A PAT tester is a device designed for evaluating the safety of electrical appliances. PAT stands for portable appliance testing—a routine process in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The more common term in Australia is ‘Test & Tag’.
Regular PAT testing ensures electrical devices meet safety regulations. In Australia, a ‘competent person’ must perform the test—this individual doesn’t necessarily need qualifications, but they must be experienced in and knowledgeable about electrical testing.
Most modern PAT testers have printing capabilities allowing for easier storage, transfer, and display of data. In this article, we’ll go into more detail about these advanced testers and how to use them.
Types of PAT testers
There are several different types of PAT testers, each with unique features, benefits, and drawbacks. Some of the most common varieties are:
- Pass/Fail PAT testers. These are the most straightforward variety of PAT tester, providing a basic ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ rating usually indicated by a light. They’re an affordable option for most in-house testing applications and will suit many businesses. Some Pass/Fail testers also display earth continuity, polarity, and insulation resistance measurements.
- Advanced PAT testers. These devices provide more detailed information, such as protective conductor measurements, fuse tests, and lead polarity.
- RCD testers. Along with the features of regular Pass/Fail PAT testers, these testers can also assess residual current devices (RCDs), as recommended in the current IEE Code of Practice.
- Computerised PAT testers. These devices can connect with computers, smartphones, tablets, and other electronic peripherals to transfer and store data. Some even feature a full QWERTY keyboard for quick and easy data entry.
PAT testers with printers: benefits and applications
Many computerised PAT testers come in a kit containing a specialised label printer. By connecting the tester to the printer, you’ll be able to print test data for easy record-keeping.
Printing capabilities also make it much easier to tag appliances you’ve tested, making it clear your company has followed local regulations and safety standards.
Using a PAT tester with printer
Using a PAT tester with a connected printer is simple. While there are many different models on the market, they all follow similar steps.
Most test and print kits will come with a user manual describing how to set up the printer. Most modern Bluetooth-connected devices will require you to:
- Ensure the PAT tester is up to date with the latest firmware installed.
- Make sure the master switch on the printer is set to ‘ON’.
- Navigate to the PAT tester’s ‘Bluetooth’ menu and begin searching for devices—consult your user manual for help here.
- Select your printer from the search results and save the configuration.
- You can now follow the instructions in the user manual to run a test print, confirm label sizes, and add your company logo if necessary.
Record and display test results with ease
PAT testers with printers make it easier than ever to store and record test data. You can also use printed labels to indicate whether an appliance has passed or failed a safety test.
We recommend consulting the user manual included with your PAT testing device or printer if you need clarification on how to set up the devices. If you’re looking for a PAT tester with printer visit RS today.