In this day and age of endless reams of information published on the internet, that can actually make it more difficult than ever to get a straight answer.  So, in the simplest possible way, let’s answer a common question that industry insiders are asked all the time: do PAT testers need to be calibrated?

The answer is loud and clear.  “Yes.”

As every organisation that routinely uses them knows – including entities using all sorts of portable and fixed electrical appliances, machines, equipment, switches, circuits and more – PAT testers are now the easy way to do that routine and mandatory electrical safety testing.  The portable appliance tester (PAT), which is a critical tool in the testing and tagging process, is capable of verifying if the electrical appliance in question is electrically safe or not through tests including earth continuity and insulation resistance as well as checking for correct polarity.

But while PAT testers are remarkably reliable, accurate and life-saving, the worst possible thing would be to use one whose calibration is overdue.  Why’s that?  Because it may no longer be able to properly detect faults that can cause electric shock and fire – whilst simultaneously exposing the organisation to the risk of regulatory penalties and even lawsuits.

So now that we’ve answered the main question about whether PAT testers need to be calibrated, let’s follow that up with every other question you may have about PAT tester calibration:

1. How often should PAT testers be calibrated?

At the very least, annual PAT tester calibration is crucial.  Just as a car needs regular and normally mild servicing, it’s arguably even more critical for life-saving electrical equipment testers.  Even a tiny inaccuracy in calibration could be the difference between a faulty appliance passing a test that it should have failed – and vice versa – especially with low-current class II appliances.

2. What do the regulations require?

According to the relevant AS/NZA 3760 Australian standard, PAT tester calibration should be done regularly – with the onus on the entity simply to ensure that PAT testers are working properly.  But even the standard makes clear reference to annual testing.

3. What does calibration check for?

PAT testers can eventually become unreliable for a variety of factors, including damage, faulty components, and just run-of-the-mill wear and tear.  Once the calibration is complete, a calibration certificate should be issued and then kept on file by the organisation.

4. What is involved with PAT tester calibration?

While the PAT tester’s job is to test appliances, there are other specialised calibration devices and equipment whose job is to carry out calibration of a range of critical workplace technologies – including PAT testers.  The trained and certified calibration expert uses traceable and known reference standards to run the calibration checks and ensure the PAT tester is doing its job accurately, with repairs and adjustments potentially made as a result.

5. What else is involved in the process?

PAT tester calibration is also the perfect time to update any firmware, but users should carefully adherElectrician testing for voltage in a fuse boxvole to specific manufacturers’ recommendations.

Got more questions about PAT tester calibration?

For any workplace making use of electrical appliances and equipment, there should be no greater concern than electrical safety.  Purchasing the right high-quality PAT tester to protect your workers, brand and operations is just the start – it’s also critical to ensure it’s always fully calibrated.  Do you have any more questions about today’s extensive and accessible range of PAT testers and PAT tester calibration?  Our team of friendly and experienced guides would be delighted to assist.