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graham1945

PAT testing

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This ^^^^^

You'd be amazed how many venues / hotels / theatres don't have their certificates to hand when they ask you for
your PAT stuff.

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This comes up every time pat testing is mentioned and its total nonsense, chances are the bar staff or person organising the bands won't have documents such as the fixed wiring certificates, if it's a brewery owned venue the documents will be kept on file at a head office or more likely purely an electronic copy sent direct from the electrician that tested it to the venues owner usually to send to the insurance company and local authority as part of an entertainments licence application.

FWIW if you really want to ask for one it's called an "electrical installation condition report", them having one or not carries no value regarding your gear being PAT tested or not if they've requested it before you play.

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[quote name='graham1945' timestamp='1485078903' post='3220866']
Hi, anyone have a ballpark cost of PAT testing a whole band's equipment, including main pa and monitors? Thanks in advance.
Graham
[/quote]

This was the original question anyway!

I'd say £30-40 plus a cup of tea for around 15-20 items.

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I regularly do the PAT testing for a well know, touring band. It initially started off as a favour from a friend, who is their Production/Tour manager, who knew I was qualified to do the job and also out of work at the time...

I've done the job every year since for them, despite explaining numerous times that it's not a legal requirement, but they still like to have it done to satisfy insurance and venues. When I first took on the job we found a lot of failures in the first couple of years - mostly mains cables, but other bits larger pieces of hardware, too. In recent years there have been very, very few items which fail, as we have weeded out all the broken kit. They also tour less these days, which helps the life of the equipment.

It's also worth bearing in mind that the PA test is a 'moment in time' record - if I test something today and it passes, that's great, but it doesn't guarantee that it'll still pass after being chucked about in the back of a van for 4 months.

Just to add - on the cost side of things, I charge £3 an item. However, all their kit is in flight-cases and I have to go into their warehouse store, hunt round & de-box everything myself, test it and then re-pack. Most of that £3 goes to cover the time it takes me to find the items, rather than doing the test. Usually takes me at least 2 full days to get round everything. If all the kit was laid out in front of me, it would probably be something like 50p a throw. The band have never quibbled the price, and I haven't changed it in 8 years.

Edited by Simon.

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Think of it as an MOT for electrical equipment. If you have one it means that your equipment has been inspected in the last 12 months and deemed safe and if used normally, highly likely to still be safe.

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PAT is there to show you have tested your equipment within the last 12 months. It does not guarantee safety. As with a car mot your car can be fine after the mot then breakdown 2 weeks later. That is when taking good care of kit and regular checks come into play.

Yes, PAT is not a legal requirement, BUT one big thing missing here is that if you have PLI and no PAT (or dodgy PAT) this can invalidate your PLI insurance, leaving you vunerable to potentially millions in damages, or even jail, should the worst happen.

For the sake of a few quid every year (it isn't much split between a band), pat test your kit, get pli and be safe.

Edited by la bam

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[quote name='la bam' timestamp='1485196352' post='3222017']
Yes, PAT is not a legal requirement, BUT one big thing missing here is that if you have PLI and no PAT (or dodgy PAT) this can invalidate your PLI insurance, leaving you vunerable to potentially millions in damages, or even jail, should the worst happen.

[/quote]

Jail? really? has anyone ever gone to jail for not having their equipment PA tested? Has anyone in a band ever been sued for millions for an accident arising from not having their equipment PA tested with no other major factor involved? Happy to be corrected, but I'm pretty sure this has never happened... This is why this is never a reasonable debate, hyperbole seems to dominate these conversations..

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Theres lots of examples.

Just think of house much it would cost to repair a hotel if your kit set it on fire. Repair bills, labour, lost income. Can you afford these repairs out of your own pocket? Do you think a venue is going to pay for you if the investigation proves your kit was to blame? No. They're going to come after you.

Granted there now should be trip switches etc at venues, to prevent major damage, but I've seen some shoddy venues.

For the sake of £100 a year youre crazy not to be covered.

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[quote name='la bam' timestamp='1485199441' post='3222053']
Theres lots of examples.

Just think of house much it would cost to repair a hotel if your kit set it on fire. Repair bills, labour, lost income. Can you afford these repairs out of your own pocket? Do you think a venue is going to pay for you if the investigation proves your kit was to blame? No. They're going to come after you.

Granted there now should be trip switches etc at venues, to prevent major damage, but I've seen some shoddy venues.

For the sake of £100 a year youre crazy not to be covered.
[/quote]

Again, these are "what if's" rather than what I asked which was for concrete examples.. And the main point was you saying someone could go to Jail as a consequence of their kit not being PA Tested and an accident resulting from this.... Can you elaborate please?

FYI this is a conversation about PA testing, not PLI (which I do have, because it makes sense) although the venues policy will always backstop mine in the event of an overclaim. In my view it's much more likely that a piece of lighting or PA will fall onto a punter, rather than my gear spontaneously combust uncontrollably and burn the venue to the ground..

Edited by markstuk

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I know this is a thread about PAT but people need to be educated on these 2 vital aspects that go hand in hand. A genuine piece of advise - if you have PLI go and check your PLI policy. I'd be very surprised if your policy is valid if you can't provide evidence of PAT testing should you need to claim. Thats the part you're missing. Even though PAT isnt a LEGAL requirement, it may be a requirement of your PLI policy. If in doubt ring them and ask for a concrete answer.

So in theory, should the worst happen, you have no PAT and no Insurance - thats not a good position to be in.

The just buying labels and pretending to have PAT is fraud and youll easily be caught out. Have a look at a genuine PAT certificate - it contains a lot more information than 'passed'. Would you be able to provide the required information if needed/scrutinized?

Edited by la bam

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[quote name='la bam' timestamp='1485201998' post='3222090']
I know this is a thread about PAT but people need to be educated on these 2 vital aspects that go hand in hand. A genuine piece of advise - if you have PLI go and check your PLI policy. I'd be very surprised if your policy is valid if you can't provide evidence of PAT testing should you need to claim. Thats the part you're missing. Even though PAT isnt a LEGAL requirement, it may be a requirement of your PLI policy. If in doubt ring them and ask for a concrete answer.

So in theory, should the worst happen, you have no PAT and no Insurance - thats not a good position to be in.
[/quote]

I have read my policy, and it does not require my equipment to be PA tested, although there are some weasel words that this might be taken into consideration. Given that I am a "competent" person in the parlance, I have no problem in maintaining that my equipment is PA tested - indeed I put a meter across my equipment rather more often than once a year, and I check my extension leads much more frequently than that..

Again, I'm still interested in how I might go to prison for not having my equipment have a certificate knocked up by some sparky on powerpoint by his missus..

Edited by markstuk

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Yeh, weasel words ..... its not like insurance companies to try and weasel out of paying out is it? :)

Do what you want. Its upto you.

Its not me youll need to convince should anything happen.

For the sake of a few pints, myself, as well as others on here, are covered, kit is covered, insured, as is the public, and it allows us into almost any venue.

PS - to the OP - make sure your PLI is £10m or youll struggle to get in a lot of venues, especially hotels if you want to go down that route..

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[quote name='la bam' timestamp='1485204045' post='3222126']
Yeh, weasel words ..... its not like insurance companies to try and weasel out of paying out is it? :)

Do what you want. Its upto you.

Its not me youll need to convince should anything happen.

For the sake of a few pints, myself, as well as others on here, are covered, kit is covered, insured, as is the public, and it allows us into almost any venue.

PS - to the OP - make sure your PLI is £10m or youll struggle to get in a lot of venues, especially hotels if you want to go down that route..
[/quote]

Thanks I will 😉 still waiting for the prison answer though 😉 which is the reason why I reengaged with this thread.

Edited by markstuk

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On a serious note, ring your PLI company and ask the statement direct.

"If i dont have any equipment PAT tested at all and it is proven that my equipment is the cause of a fatality or serious accident or damage by electrical fault, will i still be covered?"

Insist you get a "yes" or "no" answer. If its a "yes you will still be covered" ask for it in writing. Then youve no need at all to have PAT. Apart from when a venue asks for it .....

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[quote name='grandad' timestamp='1485208099' post='3222204']
It's all here:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/faq-portable-appliance-testing.htm
[/quote]

Quite. The equipment does not have to be 'tested' as such but it does have to be regularly inspected, that doesn't even have to be by a qualified person, anyone competent can do it.

You could just write down all your equipment in a book and write next to each item 'Visually inspected', sign it and date it. Stick a sticker on the appliance and the job's done.

Just make sure that you are actually competent, and that doesn't mean saying "I've read the internet and know how to wire a plug." In the event of a serious accident you will have to stand up in court and explain how competent you are.

,

Edited by TimR

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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' timestamp='1485193057' post='3221974']
This comes up every time pat testing is mentioned and its total nonsense, chances are the bar staff or person organising the bands won't have documents such as the fixed wiring certificates, if it's a brewery owned venue the documents will be kept on file at a head office or more likely purely an electronic copy sent direct from the electrician that tested it to the venues owner usually to send to the insurance company and local authority as part of an entertainments licence application.

FWIW if you really want to ask for one it's called an "electrical installation condition report", them having one or not carries no value regarding your gear being PAT tested or not if they've requested it before you play.
[/quote]

My point was that it would seem only fair to expect some sort of guarantee from the venue that the mains supply you were
connected to was sound, if they were indeed asking for the same from you about the state of your own gear?

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[quote name='casapete' timestamp='1485214956' post='3222280']


My point was that it would seem only fair to expect some sort of guarantee from the venue that the mains supply you were
connected to was sound, if they were indeed asking for the same from you about the state of your own gear?
[/quote]

I'd suspect anyone organised enough to be asking about PAT testing will have PLI and Fixed Wiring tests already in place.

I'd be more worried about venues who don't ask for it.

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You'd be amazed at the amount of times I encountered this - hotels having functions were the main culprits.

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Portable appliance testing is one of those fun things that always seems to come up now, along with PLI of course.... It's unfortunately a feature in our modern society to protect the polar bears and the ozone...

Anyway, it's not a legal requirement, the IE rules are still hazy, and in general as may have said it's worth doing just to cover yourselves and show a degree of responsibility and professionalism to the client and venue. I'd say one in 3 tests I find faulty cables with no earth, or badly wired extension leads (wrong polarity, or just screws loose). Most gear passes, with only the oldest of equipment failing, usually on a bad earth, which is often fixed with a quick clean, and re-connect.

I charge around £60 if you come to me, or £80 for a visit within an hour from me for a typical full band set up of up to 50 items, Less for solists, DJ's etc.. with less gear.

Regarding just doing it yourself, I've once had a venue contact me, as my details are on all my tests, asking for a certificate of competency and certificate of calibration for my machine, both of which I have... If I hadn't, the band may have found themselves losing the gig !! Yes, you could DIY it, but you'd have you buy the equipment, typical half decent PAT machine is around £500, plus you need to get it calibrated ideally once a year (£80 a pop), and go do a course to show competency.

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[quote name='Spike Vincent' timestamp='1485166499' post='3221614']


You should have this anyway . Comes with Musicians Union membership.
[/quote]

Yes, you're probably correct with that point, and the band are going to take out insurance now. However I'm not a union member, (neither is anyone in our current band) and haven't been since a brief period in 1965. Being a pubs and clubs musician, playing for the enjoyment of it on a non regular basis, I've very rarely been able to achieve union rates so felt it would be rather pointless joining a rather dictatorial union only to be breaking their hourly rate rules on a consistent basis. My opening comments about PAT testing should also be read with the above knowledge ie the rules and regs that existed in 1963, when I started playing, are so very different from today.
Glad to read all of the comments and opinions above, and we have decided to get all of our gear PAT tested on the basis that if we don't, something MIGHT happen. Now isn't that why the legal and insurance businesses are such lucrative professions?
Cheers,
Graham

Edited by graham1945

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Guys - picking up on this previously started thread...

2Qs:

1) Anyone recommend me someone they have used in the London area for PAT Testing PA and backline etc at a reasonable price? (How much all in?)

2) Are any folk doing this on a "self test" basis - if so in terms of kit the Seward Primetest 50 PAT Tester kit seems to do the job and is around £225 (new) - anything better value I should be looking out for? 

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I had an email this last week from the MU, offering free PAT testing for members in Birmingham.

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