We often get asked about what sort of test equipment people should purchase to do the online test and tag course, or for use during test and tagging after doing a course.
You should give consideration to how many appliances you expect to test and tag in a session, cycle or over a given period. If you only have, say, 20 or 30 appliances to do each quarter and they are of a basic design, then a basic manual system might be all you need such as an insulation/continuity tester.
As the volumes increase you will get to a point when it is more time and cost effective to invest in a PAT. Entry level PATs perform automated test sequences and this can be a real time saver as well as helping to eliminated some common mistakes when testing appliances. As you move up to mid level and higher spec PATs you will be able to save the test data and upload it to create your reports. Many enable you to connect to tag printer.
Even if you don’t have very high volumes, a tag printer can be a real game changer by preventing severe hand cramps from writing out all those tags one by one.
Here’s a guide we put together that you might find helpful;
Here are some other factors you should consider and ask the supplier about.
- What does the warranty / guarantee cover?
- Can you do repairs or will you need to send it away?
- Can you do the recalibrations and how much will it cost?
- How often will it need to be recalibrated? (most suppliers recommend annual but this is not mandated)
- What sort of consumables will you need and how much are they? ie tags, printer ribbons etc.
- Will you need an isolation transformer if the PAT can do RCD testing?
Some of the mid and top spec PATs can cost several thousand dollars. You might be able to fund this through a small equipment lease or finance arrangement.
Hope that helps.
PS We cover this topic in more detail during our classroom based test and tag courses