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Can PAT Testing Damage Your Computer? 6 Things To Know

Can PAT Testing Damage Your Computer? 6 Things To Know

The safety of electronic equipment like your laptop, your electric kettle, your iron etc., is absolutely essential. In fact, safety tests like the PAT test are a necessity in many countries of the world like the republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, New Zealand etc.

These tests are mandatory in all establishments that hire labourers for their day-to-day activities. However, PAT testing is vital not only for industries but also for households.

So electronic goods that you regularly use, like your laptop, must also undergo a PAT ( the portable appliance testing ) test to ensure that they run smoothly.

Some Factors That You Must Know Before Going For A PAT For Your Computer

So a PAT test can damage the circuit of your computer. However, they are absolutely necessary since safe electrical equipment is essential for your safety and well-being.

So here is a comprehensive list of does and don’ts to follow when you undertake a PAT test for your laptop or your desktop.


Check The Power Cable/ Charging Cord And The Device Separately

You must make sure that your power cable or charging cord is not attached to your desktop or your laptop while portable appliance testing is on. In order to prevent any damage to your device, you must test the power chord and the computer separately.

A usual checkup for the power cord will have three steps. The first step is a simple and straightforward check for any breaks or nicks in the wiring. The second check is done to check if the earthing is fine or not. Earthing means the cord will not result in any electrical shocks.

The earth is a reservoir of electrons. So an earth connection makes sure that the excess charge in a circuit flows into the earth, and thus it protects the electrical appliance from damage and the user from shocks.

The final test for the power cord is usually the test which checks for insulation resistance.

Check The Computer With The Appropriate PAT Tester

When testing a laptop or a desktop, the PAT tester should be such that it should be able to handle a current of at the most 200mA for an earthing check.

So if you check the computer with an inappropriate tester, then the motherboard of the computer can be harmed.

The testing for the main device should also follow the same steps that were used for testing the power chord. So visual inspection should be followed by earthing test and insulation check.

However, you have to be careful while performing the earthing check or the insulation check as they require quite a bit of expertise.

Use A Suitable Current For The Earthing Check

The earthing check uses the Ohm’s law, which states that there is a reciprocal relationship between the current and the voltage in a circuit. However, in case of any defect, the resistance value obtained deflected from expected values.

Also, different types of earthing defects are reflected at different combinations of current and voltage. However, for a computer, it is not advisable to use a current higher than 200mA. Anything higher than 200mA could damage the internal circuits of your laptop and cause permanent damage to the circuits.

Try Not To Do It Yourself


The part which requires the inspection of wires can be done by any person who has a keen sense of observation. But beyond this point, a person must be skilled enough to understand basic electrical laws, the functioning of electrical circuits etc.

So if you think you are not competent enough to run the second part of the PAT test all by yourself, hire a certified PAT tester. Alternatively, if you use multiple computers or if you are in charge of an organisation that uses several computers, you can undergo a PAT tester certification course.

Make Sure To Have A Backup Of All Your Critical Data

A computer may be adversely affected in the course of testing for its electrical stability. The circuits in the hardware of the device may break down due to excessive passage of current.

So there is a possibility that you may not be able to reuse your computer for a while after the electrical  safety check is conducted. So it is always advisable to have a backup of all the critical data that is stored on your computer.

Make Sure The Software Installed In Your System Does Not Interfere With The Test

At times antivirus codes may interfere while running the test. So it is advisable to uninstall or disable such software before running the PAT check.

You can reinstall the programs after the check has been run and your device is electrically safe and sound.


Disables Cookies And Other Privacy Settings

Cookies are tiny bits of data that are collected by websites to learn more about the user. Most people allow the use of some amount of cookies to be collected from their browser, depending on the levels of privacy that they require.

It is advisable to turn off all the privacy settings of your device before you conduct a PAT. This will make sure that your privacy settings do not interfere while running the electrical safety check.


Checking for the electrical safety and soundness of computers is essential. The electrical checks make sure that the device runs smoothly, and the chances of electrical accidents like electrical fires and shocks are reduced to a great extent.

However, conducting a PAT for a computer will become counterproductive if the process ends up destroying the computer. So you must always get the test done by an experienced person. And if you are doing it yourself, you must make sure that all your data is backed up in case of any eventuality that may occur.

Most people are concerned about the safety of their computers before they conduct a PAT test. However, a test for the electrical safety of a device is not in itself harmful for a device, and if you take adequate precautions, your device should be fine.

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