As part of the Australian Cable Initiative (ACI) surveillance programme, a reel of cable was purchased from an online e-tailer for testing.
The cable was sold as being compliant to AS/NZS 5000.2 and the sheath marking on the cable also made this same claim.
It was noted during the testing that the marking on the cable itself, and the reel it was supplied on, were not compliant with either AS/NZS 5000.2 or the requirements of EESS.
This is an important point for all users and installers of electric cable that falls within the scope of AS/NZS 4417.1, which means all cables that are classed as Building Cables.
The cable in question was a 2 core, 2.5mm2 flat cable that would typically be used for lighting applications.
During testing the following non-compliances were observed:
- No registered name or mark of the manufacturer/supplier on cable or packaging
- No year of manufacture on cable
- The script ‘ELECTRIC CABLE’ was missing from the cable
- The distance between the end of one block of marking on the cable and the next was approximately 700mm which exceeds the maximum of 00mm as stated in AS/NZS 5000.2
- No voltage rating on the packaging
- No catalogue or type number on the packaging
- No reference to the relevant Australian standard on the packaging
Further, the RCM mark required for EESS compliance was not present on either the cable or the packaging (reel).
Now, these non-compliances may seem trivial but if the cable were installed, an authorised inspector would be unable to check the installation for compliance. There would be no way of identifying the cable or its origins and there would be no way to determine if the cable was certified and safe to use.
The problem this would then create is that the cable would need to be removed from the installation and replaced with a properly certified cable.
The cost of the actual cable is incredibly small compared to the cost of removing and replacing the cable. This cost would be borne by the installer and/or the supplier.
The ACI advises you should check that your cable is properly marked and certified BEFORE installing it. To check certification status, go to the ERAC EESS National Database (https://www.eessconformity.com/eess-regulations/eess-national-database/)
Make sure the cable you are planning to install is listed as a certified product or there could be a risk of huge rectification costs.
18 November 2021