UL Listing for Low Voltage Speakers

scottn3

New member
Location
United States
Moderators, can you please answer this?

Are flush mount ceiling speakers & in wall volume controls for whole house audio required to have UL (or equivalent) listings?
We have installed these for years without the inspectors saying anything, but now in Mecklenburg County, NC the inspectors are failing us for these not being listed.
Almost no manufacturer makes these in a listed version.

What is the deal on these? They are passive, low voltage devices.
Are these inspectors misinterpreting the code?
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I have never heard of this before and I am curious what article they are citing. Speaker wire is often class 2 and is listed but never heard that the speakers should be.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
70 volt speaker systems over 100 Watts are often classed as Type 1 circuits. That could be your problem.
Commercial systems over large areas are often 70 volt line to reduce the effect of line impedance and allow smaller wire.
I have never seen a home audio quality system that supported 70V (or even 25V) line.
The constant voltage system also allows you to make large adjustments in individual speaker volume by changing transformer taps. But the speakers themselves are usually low voltage.
 
Last edited:

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
The AHJ can require any electrical equipment to be UL (or equivalent) listed. Not a matter of NEC. Why not ask them? I'm willing to bet that they are sick of the Chinese crap.

-Hal
 

Smart $

Esteemed Member
Location
Ohio
The AHJ can require any electrical equipment to be UL (or equivalent) listed. Not a matter of NEC.
It is a matter of NEC, at least indirectly...

110.2 Approval. The conductors and equipment required or
permitted by this Code shall be acceptable only if approved.
UL category for listing of speakers is UEAY...
REQUIREMENTS

The basic standard used to investigate products in this category is ANSI/UL 1480, "Speakers for Fire Alarm, Emergency, and Commercial and Professional Use."

The basic standard used to investigate nonmetallic materials of products marked suitable for use in air-handling spaces is UL 2043, "Fire Test for Heat and Visible Smoke Release for Discrete Products and Their Accessories Installed in Air-Handling Spaces."
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
Agreed, but residential installation of this equipment is not (normally) emergency or in air handling spaces. However, nobody disputes the requirement that listed LV cables be used in these residential systems. Why shouldn't the permanently installed components have to be listed also?

-Hal
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
If its a fire rated ceiling, you will need a metal can to put over the speaker to maintain the fire rating of the ceiling.
Simpler today to just use one of the many enclosed ceiling speakers that have an integral back can. They will be UL listed if they are from a name brand manufacturer.

-Hal
 
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