tested and the results of the test performed. It will also include details of any remedial actions taken or repairs required before further testing. A list of all items such as fuses, plugs and cables used will be included.
The electrical testing procedure should only take place after an appliance has success fully passed the visual inspection.
Earth Bond Test. (Class 1 equipment only):
Readings should be less than 0.1+ Ohms (where R is the resistance of the cable). Tested at a current of 1.5 times the rating of the fuse and no greater than 25Amps for a period of between 5 & 20 seconds or with a short-circuit test current within the range 20mAmps to 200mAmps.
Insulation Resistance Test. (May be substituted for the Touch current method).
The applied test voltage recommended is 500Volt DC.
Class 1 heating equipment greater than 3 kW 0.3 Ohms.
Class 1 All other equipment 1M Ohms.
Class 2 Equipment 2M Ohms.
Class 3 Equipment 250k Ohms.
Touch Current Method.
Class 1 Handheld Appliances 0.75mA.
Other Class 1 Appliances 3.5mA.
Class 2 Appliances 0.25mA.
Operation / Load Test.
The appliance is powered from the 240 v ac supply and a power consumption reading is taken from the appliance this is usually displayed in Watts or VA (Volt Amperes) and should be compared to the wattage rating stated upon the appliance label.
The flash test is no longer a requirement and is only recommended to be carried out upon repair of an appliance i.e. power tools.