The most common cause of a failed electrical appliance test

Updated: Sep 10

While going about my testing, I have found an alarming coincidence when testing appliances.

To give you a brief background, I have tested appliances for builders, plasterers, painters, hair salons, offices, barbers, retail shops, motels, hotels and rest homes. The NZ Standard NZS3760 lays out a generalised time-frame for the frequency of when appliances should be tested. Appliances used in construction for example are to be tested every 3 months. Commercial cleaners and factories or places of maintenance etc. are every 6 months, offices, receptions etc. to be 12 monthly and residential areas of accommodation houses every 2 years (including hotels and motels).

The alarming thing I have found is that Hotels and Motels pose a greater risk of electrical shock than commercial cleaners. Why? - I have no definite answer, but I suspect it is because appliances in these places are treated as "rentals" - everyone understands the joke that rental cars go anywhere. Appliances in hotel and motel rooms appear to be treated with the same disregard.

Ask any motel manager, and they will agree that they spend a lot of money every year on replacing appliances in their rooms. Most typically hair dryers, heaters, and clothes irons. Although depending on the room layout, there may be another commonly failed appliance. Lamps can also have a high failure rate in some motels and hotels.

The following photos are of some commonly failed appliances from hotels or motels.

You might well ask, if managers are replacing appliances so regularly, why is the testing schedule only every 2 years? - That is a good question, however there is an allowance in the standard that requires the responsible person to set an appropriate time-frame as they see fit to test more regularly.

Another good question is, how did I find so many failed appliances? The answer is simple, because the managers are too busy managing and quite often are doing the job of 2 or more people. Also, the cleaners are not trained to identify hazards of this sort. There is also the possibility that an appliance has been recalled. At Kadec we try to stay current and keep you updated as we can. - This is why all accommodation places should employ a testing specialist to ensure not only their compliance, but the safety of their clients.

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