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How Much Does PAT Testing Cost?

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how much does pat testing cost?

PAT testing should be on the to-do list of any site manager or business owner that wants their premises to be safe. But how much does PAT testing cost for your business? It’s only natural if you want a clearer idea of the costs involved. After all, nobody wants to dive in head-first with a blank cheque, even for the most important jobs.

With that in mind, this post discusses some of the factors that affect the cost of PAT testing – and what you get back in terms of cost-savings.

Costing up PAT testing

Despite its importance, PAT testing is a relatively quick and simple job. It doesn’t require any materials, just a specialist appliance testing device which tests for earth continuity and insulation. So, the cost you pay is down to the cost of labour, based on the time it takes to PAT test all of your appliances.

How long does it take?

It takes around 2-5 minutes to test each appliance, which includes a visual inspection along with tests for polarity, insulation resistance and earth bond. Based on that, the biggest factor in how much PAT testing costs is how many appliances you’re having tested.

Contractors may also factor in the time it takes to get to your site and the time used to outline any appliances that need replacing. However, this doesn’t massively affect how much PAT testing costs, compared to the number of appliances.

The difference in cost for a site with 100 versus 1,000 appliances will be much greater than that of a local site versus one further afield.

Which appliances need PAT testing?

To be clear, it’s required for any appliance that is plugged into a socket or generator. That includes everything from large appliances like refrigerators, down to phone chargers and extension leads. As a very broad rule of thumb, you can expect to pay around £1 to £3 per appliance.

You might be able to count a few dozen appliances in total off the top of your head. However, with the vast majority of businesses using computers, phones, printers and so on, you can expect the total number of appliances to be in the hundreds for most sites.

Is it charged per appliance?

That said, companies can’t always charge on a price-per-appliance basis, because it would neglect other time-consuming factors. Not all customers have their appliances ready and waiting to be tested, and not all of them are in the same part of the building.

As we mentioned before, contractors won’t simply head inside and start testing, then leave when they’re finished. Time needs to be taken to explain the process, outline what happens next and ensure everything is done safely. It’s better to get a bespoke quote based on your specific appliances and site, rather than being hit by unexpected costs, if you want to know how much PAT testing costs.

The cost of expertise

When it comes to the cost of a contractor’s time, remember that PAT testing has to be completed by someone who is qualified and competent. That expertise comes at a premium – but it’s definitely worth it. While you might find cheaper offers out there, cutting corners to reduce how much PAT testing costs could cost you more in the long run.

Unfortunately, there’s no specific qualification you can check for when it comes to PAT testing. Instead, here are some factors you should consider when finding a qualified, competent contractor:

  • Accreditations – Schemes like the Electrical Safety Register and NICEIC show that a contractor has been vetted and approved for electrical work.
  • Years of experience – There’s no substitute for real-world experience. Being around for several years shows that a contractor’s work is good enough to attract repeat customers and keep them in business.
  • Type of experience – More specifically, you can ask about their experience completing PAT testing for businesses like yours – including the size of your company, the sector you’re in and the type of appliances being tested.
  • Knowledge – As well as having the right equipment to complete tests, contractors need to have the ability to use the equipment properly and be able to understand the results. This should always be checked before asking “how much does PAT testing cost”.

how much does pat testing cost

Is it worth the cost?

The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. PAT testing doesn’t cost very much, but the savings could be huge. It ensures all of your portable appliances are safe, preventing electrical accidents, fire risks and costly damage to your installation.

Preventing just one electrical fire makes how much PAT testing costs seem minimal. Consider that a fire results in costly equipment damage, structural damage to your building and even staff absence in the aftermath.

It also protects your staff and demonstrates your compliance with regulations like Electricity at Work (1989) and the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974). In the long run, that eliminates the risk of costly claims if any electrical issues harm employees or visitors.

According to the government, minor penalties can be up to £5,000 for breaching fire safety regulations, while major penalties carry potentially unlimited fines and even the risk of imprisonment for up to 2 years.

Similarly, breaching electrical regulations risks a fine from the thousands to the hundreds of thousands, depending on the consequences. A company in Staffordshire was fined £3,000 when an employee was seriously shocked, for example.

PAT testing made easy

By keeping your appliances safe and compliant, PAT testing essentially pays for itself. It’s typically required every 6-12 months. Best of all, Volta Compliance can provide automatic reminders, so you’re never caught out.

How much does PAT testing cost? The best way is to get a custom quote from a qualified, competent contractor. If you’d like to find out more about PAT testing or get a bespoke quote for how much it costs, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0113 397 1361 or email [email protected].

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Richard Carr Volta Compliance
Richard Carr
Managing Director
Richard is the Director of Volta Compliance. He is a fully qualified approved electrician graded with the JIB. Richard has over 20 years electrical experience working on commercial and industrial installations.