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Wireless Networks Thread, PAT Testing - seeking advice on what to tell a new PAT Tester in Technical; My one day a week school has a new caretaker who is currently PAT Testing. I have told him that ...
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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    PAT Testing - seeking advice on what to tell a new PAT Tester

    My one day a week school has a new caretaker who is currently PAT Testing. I have told him that he can't touch the server to a look of blank disbelief. Is there a written brief I can print off to give him anywhere?

    Apologies if I have posted in the wrong topic.

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    Thats an interesting one !! Is a server a portable appliance? My view is that if it ever did become live and someone got electrocuted and you had put it in writing for it not to be tested you would be in trouble. I did a PAT testing course a while ago (15 years) and at the time we only tested the mains cable of Pc's. That may have changed by now.

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    HarryMonkey's Avatar
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    The server is a portable appliance ... it's anything that is plugged in to the wall, so, even though your washing machine may not appear to be very portable, it is classed as a portable device for the purposes of PAT testing. Now there are no hard and fast rules regarding computer equipment and generally it is just the mains lead that needs testing. However, your LA may have a specific policy which the school will be expected to follow so it's worth checking with them. For something like a server that gets moved infrequently it may be that it only requires checking every 5 years but i think that the mains lead will require an annual visual inspection at the very least.

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    A decent PAT device will have a 100/200mA setting to test that there is at least a connection in the earth wire. This would be an appropriate test, plus insulation and if possible a leakage/touch current.

    My RA would look at whether the thing was rack mounted, never moved, etc before I decided on a test regime for it. It MUST have a comprehensive, recorded, visual inspection. I would at inspect AND test it at least once, and if the RA shows it to be very low risk, not again for maybe 4 years, or if moved, repaired etc.

    Now, I would certainly be worried about a "I've watched the DVD" caretaker testing ANY IT kit!

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    I would disagree with some of the above.
    A server is not a portable applience, and even if it is obvious that it remains in continued use, depending on the school/type of server.
    An experienced PAT tester should realise this and conduct only a visual check and simply note this in his records.

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    From memory a portable device is something that is not connected to the mains via a fused and hard wired spur .... IE it has a plug on the end of the cable ...

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    Sweet monkey tuesdays, not again...

    If it's got a plug, it's portable (now write that out 100 times and hand it in by yesterday).

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    Visual check only, arranged in advance and under supervision of person responsible for said server.
    Otherwise he can test it in a downtime window, which will be after school, a weekend or during the holidays.

    This is why our server room key isn't available to caretakers.

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    speckytecky (2nd December 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mb2k01 View Post
    I would disagree with some of the above.
    A server is not a portable applience, and even if it is obvious that it remains in continued use, depending on the school/type of server.An experienced PAT tester should realise this and conduct only a visual check and simply note this in his records.
    Yes it is! A portable appliance is any appliance that is connected to the mains via a plug/socket. Whether you consider it to be portable is irrelevant, in terms of IEEE regulations it is. An experienced PAT tester will realise this and conduct the necessary tests and record it appropriately in line with LA and IEEE regulations.

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    It matters not a tupney damn if it has a plug or not. If there is a plug, it is a good indication that it is portable, but not definitive. If you decide, with due knowledge and experience, that the device is NOT "portable", then it gets tested as part of the fixed installation, and trust me, your server will like that much less.

    The law requires that you can prove that the device is safe to use in the workplace. (PUWER) If you don't test (or inspect) how can you prove this?

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    Health + Safety Briefing 34c defines the following ...

    hs34c.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenewman View Post
    Health + Safety Briefing 34c defines the following ...

    hs34c.jpg
    Pity that list wasn't in a different order as the acronym formed could have described David Cameron quite accurately.

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    Quick Query - If a server has a power supply with two iec sockets can you PAT test it through one socket while the other is still plugged in to the mains and the server is on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HilcrRWise View Post
    Quick Query - If a server has a power supply with two iec sockets can you PAT test it through one socket while the other is still plugged in to the mains and the server is on?
    Try it. If we don't hear from you again we'll presume the answer is NO.

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    Dunno. I'd need to see paperwork to be sure, but I suspect not. You would likely get spurious earth paths that would skew the results.

    There are testers that can do an "equipment still running" sequence of tests, but these are not (yet?) common.

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