Do PAT Testers need calibration?

Having a Portable Appliance Tester (also referred to simply as a PAT Tester) calibrated at least once a year is vital for anyone that uses the device for testing and tagging on a regular basis. 

Motor vehicles require periodical checkups, and the same is true for a PAT Tester in order to make certain that they are operating in the correct manner. A PAT Tester than is improperly calibrated can skew the results, causing the Tester to pass items that should actually fail and the other way around. 

For example, a small discrepancy in the results of tests on Class II appliances can mean the difference between passing and failing simply because the values are so tiny to begin with. 

There are many reasons why a PAT Tester can become improperly calibrated, including a defective component, external or internal damage or just general wear and tear. However there is no way to tell if the calibration of a PAT Tester is correct without it being given a periodic check-up. 

How often should a PAT Tester be calibrated?

A PAT Tester should be calibrated at regular intervals so as to make certain it is continuing to work accurately. The general consensus is that a calibration is required at least every 12 months no matter what type of PAT Tester is being used. The calibration usually takes about five business days.

What happens when a PAT Tester is calibrated?

A PAT Tester will be put through an array of tests to ensure it is properly working, such as having all of its functions checked against known calibrated values and making any necessary adjustments to ensure the Tester is restored to the right values. 

The calibration process also offers a good opportunity – when applicable – to have the latest firmware updates loaded, which can make the PAT Tester work faster. It is also possible to reset the calibration warning message on the Tester. 

In the year between having a calibration test there are some ways to ensure your PAT Tester remains in good working condition. 

Use the right batteries

There are often misunderstandings around the type of batteries that should be placed into a PAT Tester. The majority are intended to be used with rechargeable lithium ion batteries that can be recharged when plugged into the mains. The use of standard non-rechargeable batteries can cause them to become damaged and begin to leak, potentially causing serious damage to the device’s electronic components. 

Non-rechargeable batteries can also be a fire risk as they can ignite if they become too hot. It is important to realise that standard batteries can be used by some PAT Testers, so it is important to know whether your device can or cannot do so.

Preventing voltage spikes

Using surge protected power boards is a good way to protect electronic items including PAT Testers from spikes or surges in voltage that can cause serious damage that will not be covered by warranties. 

Taking care of your PAT Tester and having it regularly calibrated will ensure its durability and accuracy for years to come. Visit RS for a full range of PAT Testers.