Electro Technical Council of Ireland

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Presence of Sub-standard Cables on the Irish Market

ETCI is concerned about the presence on the Irish market of sub-standard electrical equipment, in particular electric cables. The Low Voltage Directive, implemented in Ireland as S.I. No.299:2007, lays down the criteria for the safety of electrical equipment up to 1000 Volts rating. Compliance with the Directive is achieved by complying with the harmonised standards of the member countries of the European Union or, in special cases, similar means giving an equivalent safety level.

In the case of electric cables, most European countries (except Ireland) have testing and certification procedures to ensure that the cables are up to standard, and a special marking is used to identify such cables, issued e.g. by BASEC in the UK, OVE in Austria, VDE in Germany.

It has been brought to the attention of the ETCI’s Technical Committee 2 (Electrical Installations), TC2, that cable is being imported which not alone does not have appropriate marking, but is of sub-standard materials which can deteriorate rapidly resulting in a potentially dangerous situation which will have implications for public safety in due course. Detecting and identifying sub-standard cables is an ongoing problem for inspectors and installers.

ETCI invited Dr. Jeremy Hodge, Chief Executive, British Approval Services for Cables (BASEC), to address its Annual Workshop on sub-standard cables. This Workshop was held on 9th December 2008 in the Davenport Hotel in Dublin. During his presentation, Dr. Hodge cited the skimming of copper, poor markings, thin insulation, poor cured polymer, aluminium conductors and unsuitable armour as some of the problems that lead to inferior cables getting into the marketplace.

View Dr. Hodge's presentation >>>>>