The Australian Cablemakers Association (ACA) has today warned of serious risk of fire and electric shock from yet another batch of faulty electrical cables which has been sold and installed over the last three years.
A voluntary trade recall has been issued for Ecables Copper Clad Aluminium RE 110 Insulated power cables, following sustained testing and advocacy by the ACA. It is believed the products have been predominantly used for major projects such as apartment buildings, hotels and commercial installations. The new recall comes just months after a full recall on dangerous Infinity and Olsent-branded cables – the largest of its type in Australia’s history.

ACA Chairman Andrew Davenport said the latest round of cable recalls applies to Ecables CCA product sold between January 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014.

“This cabling is designated to operate at temperatures up to 110 degrees Celsius and to conduct low-voltage power up to 1000V, 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 degrees Celsius, 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 degrees.

“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.

“ACA believes this insulation failure is even more dangerous and concerning than the recently recalled Infinity and Olsent cables.”

Mr Davenport said the recall applied to all cable currently in the inventory of electrical contractors, as well as product that had been installed in situations where it is exposed to temperatures of 50 degrees or more. However, he said ACA wanted a complete recall of all product, to ensure the safety of buildings and their occupants.

“It’s impossible to anticipate the future operating conditions for installed cable, even if it is not currently exposed to higher temperatures.