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Discuss Omission Of Tests On Inaccessible Kitchen Appliances in the PAT Testing Forum area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. JK-Electrical
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    JK-Electrical Politically Incorrect Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Business Name:
    JK Electrical
    Other than the testing of the usual kitchen appliances that landlords supply as part of the tenancy agreement, I very rarely do any other PA testing. I will be carrying-out an EICR later this week on a property that will soon be made available to let. All appliances bar one are enclosed within fitted cupboards. With the sole exception of the oven, no isolating switches or FCUs have been installed for any of the appliances and they are all fed via sockets that are located at the back of each appliance. Short of physically removing the fridge, freezer, washing machine and dishwasher from their cabinets, I cannot otherwise gain access to the plugs for any of these appliances. So unless the letting agent or the property owner arranges for a kitchen fitter or joiner to remove each individual appliance, the appliances will not be tested. I will, of course, make a note of this on the test certificate, clearly stating my reasons for omitting the tests.

    I'm sure I'm not the only tester who has encountered the problem of not being able to test kitchen appliances because of their inaccessibility. I'm curious as to whether or not the letting agent or property owner have any legal requirement to ensure that appliances supplied as part of a tenancy agreement are tested even if it means facilitating access to inaccessible appliances at their own expense, or whether the omission of the tests under the circumstances is permissible. I'm based in Scotland, and up here portable appliance testing is mandatory for private lettings as is an EICR. Any suggestions or advice anyone?
     
  2. spinlondon
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    spinlondon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Harlow Essex
    Never had that problem, as when I carry out EICRs, I carry them out in accordance with BS7671 so only test the fixed wiring.
     
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  3. Wilko
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    Wilko Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Business Name:
    Wilko Electrics
    I've not had to do this, but if the appliance can't be accessed maybe test it as part of the whole circuit? Wander lead for any exposed conductive parts connection to the MET.
     
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  4. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Top Poster Of Month

    Location:
    Northampton
    Business Name:
    None
    What he said^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
     
  5. DC-backfrom the past
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    DC-backfrom the past Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  6. polo1
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    polo1 Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Business Name:
    GW Electrical & Security
    Not appliance testing related, but I always note as a limitation on EICRs that the circuit serving an electric hob and/oven is only tested to the main switch (i.e not to the outlet) where appliances would have to be removed to provide access.
    You don’t often come across pull out electric cookers anymore!
     
  7. pirate
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    pirate Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I have encountered this problem many times. There are two issues as I see it:
    1. I don't like hauling out heavy appliances! Plus, you have to be careful not to do any damage.
    2. If you can't access the plug then of course proper testing is impossible (in a PA sense) because you can't complete the FVI, check the fuse etc nor, in most cases can you inspect the full length of the flex/cable.

    Many built-in appliances are quite easy to access, such as microwave ovens and ordinary ovens, and often they can be slid out after undoing a couple of screws, however other than that, the FVI is compromised. Even if, say, the hob is merely plugged into a socket or extension lead behind the plinth (thanks Kevin, much appreciated!) the full length of the flex can't be checked. I test what I can, and annotate the report appropriately.
    These massive fridge-freezers are a nightmare...but to be fair, they don't need an annual check unless the circumstances suggest this is imperative...they are virtually "fixed". I try to persude landlords to plug them into a new extension lead, looped up to the top of the units, so you can easily access the appliance plug for testing. The FVI of the supply cable isn't possible, but unless there is evidence of rodents, it is extremely unlikely that the supply cord will have been damaged between one inspection and the next, as it will not have moved or been subject to abrasion etc.
    If I simply cannot get at the back of a washine machine, but it is plugged into a socket at the back and is thereafter fed via a FCU I isolate it and disconnect it there and test as if it were plugged in, using a safe connection block.
    Whatever, if it can't be moved, it's probably less likely to be defective...but I report accordingly, wherever I can't complete the job fully.
    I could, of course, just sticker everything! (Joke!)...there are plenty who do, but there are such cowboys everywhere and probably that's why I don't get as much work...they are much cheaper...
     
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  8. uksrevivor
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    uksrevivor Trainee Access

    Location:
    South Wales
    I can pretty much guarantee that most PAT testing companies who employ people will have passed the item on a visual test and thus adding to his/her test results
     
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  9. JK-Electrical
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    JK-Electrical Politically Incorrect Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Business Name:
    JK Electrical
    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    For the same reasons that Pirate has cited, removing the fitted appliances myself isn't an option. If the letting agent or property owner doesn't arrange for the appliances to be made accessible for testing, then the tests won't be done. As the appliances are connected direct to sockets located at the rear, I can't inspect the flex, plug and fuse. While I could check the earth continuity via a wander lead connected to the MET, I won't be able to test the insulation.

    I think it was a bit short-sighted to not install FCUs or grid switches above the worktops to provide local isolation for these appliances.
     
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  10. gutterball
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    gutterball Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Fife
    I usually do an earth bond to a socket using a kewtec adaptor, if plug or fcu not accessible. then LIM the other tests.
     
  11. pirate
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    pirate Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I am re-thinking this, following JK's point...instead of trying to work round it, make the Landlord responsible for putting the appliance in a condition/location which allows full inspection. My view has been to do what I can with what's available, test and report appropriately, but maybe I should take the view that if I can't gain full access to an appliance, report it as such, and move on.
    Kinda torn between doing the best job I can, and not doing the job cos of inaccessibility.
    Tending towards the "do what you can" version, but JK's view is certainly simpler and more efficient. Maybe depends on the Landlord's attitude? On balance, I am still in favour of doing a "half-job" and reporting accordingly...but in defence of that, I don't have to make a living out of it, so the time involved is of less importance to me.
    I guess that testing at the FCU at least shows that at the time of the test all seemed ok? (minus the FVI). Like the MOT, it's a snapshot in time...
    but then, any PAT result is just that.
    Oh well...next job, I'll decide! I'd just rather do something than nothing, as that "something" might just reveal a problem.
    In passing, as a relatively new member here, I am extremely grateful for all the solid advice from all the experienced people on this forum. Yes, there are some brilliant jokes and comic lines, which I really enjoy...but I have learned so much, so thank you all for your contributions!
     
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  12. Murdoch
    Online

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    This is PRECISELY why sockets for fixed appliances should ALWAYS be accessible without having to remove the appliance.

    Another obvious failing of BS7671
     
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  13. Taylortwocities
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    Taylortwocities Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    BS7671 states that screwed terminals (I would include sockets and plugs) must be accessible.
    So it is covered. its just that kitchen planners and installing electricians do not realise the implications.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Murdoch
    Online

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    It needs to be explained better for the numpties.
     
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  15. MFS Electrical
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    MFS Electrical Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Scotland, Inverclyde, Greenock
    Business Name:
    MFS Electrical
    Apologies for resurrecting an old thread, but isn't a portable appliance only really a portable appliance if you can easily move it? I vaguely remember something about if the appliance is over a certain weight or permanently fixed into place with nails screws or the like then it is no longer portable and can be classed as fixed, no PA Testing to be done on it as it is included in the EICR?
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
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