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Thread: Is UL listing required for a battery powered portable instrument?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbalex View Post
    The Scope of Article 500 [Section 500.1] covers Articles 500 to 504. It recognizes equipment in hazardous locations are covered by by the Articles. It makes no distinction about premises wiring. Portable and mobile equipment are covered by the Articles.

    OSHA does not necessarily require NRTL certification; but the distinction is whether a NRTL can certify a product not whether any manufacture has, in fact, obtained such a certification. If it can be shown the product can be NRTL certified, it must be. [See FedOSHA definition of Acceptable] There are plenty of UL product standards for certifying electronic instruments for Class I. (I have no idea why GP motors still seem to be an exception; there is definitely a UL product standard for them too.)
    500.1 Scope — Articles 500 Through 504. Articles 500
    through 504 cover the requirements for electrical and electronic
    equipment and wiring
    for all voltages in Class I,
    Divisions 1 and 2; Class II, Divisions 1 and 2; and Class
    III, Divisions 1 and 2 locations where fire or explosion
    hazards may exist due to flammable gases, flammable
    liquid–produced vapors, combustible liquid–produced vapors,
    combustible dusts, or ignitible fibers/flyings.
    Equipment. Ageneral term, including fittings, devices, appliances,
    luminaires, apparatus, machinery, and the like used as a
    part of, or in connection with, an electrical installation.
    Since the very definition of equipment requires it somehow be associated with an electrical installation, I don't see how a device like a flashlight or a volt meter can be considered to covered by article 500-504.

    It might be a good place to look for guidance though on dealing with such items. They still present a hazard.
    Bob

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbalex View Post
    You need to be aware of the relationship of Chapters 5 to 7 to Chapters 1 to 4. See Section 90.3. "Installation" is not necessarily a consideration in classified locations.

    With regard to ,"...carrying a flashlight, a multimeter, or a Motorola radio into the hazardous area", you should contact API's Subcommittee on Electrical Equipment (SOEE) to get their opinion about such unsafe practices; i.e., the industry is already aware.
    Permit me to be more specific: From API RP 540:

    10.4 COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

    10.4.1 Radio Systems

    Fixed radio equipment is used extensively in processing
    plants for communication between other fixed equipment,
    portable equipment, and mobile equipment. The fixed equipment
    is typically located in operation or maintenance centers
    and is used for dispatching, security, and process-unit communication.

    Portable radio equipment is available in two forms, the
    hand-held, two-way communication device and the beltmounted,
    call-pager system. The call-pager unit alerts its
    carrier, who, in turn, uses a telephone to communicate with
    the caller. Some call-pager units allow a more detailed messaging
    capability. Portable radio equipment that will be used
    in classified locations must be approved for use in such
    locations.

    Mobile radio equipment is provided in vehicles used for
    deliveries, maintenance, security, and fire protection, and is
    also provided in vehicles used by facility management
    This is typical for several classes of equipment.
    Last edited by rbalex; 08-05-16 at 06:03 PM. Reason: to conform with API RP 540 original formatting
    "Bob"
    Robert B. Alexander, P.E.
    Answers based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by petersonra View Post
    I'd be willing to bet the flashlights, multimeters, and radios are intrinsically safe or protected in some other way if they are being carried into classified areas. There are some places that won't even let you bring a battery powered watch in.
    A few are nonincendive - and marked as such if properly used in classified locations.
    "Bob"
    Robert B. Alexander, P.E.
    Answers based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  4. #14
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    About the only things that the SOEE is hesitant about requiring specific approval for classified locations are pacemakers and hearing aids.
    "Bob"
    Robert B. Alexander, P.E.
    Answers based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  5. #15
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    Thanks for the feedback, guys. I agree with your Code citings which is why I am asking the question.

    If indeed small portable instruments, radios, and the like are required to be UL listed, then Industry must be either unaware of the requirement or it is being ignored. For example, Fluke just recently (within the last 5 years) came out with a hazardous area rated multimeter listed as intrinsically safe by Intertek, but I have never actually seen one used in the field. Most electricians carry a traditional DMM such as a Fluke 179. The Motorola handheld radio universally used by everyone from fire fighters to construction workers claims to be intrinsically safe, but is not listed as such as required under 504.4. Still, our personnel are required to carry one with them whenever they enter a Classified area, as there is nothing else comparable that is listed. As to flashlights, I found only one high-end headlamp/flashlight manufacturer that advertises its product as approved for Class I Div 1 and 2 areas, but when you look closely at their product it is only UL "Classified" and not "listed." Most workers wear a Princeton headlamp or similar on their hardhat, with no thought at all to listing requirements.

    My point is that there are many applications where Class I listed devices are technically required, but are simply not available in the US. Work has to get done, so the Code requirements are universally ignored ion those cases. In our case, we are going to bite the bullet and pay the manufacturer many thousands of extra dollars to have their pipeline internal inspection system unit UL listed. As hundreds of these units are already in use in the US, this seems to be another area where the listing requirements for equipment in hazardous areas has been ignored.

  6. #16
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    I would suggest there are several alternate NRTLs than UL. They are quite competent and reasonably priced.
    "Bob"
    Robert B. Alexander, P.E.
    Answers based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  7. #17
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    OSHA's list of appropriate NRTL test standards

    The best place I've found to determine if a NRTL listing is required for a piece of equipment is here: https://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/list_standards.html. It covers more than just electrical equipment, but at least you can consider it an exhaustive list for electrical purposes. If it is not obvious whether a particular standard applies to a particular piece of equipment, UL's standards website (search on the standard number) will let you see a summary of the standard and the standard's table of contents.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Merrick View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, guys. I agree with your Code citings which is why I am asking the question.

    If indeed small portable instruments, radios, and the like are required to be UL listed, then Industry must be either unaware of the requirement or it is being ignored. For example, Fluke just recently (within the last 5 years) came out with a hazardous area rated multimeter listed as intrinsically safe by Intertek, but I have never actually seen one used in the field. Most electricians carry a traditional DMM such as a Fluke 179. The Motorola handheld radio universally used by everyone from fire fighters to construction workers claims to be intrinsically safe, but is not listed as such as required under 504.4. Still, our personnel are required to carry one with them whenever they enter a Classified area, as there is nothing else comparable that is listed. As to flashlights, I found only one high-end headlamp/flashlight manufacturer that advertises its product as approved for Class I Div 1 and 2 areas, but when you look closely at their product it is only UL "Classified" and not "listed." Most workers wear a Princeton headlamp or similar on their hardhat, with no thought at all to listing requirements.
    I had an interesting email exchange with UL last month about seeing products described only as Classified.
    It seems that UL is trying to switch over to the more general word Classified as an overall category for Listed, Recognized, etc.
    They did not seem at all concerned that there are codes and ordinances that specifically mention "listed".

    Chances are that if you look up the file number for the classified product you will find that it indeed meets the requirements for listing.

    I wish UL had not so blithely disregarded existing codes and gone off on their own nomenclature change.

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