PAT Testing

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randersonranderson Frets: 73
I know this isn't a legal requirement but a venue I am booked in for, is requiring PAT testing certificate before anything can go ahead. Is this becoming the norm now?
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  • not_the_djnot_the_dj Frets: 6260
    edited May 17
    Yes. We get this for hotels and places for wedding receptions and function gigs. Less so with pubs. 

    One promoter we work with has it as a contract clause. As well. 
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  • KeefyKeefy Frets: 424
    Just had all my stage kit tested this morning.
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  • Mark1960Mark1960 Frets: 176
    Seems to be more common at function locations, Hotels, Sports Clubs etc, not so much at pubs and clubs, but I wouldn't say it's common based on my experience, but it's relatively cheap and easy to do so it's no real hardship.
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 1062
    It isn’t a legal requirement but most insurance companies insist which is why your hearing more about it.
    As an aside it does make you wonder when asked to do something for your own and others safety people complain.
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • RiftAmpsRiftAmps Frets: 1589
    Venue: We need to see your PAT certificate

    Band: No problem, whilst we're on the subject our insurance company requires a list of all of your PAT tested items too because it doesn't matter if our gear is tested and yours isn't.

    Venue: Ah....we've just checked and we don't need your certificates after all


    RINSE AND REPEAT
    *I no longer offer replacement speaker baffles*
    Rift Amplification
    Handwired Guitar Amplifiers
    Brackley, Northamptonshire
    www.riftamps.co.uk

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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2530
    The regulations say that the equipment must be checked by a “competent person”. How competent are you?
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2760
    Roland said:
    The regulations say that the equipment must be checked by a “competent person”. How competent are you?
    For a lot of things this is true. A careful visual inspection of a lead can be all thats required. But if the thing later goes up in smoke? The test is not stipulated and is left to the 'competent person' to determine whats appropriate for each item.

    Anywhere that is owned by the council/local authority will be steeped in paperwork. Town Halls, Corn Exchanges etc.

    As others have said, your safety is in there too, take it seriously.

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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7917
    Had it asked a few times but only once asked to produce them. Our singer worked in a school and showed a bunch of certificates from school equipment. 
    We offered to do a charity gig for nowt but we couldn't play because we couldn't evidence PAT but this was in a council building where they were a bit stricter. 


    Assholes are like opinions - mine’s on the internet. 
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  • LegionreturnsLegionreturns Frets: 5938
    My kit gets done once a year, and I have a single certificate from the sparky that says all my kit is tested. 

    I've never had to produce individual certificates for items, and 90% of my work is for councils and schools. 

    My Trading Feedback    |    You Bring The Band

    Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you
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  • KeefyKeefy Frets: 424
    The chap who does my PAT testing gives me a schedule with all the items described and a number corresponding to the one printed on the sticker.

    At the other end of the scale, I have known people to just buy a roll of PAT stickers off eBay and stick them on all their (untested) kit. If they are using that to get gigs, it is fraud, and they would be hung out to dry if any of that kit caused an electric shock or a fire.
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  • randersonranderson Frets: 73
    Is it pretty straight forward i.e. find an electrician and pay the hourly rate, or is a specialist required?
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  • m_cm_c Frets: 488
    randerson said:
    Is it pretty straight forward i.e. find an electrician and pay the hourly rate, or is a specialist required?
    You need somebody qualified to do PAT testing, which is unlikely to be an electrician.
    Doing it isn't hard. Visually inspect the item and cable, plug it into the (usually automated) tester, and it either passes or fails.

    We've got all the testers at work for testing 240V wiring built in to various vans, but I made a point of avoiding the training as the last thing I want to do is spend my days crawling around in vans removing panels, to do something a trained monkey could manage.
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  • LegionreturnsLegionreturns Frets: 5938
    randerson said:
    Is it pretty straight forward i.e. find an electrician and pay the hourly rate, or is a specialist required?
    Mine is a per item rate rather than time. Think I paid about fifty quid for my entire YBTB rig, which is a shit load of items!

    My Trading Feedback    |    You Bring The Band

    Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3698
    Someone in the band get certified. It isn't that hard allegedly.  Now my regular one is RIP I'm thinking of doing the exam.
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 11033
    RiftAmps said:
    Venue: We need to see your PAT certificate

    Band: No problem, whilst we're on the subject our insurance company requires a list of all of your PAT tested items too because it doesn't matter if our gear is tested and yours isn't.

    Venue: Ah....we've just checked and we don't need your certificates after all


    RINSE AND REPEAT
    Yep, we did this last year at a major boxing event we were playing. It was booked three months in advance, then the promoter asked for our PAT certificate 24 hours before the gig. 

    A quick "you show me yours and I'll show you mine" conversation and all of a sudden the gig was back on. 
    I can honestly say that I maintain all our gear properly and we have good PLI though. 
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  • JayGeeJayGee Frets: 539
    It’s murky.

    Most of the time it’s irrelevant and the person asking for it doesn’t even know what it means, he or she is just asking for it because somebody a few rungs up the chain or at a remove (e.g. insurance company, facilities management company, or whatever) who also doesn’t know what it is or what it means thought it looked like a good idea and stuck it in a procedures manual, policy document, or whatever.

    Almost never an issue with pubs and clubs (and if it is there are plenty of pubs where it isn’t), very often an issue at conference centres, wedding venues, etc and occasionally at festivals which are big enough to require multiple contractors working together to provide services to the organiser.

    If there are specific events/venues/whatever you’d like to play and where it’s a requirement then getting a local specialist in to do all the band’s kit as a job lot isn’t very expensive at all and doesn’t cost a fortune so it’s not worth the time and effort to try to work around it - in our case it also brought a few minor issues (generally with spare mains leads, mains extensions and the like which had been lurking at the bottom of a bag or case unused and unloved for years) to light.
    Don't ask me, I just play the damned thing...
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1066
    I test all my kit every year. In fact it's due now. A bit of a faff and some say it's a big con but it's only £40 (for me anyway) once a year and it could get you out of trouble if there ever was a fire etc
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • RiftAmpsRiftAmps Frets: 1589
    randerson said:
    Is it pretty straight forward i.e. find an electrician and pay the hourly rate, or is a specialist required?
    Mine is a per item rate rather than time. Think I paid about fifty quid for my entire YBTB rig, which is a shit load of items!
    I charge £1.50 per item/sticker
    *I no longer offer replacement speaker baffles*
    Rift Amplification
    Handwired Guitar Amplifiers
    Brackley, Northamptonshire
    www.riftamps.co.uk

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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3809
    Gov official online guidelines simply say a person has to be competent .... not certified as a PAT tester. There is no legal requirement for PAT testing to be done annually ... there is no legal requirement to put stickers on your gear. 

    Basically if your capable of visually inspecting a mains cable for damage and can test earth continuity and insulation resistance then you can PAT test your own gear and make your own spreadsheet listing your gear, the date it was tested and wether it passed. I also list the earth impedance and the insulation strength.  I don't agree with flash testing ... it can damage equipment. 

    PAT testing is no indication of a piece of equipments safety internally .... a Live wire loose inside an amp and about to fall onto the chassis will pass a PAT test. However because the earth was PAT tested this will result in a blown fuse rather than a shock when it hapens  (if fused correctly ) I've also repaired a Behringer SMPS unit which caught fire in a powered mixing desk 4 days after a PAT test as the PAT test can't anticipate the bridge rectifier is going to go short circuit or any other internal malfunction ... only the basic mains in connections and chassis earth. 

    Hotels and such generally are hapy to have a PAT spread sheet emailed over along with you PI proof. It covers them and once your done it once you only need to update it
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 11033
    Our problem is that I own all the lights and PA gear as well as my own guitar gear, and the other three band members with their own kit are scattered over a 50 mile radius. 

    Getting four people from that distance away co-ordinated at the premises of someone qualified to do it, unloading four cars of gear, hanging around miles from home while it's being done then reloading the cars all during office hours is not just difficult, it just isn't going to happen. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 37435
    What Danny said. I do PAT testing when asked, especially when servicing equipment, but I don’t generally advertise it as a service - since unless you’re prepared to open up the equipment, in some cases it can be not worth the paper it’s printed on and potentially open you up to liability. An earth resistance test and leakage test will pass equipment which could still be dangerous.

    I’ve also seen currently valid PAT stickers on equipment with faults like improperly secured mains cables, both at the equipment end and the mains plug end.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 1062
    Echo what Danny and ICBM says. I do my own PAT testing and add person testing has to be competent in how to use the machine only. A PAT certificate is like an MOT in that when the test is done at that moment the equipment passed, should the exhaust fall off like Danny’s SWMP a day later then so be it.

    Mind you a PAT test is better than the old days when it was I’ve plugged it in and the breakers have held, there’s no blue smoke and I can touch it without dying so must be safe!
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 1630
    ICBM said:
    What Danny said. I do PAT testing when asked, especially when servicing equipment, but I don’t generally advertise it as a service - since unless you’re prepared to open up the equipment, in some cases it can be not worth the paper it’s printed on and potentially open you up to liability. An earth resistance test and leakage test will pass equipment which could still be dangerous.

    I’ve also seen currently valid PAT stickers on equipment with faults like improperly secured mains cables, both at the equipment end and the mains plug end.
    I've seen a PAT sticker on an effects pedal.........

    I suppose you can't be too careful!

    I do our PAT.

    The last gig we did at an hotel than require PAT, only one of the 4 mains sockets in the room we were playing worked!!
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