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True time per item test

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:04 pm
I have been looking at the various situations vacant ads for PAT testers and note that many of them quote an expected workload of 200 tests per day, but is this really a true target figure. At 5 minutes per test this would mean a 16 hour working day every day, can anyone throw any light on this

Cheers Eddie

Re: True time per item test

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:37 am
by Alan Freeman
At that sort of quantity I would guess they are either just running the tests - or even worse - stickering. That would not allow time for the visual checks (where 80% of faults are found!!).

I reckon on 10 to 15 an hour when there are no problems, but it only takes a couple of re-makes on the plug or finding a good earth bond point to slow you down. Then you have to move around the site, finding a socket to plug into etc (mine is mains powered not battery).

Add in a lunch and a couple of coffee breaks, and I never work more than 10 hours a day (8-9 productive hours) - I count 100 as a maximum a day. This figure is with a machine which stores the results for you. If you have to manually write down the results - MUCH slower.

Re: True time per item test

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:24 am
Hi Alan thanks for the reply. As you can guess I am not yet established as a tester so its difficult to to gauge the reliable information from the rubbish.

I am currently gathering as much information and knowledge as I can to prepare for the PAT course and looking at which area of the market to concentrate on for a customer base..

I may be wrong but the office environment strikes me as being the most hostile and problematic area to work in , although I am sure there are few areas that are trouble free.

Were you involved with electrics before you started pat testing ?, I have always been in the building trade but due to a medical problem I have to move into a job without heavy lifting ( some hope ) lol.

There is so much to learn when doing something like this and of course getting it right, is the main objective at the moment.

Thanks for your input and hope to meet up again soon


Re: True time per item test

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:50 pm
by Graeme
Hi Eddy
I passed my exams in January this year and work for a large company. All my testing is done in house. This includes, offices, workshops, and all manner of places. Office equipment generally ok, it is the leads that are my main concern. Extension leads piggy backed into other extension leads, loose wires, and, yes, a cable being run over daily by an office chair.
Its not the equipment, it is the users that are the dangerous part lol.

Re: True time per item test

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:54 pm
Hello Graeme,
I am glad to hear that the office environment is not the problem I envisaged, although I am sure there are headaches attached to any type of site. Do you mind if I ask if you were from an electrical background before you started full time testing ?. I am looking through the regs , the testing procedures and of course getting to know how to make the best of the tester and record keeping software and thinking OMG there is such a lot to take in.

I am hoping to be ready to do the course in January and not having been involved with electrical trade I am finding myself in a bit of a head spin at the moment, although in some ways I welcome the challenge.

At 57 I thought I was through with swotting up lol but I can see its going to be one of those professions that throws something new at you everyday and the learning process keeps on and on.

All the best to you


Re: True time per item test

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:46 am
by Graeme
Hi Eddie
Sorry for not replying earlier. Hope you got the certificates ok. I was a handyman before progressing to PAT so I had limited knowledge before the exams.
You are correct in saying challenges occur in this business. I have just been sent the following, which you may find interesting.

Re: True time per item test

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:36 pm
by Alan Freeman
I find that offices are high value environments. Lots of tests in a small area - each computer is between 4 and 8 tests!

If you play it right, have a word with your contact and arrange that the next user starts closing down their PC as soon as you start the one before, it can be easy.

As Graeme says, it is the user who causes the problems.

I also cover smaller businesses where it is not so productive, but easier as you are dealing with just one or two people. I also cover small - single item tests. They must have PAT done to trade, but only have one or two items (price is higher per item).

My history is as an electronics engineer, so making off plugs is normal. Also the use of test equipment do perform each of the tests involved - but with seperate test kit was general knowlege, also with interpreting the results.

PAT was an easy sideline to develop with minimal training.


Re: True time per item test

PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:10 pm
by Paul - Cotswold PAT
I agree, 10-15 items per hour is about the best I can do, and any issues with plug or earth bond slows this down considerably. I mainly use a Europa+, but also a Kewteck battery tester and can struggle to find an earth bond, especially on kettles which slows me down. The Europa+ with 25amp earth bond test finds the earth bond far easier!
In B&B's etc the TV's often fail on leakage, so I turn them on and wait for them to warm through, then they test fine, but it's time consuming.

Re: True time per item test

PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:12 am
by southseas
Fairly similar PAT'ing down at the bottom of the world 12-16 items per hour, occasionally I might briefly hit 18-20 per hour, but if you sustain that for too long with a SuperNova, you'll cook the main power supply (I know because I've done three times and now have two).

Repairs, users and finding earths on things are what slows me down.

The plan is, we plan not to plan, because you never know what you are going to strike. Tradie- he'll either have left half his gear at home (because he forgot I was coming), or he'll have loads of new things or dodgey things that need repairs. Office, the hidden cupboard full of IT stuff they didn't tell you about, users that can't be interupted and then leave the office with their terminals on and locked. Serveral users running off a daisy chain of power boards and extension leads from a single outlet. Coffee Machines with no marking to indicate they are Class 2, and no earthed metal (oh joy)

Re: True time per item test

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:34 am
by Graeme
I note southseas comment about Coffee Machines with no marking to indicate they are Class 2, and no earthed metal. I would be interested to learn, how you get around a Class 1 appliance encased in plastic, without opening up the machine.
I experience this often with Class 1 vaccum cleaners, which are impossible to find an earth.