If you have a server room or data centre in your office building, you may need to know if the computer equipment in it needs PAT testing.
PAT testing is one of the best ways to identify faults with electrical equipment and ensure it stays safe. However, some electrical equipment is easier to test than others!
One of the questions we are frequently asked is ‘are server rooms exempt from PAT testing?’
If you’re unsure whether your server room needs PAT testing, we’ve put this guide together to help.
Are server rooms exempt from PAT testing?
It’s important to remember that PAT testing is not a legal requirement in offices and commercial buildings. However, it can be one of the most effective ways of ensuring electrical equipment stays safe in line with health & safety legislation.
The 5th Edition of the IET Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment was published in September 2020. This code contains guidance about equipment racks and bays, like those found in server rooms.
As the equipment in server rooms is permanently mounted, it is at low risk of damage compared to other electrical equipment in an office building.
Equipment in server rooms is typically only removed when it is repaired or replaced. This is when damage is most likely to occur.
It’s recommended that equipment is tested before it’s installed in the server room to ensure a reliable benchmark.
If testing takes place, it’s vital for the person carrying out the work to be fully aware of the equipment they are testing. Any errors or damage can cause servers to shut down, causing inconvenience for staff and customers.
The need for risk assessments in server rooms
It’s recommended that businesses carry out risk assessments to determine how often PAT testing needs to be carried out in their server rooms
A risk assessment will take into consideration:
- The current state of repair of the equipment
- Who has access to the equipment and whether they have the technical expertise to maintain it
- What maintenance programmes are currently in place, and how frequently they occur
- How often the equipment is replaced or moved
- What safety measures are in place, for example, RCDs
This will give your business the necessary information to identify how often PAT testing is needed. For most server rooms, PAT testing is typically carried out every two years, but this frequency can vary.
In summary: PAT testing can be of benefit for server rooms
We recommend that businesses carry out PAT testing for the electrical equipment in their server rooms, as malfunctioning equipment can overheat, causing fires and downtime. However, as the equipment is static, it does not have to be tested too frequently. A risk assessment will help you determine the right frequency for your business.
Electrical equipment must be turned off and unplugged during a PAT test. Some server rooms have a dual power source in the case of power cuts, which means the server can keep running. If not, PAT testing should occur during a time when the impact will be minimal, such as evenings and weekends.
If you are looking for someone to carry out PAT testing in your server room, Hawkesworth can help. We have nearly 30 years of experience carrying out testing for offices across the UK, keeping them compliant. Our skilled engineers will ensure your sensitive server room equipment is safe and fully operational.
Contact us today for your free, no-obligation quote and see how simple electrical compliance can be.
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