The Australian Cablemakers Association (ACA) has welcomed the mandatory recall on some Ecables branded power cable sold between January 2011 and June 2014.
Energy Safe Victoria issued the recall today, following ACA testing which showed the cable was non-compliant due to a cabling fault.
ACA Chairman Andrew Davenport said the recall applies to Ecables Copper Clad Aluminium (CCA) power cable with RE110 insulation, sold from January 2011, which has predominantly been used for major projects such as apartment buildings, hotels and commercial installations in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and Western Australia.
“This cabling is designated to operate at temperatures up to 110°C and to conduct low-voltage power up to 1000 V, which means it is supposed to be able to withstand higher load currents than similar size but lower temperature-rated cables,” Mr Davenport said.
“The cable is marked as rated to a conductor temperature of 110°C, but comprehensive testing has shown that the insulation fails at temperatures well below this rating and that the cable insulation actually melts if the temperature reaches 110°C.
“Similarly, if the cable is operated at its rated current-carrying capacity then the heat from the conductor causes severe and dangerous insulation deformation.
“This would leave the live conductors exposed and present a serious risk of fire, electrical injury or electrocution.
“It’s impossible to anticipate the future operating conditions for installed cable, even if it is not currently exposed to higher temperatures,” he said.
Today’s recall comes on the back of a full recall on dangerous Infinity and Olsent-branded cables, the largest of its type in Australia’s history.
“ACA believes this insulation failure is even more dangerous and concerning than Infinity and Olsent – where they will break down over time, these faulty Ecables products present immediate danger,” he said.
In its recall notices, ESV said testing showed the cable was non-compliant due to a manufacturing fault that identified the cable’s insulation sheath had not been cross-linked. It said due to the non cross-linking, the cable’s mechanical properties are reduced with the increase of temperature, which can allow access to live parts if the cable is subjected to pressure like cable ties, the weight of other cables or accidental penetration from foreign objects.
ESV and Ecables are in the process of finalising the recall strategy, to be actioned early in 2015. The full recall notice can be found on the Energy Safe Victoria website.