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Portable Appliance Definition

This web page provides a definition of Portable Appliances in a PAT testing context

Definition of Portable Appliance

There is no agreed definition of ‘portable appliance’ when talking about PAT testing.


A reasonable definition of a portable appliance is:


A portable appliance is anything that can plug into an electrical socket and can move. This includes items such as PCs, toasters, televisions and specialist building site equipment that plugs into a generator.

A portable appliance is an electrical appliance that can move.

The more obvious portable appliances are appliances such as kettles, toasters and desk lamps. Some not so obvious portable appliances are photocopiers and desktop computers. Photocopiers and desktop computers may not move often but they can move.

Do not ‘over interpret’ the definition of portable appliances; apply a reasonable definition, for instance don’t include mobile phone chargers. The purpose of PAT testing is employee safety. Portable appliances are safe, manufacturers make portable appliances to high standards.


The UK Health and Safety Executive have a relaxed attitude to defining portable appliances, so should you.


Judge Electrical Limited
15 Mulberry Court, Huntington, York, YO32 9TU
Telephone 01904 764845 (Landline), 07919 033113 Mobile)
Email info@judgeelectrical.co.uk
VAT No. 852917405. Company Number 6359328