PAT Testing – Which Appliances?

Our previous blog post was an introduction into PAT testing and explained how to do it. This next post is all about which appliances actually need to be tested!

There is no definition of what a ‘Portable Appliance’ is but the standard interpretation is, “any appliance that has a plug attached to it and plugs into a wall outlet”. However, the word ‘Portable’ can be very misleading. There are 7 categories which should be considered for PAT testing or at least visual inspections:

  • Fixed appliances
  • Stationary appliances
  • IT appliances
  • Moveable appliances
  • Portable appliances
  • Cables and chargers
  • Hand Held appliances

The table below shows whether or not each appliance category requires PAT testing or whether a visual inspection is sufficient.


In addition to the list above, electrical class and category of electrical appliances can also determine whether or not the appliance needs to be tested.

Electrical appliances are categorised as Class 1, 2 or 3. Class 1 is the most dangerous compared to Class 3 which is the least dangerous.

Class 1 – Requires a full PAT test

Class 2 – Requires a PAT insulation test

Class 3 – Do not require a PAT test


So, which appliances fit into these categories?


Class 1 – This type of electrical equipment has only basic insulation and relies on an earth for protection.

Class 2 – This type of electrical equipment has extra insulation so does not rely on an earth for protection, therefore, making it safer.

Class 3 – These are low voltage items and the safest of electrical appliances. However, their charging leads might need PAT testing.

The lists below show which appliances usually fall under each category.


If you’re not sure which category your appliance is, look out for one of the symbols below:


Although there is no legal requirement to carry out PAT testing, we recommend testing electrical appliances on an annual basis to ensure each of your appliances are safe to use.

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