First of all, grab your PAT tester and your kettle. Once that's done, you need to decide what type of kettle you have.
Most modern kettles are jug-type kettles. This usually consists of a detachable section where you enter the water (the jug) and a base where the jug is placed. If your kettle is this type, the jug and the base should be tested as one unit.
Older kettles may come with a detachable power cord. In this case, the power cord must be tested separately from the actual kettle to ensure the safety of both.
Testing a Kettle's Power Cord
Note: only perform this test if you have a kettle with a detachable power cord!
To test your kettle's power cord, start by checking the cord for obvious signs of damage by subjecting it to a visual inspection. You're looking for exposed wires, breaks in the insulation, poor connection to the plug socket etc. If you do spot anything, fail the cable immediately.
If the cable passes your visual inspection, use a standard test lead (included with most PAT testers) to perform the following testing procedures:
- Earth continuity
- Insulation at 500V DC
If it passes all four of these tests, the power cord is safe to use.
Testing the Actual Kettle
As before, check the kettle for obvious signs of damage during a visual inspection. If there's anything that looks dangerous, fail it.
If passed, you should then proceed to empty out the kettle before carrying out the next testing procedures.
At this point you will be required to find a suitable earthing point for your earth bond lead. This is generally inside the metal casing inside the tester. Once you've found a suitable metal point, clip it on.
Note: it may be possible that build up or dirt/limescale on the metal may cause the test to fail. It is good practice to scrape the metal gently using the crocodile clip to expose the metal as much as possible.
Once an earthing point is located, perform the following testing procedures:
- Earth Bond
- Insulation at 500V DC
Note: it may also be possible that a plastic kettle does not have metal casing inside. In this case, attach the lead to the element inside the kettle and remove once completed.
At this point, remove the lead from the kettle and cover the element with water.
You then need to find another earthing point on the base or around the kettle in order to perform a leakage/load test. The water covering the element ensures that the kettle won't be damaged should it switch on during these tests