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General Chat Thread, PAT Testing/Damaged faceplates in General; I thought a PAT test included a visual test - surely if the case is open or faceplace has been ...
  1. #16

    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    I thought a PAT test included a visual test - surely if the case is open or faceplace has been removed it fails before an electricial test is even carried out? Thats my reading of it anyway.

  2. #17

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    No.



    PAT fail. Not a chance. I know it's not going to get much use in business - well, except testing/tech stations. As said, I'd stand my ground and get them retested for being jobsworths.

  3. #18

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    Hi,

    I did a course for PAT Testing and if the case is damaged on any electrical item its a fail.

    In theory though this should also be picked up and reported every time that it is found broken by a member of staff or IT team as it's broken. Better safe than sorry - if some kid stuck a paper clip or something in there and something happens then who is at fault? Not the PAT tester who failed it - for sure! I was told to cut the plug off anything that wasn't safe when you fail it.

    I am sure you can do something simple with your DT dept to make it safe - for everyone!

  4. #19

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    It must be practicable. Try it with no funds. Try it when departments are financially independent and don't want to spend their time, money and tools doing jobs for you. Common sense needs to prevail.

    Plus, one simple fact. You will do more harm to yourself (as a child) poking metal things into the freely available USB ports carrying 5 volts.
    In fact, a child could easily poke something metal into the vents in the power supply and open themselves up to enough juice to kill them. Not just computers - just about any electronic appliance with an unsealed power supply. That includes TVs, toasters, microwaves... etc etc.
    Please, apply common sense.

  5. #20

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    your choice!
    what price is a persons life?

  6. #21

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    This is what I hate about society. It's OK for someone to stick their tongue in the vent of a power supply and kill themselves with 400v of goodness, but if they get a slight tingle from a heavily regulated computer innards (let's face it, the parts of a PC have more protection than any other piece of equipment in the home or office) then the owner of that equipment can be locked away.
    I stop short of saying Darwin should claim everyone that is lacking in sense, but people do need to take responsibility for themselves.

    I will reiterate important points here:
    Visual inspections : "Damage to external casing of the equipment, or loose parts or screws." A missing faceplate can't be seen as damage. They're meant to be removable. Entire parts of some cases are meant to be removable.
    Voltages : There is no part inside a PC outside of the PSU that is able to cause serious harm to anyone (with some exceptions of course - I suppose licking a battery might hurt someone, even moreso if they have a pacemaker). Everything is too tightly regulated. The most harm will be to the computer.
    Actual risks : The biggest risk, in this example of a case with a missing faceplate has been cited already, someone putting their hand in and slicing it on the steel inside. We've all done it.

    It's not the fault of PAT testers, after all they're not experts in everything they are testing. There is still debate on what PAT covers, the guidelines state anything with a plug, however as soon as you bolt that item to a desk or wall, it's not a portable appliance. You could actually hardware kettle leads into the wall with the correct faceplates (expensive with the relevant electrician doing it), or boost security by bolting it to the desk/wall. A large amount of PAT testers can't actually test a computer because they don't have the right equipment, in which case a visual is *all* they can do apart from a check of the mains cable, for the same reason they can't do many refrigerators.

    But if anyone's going to start wailing about "lives could be saved" if someone put their hand in a computer, I'd happily do it for them and feel around with absolutely no risk to my health*.



    * with the exception of missing fingers due to certain clips on AMD heatsinks, huge gashes thanks to cheap steel cases and garotted hands because you've forgotten that hard drive in there was still an IDE cable...

  7. #22


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaymate View Post
    what price is a persons life?
    1,252.85 at current exchange rates.

  8. #23

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Put it this way - the internals of a PC are segmented. The PSU is in its own casing. If this casing is damaged, I'd say its a fail. However, outside that case, the maximum voltage is 12V. People in electronics and physics lessons use batteries and power supplies to supply projects with electricity.

    The power supplies available at my high school when I was a kid allowed you to choose 24V too.

    So, no, it shouldn't be a fail.

    However, the thing to remember is this - PAT testing is not a legal requirement. It is a liability cover issue. If someone injures themselves on a faulty piece of equipment, the PAT test is there to say 'we've done our due diligence and we try our best to repair/replace any damages'. The law simply states that electrical equipment must be maintained and fit for use.

  9. #24

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    The other thing to remember about PAT testing (especially the visual test) is that it includes risk management. If there is damage to the case which leads to an increased risk of something going wrong (i.e. damaged face plate allows fingers and other things to by rammed into the machine with *a lot* more ease) then yes, it is likely to be assessed as a fail. This does not mean it is unsafe. Any PAT Tester which sticks a label of 'unsafe' on an item after a visual inspection should be challenged.

    As to see the companies manual of assessment and their risk tables. Also ask them to remove the labels as you will remove them from use until they can be re-assessed ... and if they refuse or if the labels do not come off without leaving marks then challenge them on the damage *they* have caused. You cannot scream criminal damage (which I have seen one school try) as they are likely to have in their contract that they stick labels on things ... and if you have not challenged it before then you can't go legal on them ...

    Also remember that they are performing a service ... if you are not happy with the service or the quality of it then you do not have to use them again, and you can also report them to Trading Standards. I have seen some firms which do PAT testing also have 'repair centres' and so there is a clear conflict at times. Be careful of this.

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by themightymrp View Post
    The problem we have is that most of our systems are Dell and to get replacement covers are 5 a pop - that would add up to some serious spending over the course of a year to keep them repaired!
    At least you don't have HP DC7800's, the last time I asked HP the 3.5" floppy bezel was 42 each (dropping to 35 for 100)!


    Quote Originally Posted by Jaymate View Post
    I did a course for PAT Testing and if the case is damaged on any electrical item its a fail.

    In theory though this should also be picked up and reported every time that it is found broken by a member of staff or IT team as it's broken.
    I agree with you in both statements. In a previous job (laboratory technician in a university Physics department) I was also responsible for PAT testing several thousand items, as part of our training we were told that we should remove from service items with any damage to the case. As I was also the person responsible for maintaining the same kit I never had that happen as I had already repaired it. I was also fortunate that the staff and students working the the lab were excellent at reporting faulty kit so I rarely found damaged kit at PAT test time. I just wish staff and students in my current school had the same desire to look after the equipment.

  11. #26


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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Put it this way - the internals of a PC are segmented. The PSU is in its own casing. If this casing is damaged, I'd say its a fail. However, outside that case, the maximum voltage is 12V. People in electronics and physics lessons use batteries and power supplies to supply projects with electricity.<snip>
    12V.....same as electric train sets and Scalextrics, I believe, at least my old train set was.

    I miss my train set.


  12. #27

    Oaktech's Avatar
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    The letter of the pat qualification says if the case is damaged it's a fail. But common sense and a little electrical understanding says that as long as the psu casing is undamaged then the voltages available through a damaged external casing should be low and as safer than a 9v battery! I would advise that the case should be repaired but more from a physical safety point of view rather than electrical safety.

  13. #28
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    Thanks for the feedback. We decided to leave it as is for the moment. We feel that the kit is safe enough to use, as it's really just cosmetic damage. None failed for any other reason (They were tested) & If we felt that they were dangerous then we would take them out of action

    The massive great big "FAILED" stickers are annoying, but a huge chunk of our kit is being replaced over the summer, so they won't be around for too long :P

  14. #29

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    Does this mean that all RaspberryPIs will fail their PAT tests as they have no case?

    I know its slighlty different because of the voltages but surely its the same principle.

  15. #30

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    we got some new fujitsu's , kids pushed in the floopy slots

    I bought some cheap memory card readers , plugged them in jobs a gooden !

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