You have probably been looking at ‘PAT Test’ devices and have come away with more questions than answers. As with most things these days, there seems to be a multitude of options available. The first thing to consider is whether you want a mains powered device or a battery powered alternative.
They are both capable of carrying out the appropriate tests and both versions are acceptable in the eyes of the ‘PAT Testing’ industry, but there are some subtle differences. Different appliances can be tested using different test currents, depending upon the sensitivity of the appliance being tested. The mains powered testers tend to have at least two settings (high – 20 Amps and low – 200mA), whereas the battery powered testers only have the low setting available (200mA).
If you was predominantly testing tools and extension leads in a workshop, you may choose a mains powered tester with the higher settings, in order to ‘stress’ the equipment under test. If you was mostly testing computers in an office environment, then a battery powered tester may be more suitable, as you would need to be more careful to not damage any delicate electronics.