An Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) investigation has led to more than 11 million metres of cable manufactured by Turkish company, Atlas Kablo, being recalled from the UK market, following the suspension of two of its product certification licences.
The suspension by Basec (British Approvals Service for Cables) on 17th May of Atlas Kablo's product certification licence has been followed this week by the announcement that Atlas Kablo's HAR scheme certification licence for H05VV-F flexible cables from the Turkish Standards Institution, TSE, has also been suspended. TSE is still to advise about the quantities of cabling involved in the latest suspension.
Reports of faulty cabling from concerned contractors earlier this year led the ACI to test samples of product from the Turkish cable manufacturer. The samples were found to have insufficient copper leading to high conductor resistance and did not comply with appropriate British Standards. Independent testing by Basec later confirmed the ACI's findings and led to the suspension of Atlas Kablo's Basec licence for a serious decline in quality across its range of products.
Atlas Kablo (Atlas Kablo Sanayi Ticaret Anonim Sirketi) which supplies a number of UK cable distributors and wholesalers with PVC house wiring, flex and conduit wires has confirmed the existence of the problem and the suspensions. Basec has advised all in the electrical supply chain that affected cable should not be sold or installed.
The company is required by Basec to investigate and rectify the problem and to assist the market in locating and recovering affected product through the supply chain for scrapping. Atlas Kablo has listed on its website batch numbers of products known to be affected at this time by the Basec suspension and distributors are urged to inform their customers. They have a 2010 manufacturing date and are marked with the manufacturer's identification `Atlas Kablo'.
The suspension by Basec remains in place and cables affected are:
• Flat twin, single and 3-core with CPC (BS 6004 Table 8 and IS 201-4 Table 1, 1.0 sqmm – 16 sqmm)
• Single core unsheathed (BS 6004 Table 4a, 1.5 sqmm – 35 sqmm)
• Single core sheathed (BS 6004 Table 7, 1.5 sqmm – 35 sqmm).
Cables affected by the HAR scheme certification licence suspension have also been found to have insufficient copper leading to high conductor resistance.
Cables affected are H05VV-F type, PVC insulated and sheathed in sizes ranging from 0.75 sqmm to 4.00 sqmm and with 2,3,4 and 5 cores.
Cables are marked with the manufacturer's identification `Atlas Kablo', carry a 2010 manufacturing date and the TSE approval mark. The cable sheathing colours include white, cream, yellow and blue and marking may be embossed or printed. Many of the cables are also marked with British designations such as 3183Y and BS 6500.
A spokesperson for ACI said: "The suspension of Atlas Kablo's product certification licences has been welcomed by Approved Cables Initiative and many others in the industry. It is however just the tip of the iceberg that we are dealing with here with around a fifth of all cable in the UK supply chain estimated to be either unsafe, non-approved or counterfeit.
"The ACI will continue to test samples of suspect cables and if found to be unsafe details will be passed to relevant industry regulators and legislators. We all have a role to play in exposing these threats to safety, which also undermine the UK cable manufacturing industry. It is our intention to name and shame those who persistently manufacture or supply these dangerous non-approved cables however we hope in time that by highlighting the issue these companies will voluntarily start to adopt safe and approved cables."
Whilst many millions metres of cable have been found in the supply chain and all affected cables are to be withdrawn from the UK market, it is unknown how much of this has already been installed.
ACI advises cable purchased should be cross checked against the list of affected products produced by Atlas Kablo (http://www.atlaskablo.com) and all cables not installed should be returned to the place of purchase. Further guidance should be sought from a qualified electrical authority if cables have already been installed.