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Friday, 18 January 2013

Interesting appliances found during PAT Testing

It's always useful to share information regarding interesting appliances found during PAT Testing. Here is a small selection either found by First Stop Safety or passed to us from customers. We look at a 6 Amp extension lead, a Juicer with a mistake on it's rating plate and a slide viewer manufactured in the 1960s.

 Extension lead rated at 6 Amp

This lead was passed to me by one of our PAT Testing tutors. It is rated at 6 Amp and is widely available.

Even if this is fused correctly with a 5 Amp fuse this will not blow for a few hours even with a 9 Amp current flowing through it. A naive user plugging a 2 kW heater into this will overload this extension lead and expose their home or work environment to a risk of fire.

If this extension lead had a warning label saying "Only for use with appliances taking less than 700 Watts" then that would be a first step towards the safe use of this.

Juicer with mistake on rating plate

This juicer, passed to us by one of our course delegates, is clearly of Class II construction. It uses a twin core power lead (marked 2 x 0.5 mm2) and is double insulated. Unfortunately the rating plate does not have the "Double Box" symbol indicating Class II.

Although it is perfectly safe, a mistake by the product designer in marking it wrongly could see it being failed during PAT Testing. (If an appliance is not marked as Class II it has to be tested as Class I)

Slide viewer

Where do I start with this Slide viewer that was passed to us from my Mother-in-Law?

It has single insulated twin cable, no insulation on the Live and Neutral pins and a 13 Amp fuse (appliance rated at 15 watts).


It really doesn't matter if your PAT Tester cost £200 or £2000 and if you have the latest bar code reader, bluetooth or digital camera built in. None of the above problems will be found even by the most sophisticated test machine.

More than 90% of problems are found by good old fashioned Visual Inspection. Good practical training and experience is key to preventing the risk of shock or fire in the workplace or in the home.


  1. Testing apparatus by FVI is vital. A recent item purchased and PAT TESTED was an Incense Burner with a removable chrome plate on top. Like the items described it was noted no Class II symbol was present though visually it WAS Class II having only two wire leads to plug. When on further inspection the wiring inside the cylinder consisted of the former and old rubber wires. The Neutral wire and Live wire insulation was of no use at all, and much powdery substance surrounded the rubber outside insulation. Such a dangerous fault when notifying the local Trading Standards advised contact the Citizens Advice Bureau who would inform them??. A report was submitted with photographic evidence..... No response what so ever. We are protecting the lives of the general public and OURSELVES notifying the correct and appropriate authorities with no seemingly follow up result. I still note some of these devices are being sold on Ebay and by one outlet within the UK. As PAT Testers we can hold our heads up high in the protection of others!.

  2. Hi David, thanks for the comment. Do you have a picture of the Incense Burner? It would be nice to add this to our list of interesting appliances.

  3. Apologies for delay in response, just back from overseas posting.
    Will send via private mail the detail for this and a picture of the same item. Seems cannot retrieve original pictures from the appropriate authorities I sent pictures too!!
    Says it all about their interest! I suspect.

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