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What are portable appliances?

As a consensus of opinion portable appliances are:

Hand held whilst being connected to the electical supply.
Intended to be moved whilst connected to the electical supply.
Capable of being moved without undue difficulty whilst connected to the electical supply.

As a basic rule of thumb in portable appliance testing, portable appliances are not just those that have a 3 pin plug on the end. To give a clearer picture, below are some examples of different types of equpment that should be tested.


Portable appliance

An appliance of less than 18kg in mass that is intended to be moved whilst in operation or an appliance which can easily be moved from one place to another, e.g. vacuum cleaner, toaster, kettle, or this desk lamp.


Movable equipment (Transportable)

Inlcudes un fixed equipment of 18kg or less in weight and intended to be moved from one location to another, for example a portable electric fire.

This quipment may be provided with castors, wheels or other means to assist movement by the operator for example this mobile air conditioning unit.

Hand Held equipment

This is portable equipment intended to be held in the hand during normal use, for example this soldering iron or a hair drier.

Stationary equipment

This equipment has a weight exceeding 18kg and is not provided with a carrying handle, e.g. refrigerator or this drinks vending machine. In commercial environments such as shops you often have large freezer cabinets which fall into this category.


Fixed Equipment

This is equipment or appliance which is fastened in a specific location for example in this picture of a hand drier. In a hotel environment particulalry there are often hair driers or kettles are hard wired into a fused spur.


Built in Equipment

This equipment is intended to be installed in a prepared space such as a kitchen cupboard designed to accept it. Usually such equipment has additional protection from electric shock by the fact that all sides of the equipment are not accessible. For example a built in electric cooker, dishwasher or refrigerator.


Information Technology (IT) Equipment

IT equipment includes the usual mains powered electronic business equipment such as computers, monitors, fax machines and photo copiers. For example in this picture both the computer and monitor.


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