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Thread: CSA, UL, ETL, etc requirement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Langley, BC
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    25

    CSA, UL, ETL, etc requirement

    I just want to confirm that a safety certification isn't required for portable plug-in items sold to and used by the general public? Take an extension cord for ex.

    What if an extension cord were say to plug in an RV (which itself must comply with NEC and have safety certification on components) into a building? It would be okay to have the interconnection cord non-certified?
    Gil
    Retired EE (Canadian)
    Langley, BC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northern illinois
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    15,657
    There is no general requirement in the US that any product be certified or listed or whatever, unlike in Europe where manufacturers have to explicitly state they meet the applicable requirements by affixing the CE marking.

    There are certain cases where it is required such as places where a law has been enacted that requires compliance with the NEC. In that case, products that are required to be listed by the NEC would need to be listed.

    In general, OSHA also indirectly requires products used by employers to be listed if such a listing is available, although this requirement is often ignored since it is not a law but a mere regulation.

    I think it would be very hard to get liability inurance on an extension cord that was not UL listed so it would likely be really hard to get a rational retailer to sell such a product.
    Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    San Francisco, CA, USA
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    6,967
    Quote Originally Posted by petersonra View Post
    ...

    I think it would be very hard to get liability inurance on an extension cord that was not UL listed so it would likely be really hard to get a rational retailer to sell such a product.
    And that's why God created Dollar Stores...

    I knew a woman in the 90s who worked as a buyer, briefly, for Costco. She bought a boatload of portable work lights from China and although they purported to have UL listing, turned out that was fake. Costco required their buyers to not just accept statements from mfrs, they had to cross check with UL and verify that the files, numbers, descriptions, even the addresses of the mfr had to match. She failed to do that and was reprimanded. All of those products were supposed to be destroyed and she was responsible for that too, but the company she contracted with for that sold them off to the Dollar Store instead. She lost her job over that. The point being, retailers take steps to not expose themselves to product reliability risks and rely on third party testing agencies to vet electrical products in particular.
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    Many people are shocked when they discover I am not a good electrician...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    23,287
    While not the cord that was asked about, the NEC has stepped into this with a new section in Article 422.
    422.6 Listing Required. All appliances operating at 50 volts or more shall be listed.
    Don, Illinois
    Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity. Dr. Rick Rigsby
    (All code citations are 2017 unless otherwise noted)

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