Recall of defective data cable
08 August 2012
A significant quantity of sub-standard data cable purporting to be CCA Cat 5e cable has been removed from an educational establishment in the Isle of Man following an investigation by the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI).
Concerns were originally raised about the cable earlier this year and the ACI can now confirm that around 100 boxes of the suspect cable have been removed from the installation as part of a data cable refit.
Iain Ballingall Spokesperson for the ACI said: “This is a clear example of the kind of problems which are regularly coming to our attention. Despite warnings in the media and numerous articles written by the ACI and others on the subject, the message is continually being missed. Contractors appear to be willing to turn a blind eye to the quality of their purchases in return for a better price; in this instance that approach has obviously backfired.”
The ACI brought the issue of mis-selling data cable (Cat5e/Cat6) with Copper Clad Aluminium (CCA) to the attention of electrical contractors last year. Such cables are non-compliant with published national and international standards and although they don’t present a safety risk, the fact that they do not perform properly will inevitably damage a contractor’s reputation.
“In a market that is driven and dominated by standards for everything, we are finding that these products are being sold into the market with no reference to any standard at all which should be a warning sign to contractors. It is our belief that cable is often purchased on the basis of cost alone,” added Ballingall.
The ACI is advising contractors that they should examine cable and its packaging carefully and look for identification marks and warning signs such as:
• The print legend carrying no reference to the standards typically associated with data cables of this type. Whilst it references Cat 5e this represents only a type within a range of standards and the cable should identify with ISO/IEC 11801 and ANSI/TIA 568 as a minimum
• The product print legend stating LSZH but does not define a level of flame retardance. People assume that LSZH means the product is flame retardant, but experience has shown this often to not be the case. The cable should identify a level of flame retardance such as IEC 60332-1
• The cable does not include a temperature rating
The ACI is aware of a number of installation failures this year that have resulted in the expensive replacement of non-compliant Cat 5e cables with compliant copper products. It is known that some of these cases result in legal exchanges between the contractor and the manufacturer regarding compensation for uninstalling.
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