Here are some of the questions and answers we get asked about the new 5th edition.
What is the 5th Edition?
The term 5th Edition refers to the 5th Edition of the IET Code of Practice for in-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment. This book is the industry standard guidance document used in the UK by those managing or preforming In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment, often know as 'PAT Testing'.
When was the 5th Edition released?
In September 2020 the IET released an updated set of guidance, the 5th Edition, replacing the 4th Edition document that has been used by the industry since 2012.
What has changed in the 5th Edition?
As you would expect, the 5th Edition contains numerous changes to the content and guidance to bring this document up-to-date and make it fit for the equipment and workplaces of the 2020’s.
There are however a few key changes to highlight:
- New terminology, the term ‘Equipment’ replaces old terms like portable appliance. This is to clarify that all electrical equipment in places of work requires inspection and testing not just those that are portable, which was a common misconception.
- The Old table of suggested initial inspection and testing frequencies has been removed in favor of more guidance on risk assessment and sample risk assessments have now been include too.
- A new class of equipment has been added, Class 2 FE (Functional Earth) to cover equipment that has electric shock protection by double or reinforced insulation; but requires a functional earth to operate correctly.
- Testing changes have been made to the ‘Leakage Tests’ where the PASS/FAIL limits has been increased to 5mA for both Class 1 and Class 2 equipment. An RCD test at 5x the rating for 30mA RCDs is now also required.
Do I need official update training to comply with the 5th Edition?
PAT Testing training certificates do not have an expiry date as such & in the code of practice you have to be deemed as competent through both knowledge & experience. We do however suggest though, as a demonstration of good practice, that if the code is updated then PAT users are knowledgeable of the changes made & can demonstrate that they are implementing the changes where appropriate.
Has Seaward updated its products for the 5th Edition?
Yes, as the leading manufacturer of Portable Appliance Testers, Seaward have been closely involved in the development of the 5th Edition and we have used our knowledge to make or products fully 5th Edition compliant and we believe that currently we are the only manufacture that can say this!
Both our PrimeTest and Apollo ranges have updated firmware and hardware to meet the demands of the new 5th edition testing requirements. We have also used this opportunity to add a few new features too.
Can my older Seaward products be updated to the 5th Edition?
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the changes it has not been possible to offer this service to existing PrimeTest users or to those users of Seaward products no longer in production. We have however been able to produce a free firmware update for Apollo Series users.
This firmware will update your Apollo with the new 5th Edition test sequences and also change the protective conductor current test PASS/FAIL limit to 5mA and the touch current test limit to 3.5mA (5mA on new 5th edition products).