A PAT tester is a specialised device designed to help technicians carry out portable appliance testing—a routine safety process in Australia and several other countries.
PAT testers help users determine the functional quality of electronic devices through insulation resistance, earth continuity resistance, lead polarity, and other relevant tests.
These devices are only useful as long as they’re accurate. Follow the steps in this article to keep your PAT tester in tip-top shape, guaranteeing precise measurements every time.
Cleaning & Maintenance
The build-up of dirt and grime can quickly degrade a device and reduce its accuracy. That’s why the first step in keeping your PAT tester healthy is regular cleaning.
Like many measurement instruments, PAT testers are sensitive pieces of electrical equipment, requiring due respect and care.
Cleaning a PAT tester is simple. Using an isopropyl alcohol pad (or a solution of up to 70% combined with a microfibre cloth), gently wipe down the device’s surface to remove any dust, dirt, or grime. A 3% hydrogen peroxide solution is another safe alternative.
Avoid immersing the device in water and never use a wet cloth. We also advise against using abrasive cleaners or acetone, as it may cause damage. Rather than rubbing the device dry, let it air-dry in room temperature conditions to prevent residue.
In terms of maintenance, always gently wipe down your PAT tester after each use, and store it in a safe place away from excessive heat and moisture.
Calibration is another critical step in keeping your PAT tester healthy. We recommend calibrating your device at least once every twelve months, although many manufacturers have their own recommendations.
Calibration typically involves sending your device back to the retailer or manufacturer. Authorised calibration agents will check the device to ensure it meets the manufacturer’s specifications and published accuracy.
Your PAT tester may also come with an extended warranty requiring regular calibration—always check with your manufacturer to make sure.
Proper storage is another essential part of PAT tester maintenance. After cleaning, make sure your device is completely dry and free of debris before storing it away in a cool, dry place.
Many PAT testers come with portable cases, making storage simple and easy. Other options include toolboxes or tool chests, which will protect your device from dust, dirt, wind, excess heat, and moisture.
Replacing Worn Or Damaged Parts
Over time, parts of your PAT tester may succumb to wear and tear, such as the USB lead, charger, or battery. Many manufacturers and specialised retailers offer replacement parts in these cases.
The spare parts and accessories typically available include:
- Replacement batteries
- Replacement fuses
- IEC and USB leads
If your device requires repairs beyond simple parts replacements, we recommend contacting the manufacturer. Many PAT testers offer warranties ranging from 12 to 24 months.
It’s All In The Care
Keeping your PAT tester healthy is all about proper care and maintenance. If you clean the device regularly, store it in safe conditions, and follow a consistent calibration schedule, your testing device will last you for years to come—and save your business thousands in costly repairs and replacements.