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Periodic Fixed Wire Testing & PAT

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:07 pm
by LeeTurtle
[color=#008040]Hi all

Just want to ask for some advice out there.
I'm finding it increasingly frustrating that I'm losing work because some customers are requesting that they want there fixed wire testing at the same time as their PAT inspection.
Now I know that you have to train as an electrician to be able to do this, but how do PAT companies get round this that don't advertise themselves as electricians, have they just paid for an intensive course that allows them to carry out Periodic Inspections? Or what?
Surly if your a trained electrician your main income would be from being an electrician and PAT for the added extra.
What am I missing? Should I consider one of these intensive courses to win these contracts?
Is anyone else in the same boat or actually gone ahead and done one of these courses? Do they pay for themselves?
Please let me know your thoughts, I'm very interested.


P.S, please vote on the poll

Re: Periodic Fixed Wire Testing & PAT

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:22 pm
by mark
I personally dont think a short course is going to be worthwhile unless you have lots of experience in electrical installations and as most of your work is going to be in commercial premises with 3 phase supplies, switchgear etc then I would stay well away so that you or someone else doesnt get hurt.

Re: Periodic Fixed Wire Testing & PAT

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:46 pm
by LeeTurtle
Hi mark,

Thanks for the advice, and yes I dont have any experience in installations. Have never been to sure about these kind of courses, how are you supposed to get real experience? Surely you can't just become a qualified sparky just by doing one of these?
Are you a sparky? Or do you find the same issue as me (losing work to firms that offer both)?

Re: Periodic Fixed Wire Testing & PAT

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:41 pm
by mark
Yes I'm a sparky and only recently decided to start doing PA Testing.

Can you just confirm Lee, are your potential customers asking for a full inspect & test or more of a routine check have a look over things? The reason I ask is that a routine check done on an annual basis or more often (depending on the installation) might just need a visual on things like broken accessories, labelling of switchgear ie consumer units, operation of swtiches and protective devices, missing covers, overheating. loose fixings
,suitabilty of accessories etc.

Re: Periodic Fixed Wire Testing & PAT

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:07 pm
by LeeTurtle
Hi Mark

Because I dont go into too much detail with them regarding the periodic inspection, I get the feeling it's mainly a full inspection & test.
How are you finding business at the min? Where you like the opposit to me and finding customers asking for PAT?
Do you get them asking for both done at the same time?

Re: Periodic Fixed Wire Testing & PAT

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 8:57 pm
by owillingham
Hi Lee, i'm a qualified spark and having been for a number of years, in my honest opinion if you wanted to be in the position to offer full peridioic inspection reports you need to be a fully competent electrician with alot of experience. Intensive courses are availble for people with experience already (like kitchen fitters and plumbers) who need the qualification for part p to carry on with their day to day jobs (moving sockets in kitchens, replace electric showers, install heating controls etc). If you are inspecting entire installations you need to know the regs back to front and even if that could be tought in a short course you wouldnt gain the experience and instinct to find the hidden nasties that time served electricians get the gut instinct to find. I dont want to put you off retraining, but only recomend you consider a proper apprentiship if you do. Also bear in mind that pretty much every periodic report will fail somewhere as anything installed pre 2008 is unlikely to meet current regs, in which case after doing the report you next question from the client is "can you fix it and make it comply". As an electrician I dont find pat testing particularly profitable but it is a way of getting my foot in the door for extra business, not sure it works the other way round.

Re: Periodic Fixed Wire Testing & PAT

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:23 pm
by LeeTurtle
Hi owillingham

That’s really constructive advice, thank you. After looking into these short courses, yes you’re completely right, some promise to make you a sparky but it’s the all important experience you get with working alongside someone for a good period that really makes you a good electrician.
It was just a thought, a "what if" moment. Am heading towards 40 now and not sure that anybody would want to take on a 40yr old apprentice! :|
Think I'll stick to what I'm good at. Thanks again.