PAT Testing Equipment

Hi all, we are due to hold our second Repair Cafe in Leighton Buzzard next weekend and are thinking of getting a PAT Testing machine. Can anyone advise about what PAT equipment ie make/model they use and ballpark cost.
I know the equipment needs to be recalibrated annually.
Is there anything else we need to be aware of before committing as a group to buying a PAT Testing machine?
Thanks in advance
Ed Osborne

Hi Edwina -

A fair few groups use the BattPAT from First Stop Safety. This is very simple to operate - just a single button press for a go/no-go result in a few seconds. There are more sophistaced ones which give you the actual eath leakage and ground bonding resistances, and allow you to perform custom tests but they’re more complicated to use, and all you really need in a repair setting to know, is this device safe? Yes or No? The BattPAT is quite reasonable at around £250, but you can sometimes pick up a second hand one with recent calibration certificate on eBay a fair bit cheaper, as we did some years ago.

Anyone out there using a different one? What is your experience?

You also need to do a training course which gives you a certificate of competance so that, should the unthinkable happen, you can say you took all reasonable steps to remain safe. There are online ones which are very reasonably priced, or for quite a lot more you can attend an in-person training course. This will allow you to ask questions and arguably gain a deeper understanding if you don’t already have a good grounding of electrical theory and practice, but beware of the course tutor, in his/her enthusiasm, steering you towards a much more sophisticated tester than you need.

On the Wiki there’s a PAT Testing Survival Guide which gives you all the basics, but it’s not a substitute for a course leading to a certificate.


Just bought a second hand Seaward Primetest 100 on ebay. What was the calibration service you recommended? I seem to remember it mentioned in a thread somewhere but can’t find it now!

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Always consider the accidental danger of giving the bringer reassurance when they see their item being PAT Tested - your insurance probably forbids you labelling an item as having been tested. PAT Test twice - before and after the repair. Keep records.

For a quick sanity check, this device costs less than £10

Absolutely not a substitute or replacement but some repairers who have not taken PAT Testing courses feel able to use it as part of the triage.


Yes, such as:

  • From a functioning-of-the-repair-cafe perspective, your primary health-and-safety responsibility is that you must meet the requirements of your liability insurance - otherwise you’re not insured. Those requirements may include training requirements for people performing PAT tests; it’s a serious job.
  • Don’t undervalue the physical inspection part of a PAT test. IME you’re much more likely to see failures during the physical inspection than during the electrical test that you spend a lot of money to buy a testing device for, but neither can be ignored.
  • Test before (to protect your repairers) and test again after repair (to protect the item owner at least at the point they take it away).
  • Don’t put PAT test stickers on the device (unless you are absolutely sure your liability insurance covers you doing that, i.e. covers failure outside an event). Record the before- and after- pat testing results (pass/fail) on the item’s repair worksheet just in case something does go wrong and questions get asked about the pat test having been done.
  • Don’t be afraid to refuse to repair something that fails the initial test when the failure can’t be repaired. Make sure the owner is absolutely clear about why you’re refusing and why the thing is potentially dangerous. A relatively simple thing like a broken/missing cable strain relief where the cable enters the item is a failure until the strain relief is replaced good as new. Wrapping it in duct tape/heatshrink/whatever doesn’t make it not a failure. Similar those joins in cables of lawnmowers et al; to make it not a failure the cable must either be shortened so there’s no join or replaced with a complete unbroken run.
  • If a failure on the before test is possibly repairable then obviously the repairer needs to be fully aware of the situation and confident in treating the item with extreme care. They must (as always) use an RCD socket to protect themselves and the item if they have to power it up.
  • Even a pass before doesn’t mean the item isn’t potentially dangerous; I had an old valve tape recorder which passed the before test then when disassembling some presumably earthed peeling metal foil on the inside of the case made contact with something at high voltage so there were some nice sparks, happily nothing more. Once unit is opened I have a resistance probe to safely discharge capacitors on this sort of thing (also mains-side high voltage caps on modern switching PSUs) but hadn’t got far enough to be able to do that.
  • Have a stock of fuses (1/3/13A, free) and 13A plugs (at cost e.g. £1) to replace wrong fuses and to replace those old 13A plugs that don’t have plastic sleeving on the L+N pins and which you HAVE to replace - because they’re a PAT test failure.
  • ALWAYS use an RCD as an additional layer of protection for the repairer: whenever something is plugged in to mains ALWAYS plug it into the RCD.
  • Make sure food/drink isn’t around places where mains electrical things are repaired.
  • Make sure people aren’t milling around where there are electrical repairs.
  • If your repairers don’t take such a serious+diligent attitude as you to mains safety then you need to re-educate them to work they way you need them to during repair events; maybe they are confident/lucky enough to be safe but there’s hazard for others such as the owner or other people at your event.

I’ll put this out there for people to shout at me, but you won’t change my opinion: personally I’d be wary of expecting someone who hasn’t had any prior electrical experience to have sole responsibility for PAT testing - a pat test has a physical inspection followed by the electrical test. You really need someone in your team to own PAT testing who knows what they’re doing - they can mentor others who are keen and show some aptitude. If you’re training people from scratch it really should be face-to-face and strongly preferably using the same tester to be used at events, because they’re all that bit different. If you have less-experienced people doing PAT testing then the simpler testing devices may be a better choice, but using a simpler electrical test device doesn’t reduce the importance of the physical inspection which is always done first. Always encourage novice pat testers to seek advice/confirmation that their decisions are correct - no harm in having results double/treble-checked.

I have a Kewtech KT71 bought on ebay (was maybe £80, five years ago) - calibration through Testermans also on ebay (currently £30+cost of postage to them) - one thing I like about it is it shows the resistance measurement (for e.g. extension leads) and leakage current, which allows you to understand the red/green decision. Also as the KT71 is mains powered it doesn’t have the ‘are the batteries going flat, have I got any spares’ worry, and it can supply a high current to power heavy loads (e.g. a 3kW kettle) during testing. I’m sure other testers have similar features.

If you buy a KT71 make sure it has its cover and its mains lead because this has a non-standard connector and is almost impossible to get hold of. So the four currently on ebay at about £50 are ones to avoid.

I have a particular extension lead (25m long ideal for conductor resistance measurement) and some non-wired 13A plugs with resistors wired internally variously L<>N<>E to simulate leakage, which I measure just after calibration using the KT71 and note the readings so I can measure them again just before an event to compare as a quick check that the KT71 readings are still in the right ballpark. Haven’t ever had an issue but unless you measure you don’t know.



What he said.

I would say don’t put the stickers on full stop.
The liability issue is a complete minefield and if anyone asks for a sticker to be put on then they’re possibly trying to avoid paying for a PAT test for some piece of office equipment (otherwise why do they want the sticker?)

… or a flex connector of appropriate IP rating etc. could be purchased and fitted.

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Hi all, read with great interest. I need to get some materials and was planning to get the RCD adapter and this extension with surge protection. Is it redundant to have both?

They do different things; the RCD is about protecting the repairer (by removing power) if there is a current leak (measured as the difference between the current flowing in Live and Neutral wires which should be identical), so the leak isn’t through you! The extension you link to is about controlling/protecting equipment plugged into it from voltage surges - these might happen during lightning storms or if there are close by very heavy mains loads switching on/off. I’d say in a repair situation there’s not so much need to protect from surges, so buy the RCD first.


Thanks Ian!

Hi again, on the subject of training (which was mentioned above), I was wondering if anyone recommends a training they’ve done? There are so many choices online, just thought I’d ask for a little advice before selecting one. I wonder if it’s possible to organise one if there are enough interested individuals/groups?