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Topic Title: Portable appliance testing Scheduling
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Created On: 30 October 2013 02:26 PM
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 30 October 2013 02:26 PM
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nchapman1990

Posts: 12
Joined: 26 March 2013

Hi,
i'm seeking some advice as i'm not trying to reinvent the wheel.
i'm a sole electrician working for a large world wide company. I am based at one site containing 7 buildings and have the sole responsibility of managing the PAT. currently I do the whole site in one bulk but there is approx. 5000 items and this takes around 3 month and I get a large backlog of work. Do any other companies tackle this differently and could help me out please. for example nominate one day a week to be PAT day ect. any help would be greatly appreciated
 30 October 2013 02:51 PM
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Legh

Posts: 3479
Joined: 17 December 2004

Welcome to the forum

I hope you like PAT as you've got an interesting task ahead of you.

Do you have the latest copy of 'the code of practice for inspection and testing in-service electrical equipment' ?

It would appear, as the duty holder, that you will be responsible for scheduling the frequency of inspections for different types of equipment in different environments.

Legh

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 30 October 2013 03:03 PM
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nchapman1990

Posts: 12
Joined: 26 March 2013

hi Legh,

Thankyou for the welcome

Yes, the company has upto date regulations and the latest code of practice. I currently do the pat and in all honesty I hate it but its my job

im trying to find a more feasible and practical method of tackling all 5000 items
 30 October 2013 03:18 PM
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 11374
Joined: 13 August 2003

It's many years since I did any serious appliance testing - but then I just did it in drips and drabs when other things were quiet (or at least less hectic) - all driven by the asset register - keeping a close eye on the next test due dates of course.

There's been quite a overhaul of the guidance recently (within the last year) - heavily weighted to making the point that you (almost certainly) don't need to be testing every appliance every year. A lot depends on your particular circumstances, but for example - is it likely that something like a desktop PC that's hardly ever moved, is going to deteriorate to an unsafe state within a year? or three years even? The office kettle on the other hand is probably a much higher risk. If you've been testing 5000 items a year, you've probably got some pretty good data to refer to (how many failures have you had, what sort of failure and what sort of appliance). Things like hand held tools on construction sites might go the opposite extreme of course and might well warrant much more frequent inspection/testing.

So basically what I'm saying is work out how often you really need to test each appliance (if at all) and make sure it's retested within that period - how that's done is entirely up to you. If it was me I'd probably set up a spreadsheet so I could sort things on next test date. I'm sure there's plenty of fancy software out there that'll do the same - probably downloading data direct from your tester etc - which would do the same much more smoothly. If you've got large groups of similar appliances - you could look at arranging things to smooth out the workload over a whole cycle - e.g. 1st six months all the twice-a-year equipment, the first half of the once-a-year stuff and the first 1/6th of the once-in-three-years stuff. 2nd six months, all the twice-a-year equipment, the second half of the once-a-year stuff and the second 1/6th of the once-in-three-years stuff and so on.

- Andy.
 30 October 2013 03:46 PM
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jsa986

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To touch on what AJ has said, all your 5000 will not need testing, and certainly not each year.
Prioritise the important items, hand tools, kettles or items that the public are exposed to or ,equipment/tools that may require pat testing before its allowed on there premises for insurance purposes etc. By now your 5000 items is more like 1000

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 30 October 2013 03:49 PM
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nchapman1990

Posts: 12
Joined: 26 March 2013

Hi Andy,

thank you for your reply

I don't do every item every year because of the retest dates for IT equipment ect, but every room in each building has a variety of different items. so one room may have a retest date with yearly items, 2 yearly items and 4 yearly items. so each room must be visited for the obvious reasons.

The trouble is the retest periods are from July through to September with the exception of a few items in December due to xmas decorations. so during those periods im looking for these items in the locations they were in the previous year(s) and it creates such a back log of other works. what im trying to find out is if other companies have it spread throughout the year or whether they do the work in bulk blocking as I am currently. both methods have their advantages and disadvantage but there must be a easier way of tackling this.

Do I scrap the way its been done and redo everything again but do so many items once per week so it creates a more manageable way of tackling it or do I continue with the way its done but from a company point of view is not cost effective as we need to outsource major works whilst im testing. with me being the sole electrician on site I also have other responsibilities for example, emergency lighting testing and repairs, installation works and general maintenance, so you could see how the once a year bulk is not working quite effectively.
 30 October 2013 05:31 PM
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AJJewsbury

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Do I scrap the way its been done and redo everything

Maybe evolutionary rather than revolutionary - e.g. During Oct - Jan retest the appliances that would be due the following July (5-10 months early), Feb-May do the August ones, and Jun-Sep do the September ones. In each case, one month's effort spread over four months. Then just keep going...
- Andy.
 30 October 2013 10:01 PM
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cmatheson

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Joined: 16 January 2003

You are in the position of having to assess and decide how and how often the appliances are inspected and tested and there is no way that you can do the job alone.

You will need to find out from the users what the service conditions are and that may change any day so you will need input from the users or the 'owners'.

Most large companies will already have 'asset registers' used by purchasing, accounts and facilities management. Make use of that information to make sure that you are aware of when the assets arrive, move or have a change of use. Also you will need to be informed of any faults observed by the users and make sure you have a system in place to ensure that happens and that your test schedule is updated accordingly.

Don't forget that the most important part of the exercise is the actual inspection part as opposed to the plugging into the test device and the sticky labels.

Good luck!

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 04 November 2013 02:16 PM
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nchapman1990

Posts: 12
Joined: 26 March 2013

Hi Again,

Firstly thank you all again for the replies,

Im not sure if iv cracked how im going to undertake it in the future but here is my plan. any input would be appreciated.

I have 6 buildings currently the 7th building being used for storage at the moment.
so the plan is

Building 1 has 310 yearly items (currently )
470 four yearly items

so in year 1: 310 items to test
year 2: 310
year 3: 310
year 4: 780
and because the company doesn't want me solely PAT I have allocated one day a week to do these items.
approx. 100 items per day can be tested. so using this information I have allocated building 1 to months January and February .

Building 2 has 570 yearly items
150 four yearly items

so year1: 570
year2: 570
year3: 570
year 4: 720
using that info I have allocated building 2 months March and April

Building 3 has 170 yearly items
130 four yearly items

so year 1: 170
year 2 : 170
year 3: 170
year 4: 300

building 4: 450 yearly
630 four yearly

so year1 : 450
year 2 : 450
year 3 : 450
year 4 : 1080
so allocated months june, july and august

Building 5 250 yearly items
900 four yearly items

year 1: 250
year2: 250
year 3: 250
year 4: 1150

so allocated months September, October, and November

and building 6 has 130 Yearly
110 four yearly

year 1: 130 items
year 2: 130
year 3: 130
year 4: 240

and allocated month December for this.

all number of items has been rounded up to the nearest multiple of 10 to make calculations easier.

does anyone believe this is a harder way to do this or does anyone know of an easier way? this isn't in play at the moment and is just in the planning stages. again any help will be appreciated.
 04 November 2013 05:35 PM
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 11374
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You seem to be storing up a lot of work for "year 4" in each of the buildings - I would have thought that spreading the once-in-4-year appliances more evenly around the 4-year schedule (even if it means testing some early just this once) would better preserve your sanity.

- Andy.
 04 November 2013 07:01 PM
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daveparry1

Posts: 6163
Joined: 04 July 2007

I think i'd rather be stacking shelves somewhere Andy!!

Dave.
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