Some Scary Finds While PAT Testing

It is surprising how many faulty and dangerous appliances we come across. Below are some we have photographed while testing at clients premises.

dangerous plug - earth
So messy the earth wire is touching the live.

melted extention reel
Always unwind extension reels before use...

broken casing
If you can touch live parts, it fails.

dangerous cable
This cable will be presented to a museum.

dangerous plug - missing screw
Looks fine at first, but the earth screw is missing.

dangerous plug - strain relief
Cable must have strain relief in the plug.

dangerous plug - squashed live
Too much wire inside stops plug lid fitting.

dangerous plugs - strain relief
Sometimes you just want to give up.

dangerous plug no strain relief
Strain relief needed.

dangerous plug - loose screw
Whoever changed this plug didn't have a screwdriver.

dangerous hedge trimmer cable
This was on an electric hedge trimmer.

dangerous kettle lead
Inside a kettle plug showing failed strain relief.

dangerous food mixer cable
This food mixer was in a holiday let kitchen.

dangerous extention lead no earth
Extension lead a little short of earth.


Loose connections

We inspect every plug to check the wiring is correct and secure and correctly fused. Sometimes the screws work loose and we find the wires loose. When the appliance is being used, the current arcs between the wire and the connector and can cause it to overheat and burn.

Incorrect wiring

Anything that can be wired or rewired is at risk of being incorrectly connected. Most common are plugs, multi-way adaptors and extension leads. This could mean there is no protective earth conductor or even that an appliance casing is live.

Crushed cables

Current has to flow between the plug and the appliance via the cable. Frequently the cable is trapped between desks, under table legs, against walls and under heavy appliances. Crushing the flex can split the insulation inside and cause a short or expose live conductors.