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How to test and tag electrical equipment

Portable electrical appliances, such as laptops, toasters or microwaves, can require testing. This ensures that the appliance is in good shape, and can be used without risk of electrocution. You start with a visual check of the appliance for obvious signs of damage. Then, you can use a portable appliance tester to test the internal parts of the equipment.

Look at the equipment

Look at the power cords on the equipment you are testing. Look at the cords coming in and out of the equipment. Look for any fraying or wearing, and any obvious signs of damage to the cord. If you see major fraying of the cord, you should not use it and it should not be plugged into the wall outlet at all. The cord should be replaced before you use this piece of equipment.

Plug it in

Plug the equipment into a wall outlet if you do not see any obvious signs of wear and tear, and make sure you see no sparks. If you see any sparks when you plug it in, immediately unplug it. The appliance is faulty and should not be used until the cord is replaced.

CE symbol

Look for a CE symbol on the equipment. A CE symbol indicates it is either a Class I or Class II, and has gone through testing and quality procedures by the manufacturer before it was sold.

Portable appliance tester

Use a portable appliance tester to test the piece of equipment. Connect the power cord of the equipment into the portable appliance tester, and then touch a metal part of the equipment with the tester probe. You can look at the readings on the appliance tester to decide if the equipment is safe and okay to use. If you need help with the readings on the tester, refer to the user’s guide which came with it when you purchased it. You could also contact an electrician if you need more help with the appliance tester or polarity tester. Label the piece of equipment with the date and your initials, indicating that it has been tested and is safe to use. Use a label which will not come off easily, and use a permanent marker or pen. You can also test and tag and use a tag printer to print the tag out.

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