Replace non sleeved plugs

Whilst it’s not the ‘law’ the Portable Appliance Testing Trade Association recommends replacing non-sleeved plugs for sleeved ones.

Non-sleeved plugs have not been manufactured in the UK since 1984, and they don’t meet the standard for safety – not having sleeves on the earth and insulation pins means a user could come into contact with the electricity supply when plugging in or unplugging a device, so these plugs don’t meet safety standards.

PAT testers should be replacing non-sleeved plugs like this one

As the purpose of the PAT test is to make sure a plug is safe to use, then if the plug does not have insulated pins, then it is not safe to use, so should be replaced with a plug that meets UK Plug wiring standards.

This change in manufacture came about from an amendment on BS1363 in 1984, where it became a requirement that the line and neutral pins should have an insulation sleeve.

37 plus years later, equipment fitted with non-sleeved plugs is still found in use.

Plus, there is actually no guidance to say that a PAT tester has to replace these plugs – even the latest Code of Practice doesn’t make it clear whether changing is the right way to go.

Although PATTA’s Working Standards don’t directly refer to this topic we do expect our members to be putting their clients safety first, so plugs that are not safe should be replaced.

Unsleeved pins on uk plug

The Portable Appliance Testing Trade Association feels that all plugs found without insulated pins should be changed to plugs with insulated pins, by the Pat tester doing the visual inspection.