10 Nov How to Test and Tag
Your Guide on How to Test and Tag
Test and Tag is a professional term that refers to the standard procedure of inspecting portable electrical equipment to ensure that they are in good condition. There are two steps involved in testing and tagging equipment. First, equipment needs to be visually inspected for physical defects. Second, using a portable appliance tester or PAT tester, electricians will evaluate whether the appliance is still good to be used in the workplace.
To keep track of the testing, each piece of equipment that has undergone testing is tagged. The tag would have different colors to identify the number of times the equipment has been tested.
The tags confirm that the appliance is well-maintained for the present and thereafter utilization.
Mandatory Test and Tag for Businesses with Hostile Operating Environment
Not all businesses are required to test and tag. According to AS/NZS 3760 only business with a hostile operating environment is mandated to test and tag their equipment. This includes businesses that are engaged in the mining, demolition, and construction industries. The rationale for this is that equipment that is exposed to hostile environments can easily wear and tear. Without a scheduled test and tag, you may never know which equipment has malfunctioned.
In case your workers continue using damaged equipment, they could be at risk of accidents. For example, if a worker is electrocuted after touching a bare switch, it could be your fault as a company for not complying with the mandate. Liabilities for non-compliant companies can easily be compounded by the fact that you did not perform due diligence on your part.
List of Equipment to Test and Tag
In this section, let us deep dive into the different electrical equipment and how testing and tagging are done correctly and quickly.
Surge Protected Devices
Also known as an insulated device, the surge-protected device is equipped with a spike suppressor or surge diverter that prevents you from getting electrocuted whenever you plug the equipment into an outlet. To test and tag these types of devices, you need to understand their functions and use the right type of tester. MOV’s items need Earth Bond, Insulation Resistance, and Polarity test because the insulation resistance test at 500V DC may cause the MOV to react and suppress the voltage surge, causing the test to fail. An alternate would be the Class 1 Leakage test for items at 250V resistance. The Leakage test can also be done for items with EMI Filtering.
You might think that USB chargers don’t need testing because it carries less than 50V. However, they need to be visually inspected and electrically tested on the AC side of the transformer because this portion carries 240V AC Current. All phone chargers in the market are considered Class II items and should undergo insulation resistance tests and leakage tests because of the presence of electronic components in them.
Testing and tagging extension leads is one of the simpler tests and can be completed with the push of a button. First, the equipment will be visually inspected for physical damage. Then it will have to undergo the Earth Continuity, Insulation Resistance, and Polarity.
Laptop, Computers, & Other Components
Computers have four items that need testing: the monitor, desktop PC, and two IEC lead. Since each item has different requirements, each also requires a separate tag. The monitor and PC can be tested with an Insulation Resistance test or Leakage Test. The desktop and PC monitor can be tested together as Class I Earth Appliance.
To test and tag a kettle, it is important to understand that there is a variety of kettle models in the market which can affect the result. To test, you can connect the kettle to the PAT test via IEC load or connect the returned clip to the electrical element inside the kettle.
Toasters, Ovens, & Sandwich Makers
All toasters are considered Class I items, but it is still wise to check each model thoroughly to determine the correct class of items. For visual inspection, look closely for where the cord below the toaster, the casing, the area between the slots, metal chromes, plugs, and switches. For testing, the earth leakage test still needs to be performed for safety.
Welders and Other Electrical Equipment Used for Construction
Welders are Class I items, which require visual inspection and Leakage Current testing. During the visual inspection, you need to make sure that the earth pin has not been modified. ARC welders need an additional test. Other electrical equipment that needs testing and tagging are battery chargers, cleaning equipment, extension leads, and portable RCD boxes.
The process of testing and tagging irons is like other appliances, whereby you need to confirm if it is a Class 1 or Class 2 appliance. For visual inspection, you need to check for the supply lead and make sure that the primary insulation is not exposed. Generally, a supply lead is made of cotton which can split anytime. If the cotton is split, it will expose the primary insulation or colored wires, which is a very dangerous situation. If the wires are exposed, the plastic or rubber insulation can easily melt when the iron is turned on consequently leading to a short circuit or electrocution.
Importance of Testing and Tagging Equipment
Testing and tagging maintain a safe working environment. It evaluates all electrical appliances for electrical safety and keeps your business informed of their status. The construction, mining, and demolition industry are mandated by AS/NZ 3760:2010 to perform tests and tags on their electrical equipment. Other industries may only need to visually inspect their electrical equipment for safety. In addition, the process brings the company into compliance with the present safety regulations.
If you are looking for a reliable test and tag company, you will never go wrong with The Local Guys. For many years, we have been working with different companies all over Australia to ensure their equipment is electrically safe and working. We offer free quotes for your business, so we make testing and tagging a painless process for your business. Call us for more information.