Extension Leads

An extension lead is an appliance which is used to supply electricity to electrical equipment when there is not a convenient socket outlet available. All extension leads are required to have a protective conductor (earth) if not they should be removed from service and replaced.

If extension reels are to be used they should be fully uncoiled and the correct length used, because they can generate substantial heat when heavily loaded, meaning the flex and wire can start to melt.

Extension leads or reels should not be used outdoors unless designed for such use and must be RCD protected. If the extension leads is fitted with an RCD it should have a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30mA.

Extension leads or reels should not be run under carpets or mats as this can impede heat dissipation possibly causing overheating.
Extension leads should never be made using flat twin and earth or non flexible cable as flexing can result in failure. If any extension leads are found to be wired using non flexible cable they should be immediately removed from service and replaced.

Electrical equipment should only be supplied by extension leads on a temporary basis not permanently. BS7671 requires that there are a sufficient number of conveniently placed socket outlets available. If extension leads are used they should not cause any trip hazards.

Surge Protection Leads

A surge protector extension lead is designed to protect sensitive equipment such as computers from damaging voltage spikes. Voltages above a safe threshold are blocked or shorted to ground by the surge protector as the voltage supplied to the electrical appliance is regulated. Damage caused by power surges can be very costly and HT PAT Testing recommend that surge protected extension leads should be used for all IT or sensitive equipment.

Multiway adaptors are used when there are not enough sockets available for the amount of electrical equipment in use. Sufficient sockets should be accessible so that mulitway adaptors are not required but this is not always possible. These adaptors should never be daisy chained and upon inspecting your premises we help to evaluate if the use is excessive and dangerous.

RCD (Residual Current Device)

Portable electrical equipment that is used outdoors should only be used with protection from an RCD. An RCD is required to have a residual operating current not exceeding 30mA. Protection for an RCD is normally provided by the consumer unit or distribution board, or the socket itself can have RCD protection but if there is any doubt a portable or plug in RCD should be used.

HT PAT Testing have the knowledge and equipment to correctly test a portable RCD, ensuring that the RCD is safe for use and that the current does not exceed 30mA. For further RCD information please visit our PAT Testing Terms page.

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