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Hardware Thread, Psu and pat testing in Technical; Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey Take formal guidance from your SMT . Testing is not a legal requirement (contrary to popular ...
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    mpe
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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    Take formal guidance from your SMT. Testing is not a legal requirement (contrary to popular belief),
    The idea of a yearly PAT test is actually on the myths section of the HSE's website.
    but providing equipment that is safe for a competent person to use is (hence an often-blanket policy that it must be PATed, because this is cheap and convenient).
    In some cases it can wind up expensive and inconvenient. Especially when external contractors are involved and/or someone is incapable of reading where the manufacturer has indicated that certain tests NOT be carried out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs_mjs View Post
    Most faults we will be dealing with as technicians will be ones easily identifiable by visual inspection, anything that is still suspect should go to an electrical engineer, along with yearly checks on most equipment that's in use. That's my professional opinion.
    Which is completly at odds with the HSE guidelines. in the case of computers a starting point of formal visual inspection 2-4 years and a formal test every 5 years (or not at all in the case of double insulated).
    It's unlcear where the "every year" idea even comes from. It's also important that if leads are unplugged for testing they are plugged back in fully after.

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    I find many PAT testers are con men as well, as today I saw a ActivBoard that was sporting a PAT test label!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpe View Post
    Which is completly at odds with the HSE guidelines. in the case of computers a starting point of formal visual inspection 2-4 years and a formal test every 5 years (or not at all in the case of double insulated).
    It's unlcear where the "every year" idea even comes from. It's also important that if leads are unplugged for testing they are plugged back in fully after.
    I work for the council directly and they have an every year policy, so all of my lovely audio equipment that the centre has gets tested by some contracted numpty who sticks labels over serial numbers and fails some of it because it isn't grounded correctly, although it is.

    At the school, almost every bit of kit we use gets a visual inspection as part of it's day to day maintenance so it's easy for me to say every year. Would i actually do one every year - no because if it's still working (ie no ones moaned to us) then it's probably still electrically fine. If it isn't is should trip an RCD/RCBO, so we get a call, and it gets an inspection to find a fault.

    Anyway I/we go off topic. For swapping a PSU over, if it's new i wouldn't PAT test it. If it had already been PAT tested i wouldn't test it again for some time. If it's fitted correctly then there should be no real need.

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    I spoke to smt about retesting the computers today, they have no idea what a psu is let alone what pat testing does and seem to be happy to leave the decision up to me as to whether the computers need pat testing. Appanrently there's no guidance from the LEA either. Thats the problem as a lone tech in a small school, you have to know everything and then make the decision!

    So what I've decided to do is to take the two computers out of circulation until tested. My husband is an engineer, (he was an electrical apprentice, industry not domestic) and has explained at length that there should be no danger from anything that is earthed, but I think I should follow other schools procedures and make a 'corporate' decision and inform smt that interim pat testing is needed when a psu has been changed.

    Replacement of other items, ram, hard drive etc don't require pat testing do they?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrbb View Post
    Replacement of other items, ram, hard drive etc don't require pat testing do they?
    shouldn't do - there not high voltage so pose no dangerous risk and should not be accessible to the user to touch anyway. It should all be earthed to the chassis, which is earthed to the PSU, which should be earthed to the mains.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrbb View Post
    I spoke to smt about retesting the computers today, they have no idea what a psu is let alone what pat testing does and seem to be happy to leave the decision up to me as to whether the computers need pat testing. Appanrently there's no guidance from the LEA either. Thats the problem as a lone tech in a small school, you have to know everything and then make the decision!
    In the long run, if that's the case you're effectively taking responsibility (yes, it shouldn't be that way, because SMT are ultimately responsible, but I wouldn't put it to the test). I would hassle them, the governors and the LEA to do their research and write policy, then you can carry it out.

    So what I've decided to do is to take the two computers out of circulation until tested. My husband is an engineer, (he was an electrical apprentice, industry not domestic) and has explained at length that there should be no danger from anything that is earthed, but I think I should follow other schools procedures and make a 'corporate' decision and inform smt that interim pat testing is needed when a psu has been changed.
    This is wise. (Earthing isn't everything, but it is the last resort if a fault develops. The other measures that get tested should prevent any major problem long before that.)


    Replacement of other items, ram, hard drive etc don't require pat testing do they?
    No, not unless you've done something really weird, like wire them to the case

  8. Thanks to powdarrmonkey from:

    chrbb (25th January 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobos View Post
    I find many PAT testers are con men as well, as today I saw a ActivBoard that was sporting a PAT test label!
    Well it does have a PSU, with an unpolarised 2 pin connector...
    I'll raise you some USB scanners, PSUs for a mobile phone and a bettery charger (both with plastic earth pins), a radio cassette player (also with 2 pin connector), several laptops and keyboards (of the musical variety).

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpe View Post
    Well it does have a PSU, with an unpolarised 2 pin connector...
    I'll raise you some USB scanners, PSUs for a mobile phone and a bettery charger (both with plastic earth pins), a radio cassette player (also with 2 pin connector), several laptops and keyboards (of the musical variety).
    In those cases you are testing the power supply, not the board itself, and that's where the certificate should be attached since the supply can be detached from the device.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs_mjs View Post
    I work for the council directly and they have an every year policy, so all of my lovely audio equipment that the centre has gets tested by some contracted numpty who sticks labels over serial numbers and fails some of it because it isn't grounded correctly, although it is.
    No doubt they also have a policy that "numpties" shouldn't be messing with the equipment in the first place As for the grounding issue they probably don't understand that grounding for EMI supression is nothing to do with grounding for electrical safety. Something which can result in expensive breakages in certain situations.

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    Oddly enough I find next to all of this extremely difficult to believe. I spent a long time doing PAT testing upon training from the local NICEIC bods on recycled IT hardware. Think I might be taking a look at that HSE site

    I for one think it needs clarifying completely for the sake of schools and us guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Oddly enough I find next to all of this extremely difficult to believe. I spent a long time doing PAT testing upon training from the local NICEIC bods on recycled IT hardware.
    A lot of "elf and safety" claims do not come either from the either the 1974 act or the Health and Safety executive. It just appears to be a convenient excuse for all sorts of people to make things up.

    Think I might be taking a look at that HSE site
    IMHO everybody should. For one thing they promote the idea of "common sense".
    There's also the Panorama episode "May contain nuts". Which highlights some of the utter stupidity being carried out in the name of "Health and Safety" whilst real dangers go ignored.
    There are even things like leaving "caution wet floor" signs around for hours after the floor has dried actually creating a hazard. In the same way that carrying out a completly pointless PAT test then failing to put cables back correctly can cause a trip, even fire, hazard.

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    And indeed the less said about people flash testing fridges and rendering brand new ones useless

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpe View Post
    No doubt they also have a policy that "numpties" shouldn't be messing with the equipment in the first place As for the grounding issue they probably don't understand that grounding for EMI supression is nothing to do with grounding for electrical safety. Something which can result in expensive breakages in certain situations.
    Thing is i haven't fiddled with it. All direct from manufacture's and not modified in any way shape or form.

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