The Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) believes manufacturers hold the key to helping specifiers make better cable choices.
A rise in the number of cable failure reports has prompted the ACI to make the announcement – instances reported relate to where cable is compliant with relevant standards yet not fit for the intended purpose and installation environment.
ACI is advising specifiers that before making important cable specification choices it would be wise to speak with relevant manufacturers to ensure the appropriate standard is chosen, and therefore the suitable cable, to ensure the delivery of a safe and functional solution.
Dr Jeremy Hodge, British Cables Association secretary general and ACI director says: “Just because a product is compliant with a standard it doesn’t mean it is necessarily fit for the purpose intended. We receive many reports of cable failure, where the cable purchased doesn’t perform properly. In most instances the issue lies with the fact these cables were not properly specified in the first place, rather than the problem being linked to a faulty or substandard cable.
“The questions that the specifier should be asking are: is this cable appropriate for the intended purpose and installation environment, will it provide the desired performance, and does it comply with all the necessary specification. Where the answers aren’t clear or forthcoming, checking with the manufacturer should quickly deliver the necessary information.”
The ACI is aware of several instances where non-standard cable, in particular CY, YY and SY cable, is purchased yet doesn’t meet the criteria for which it has been specified.
Cables are installed in a range of environments where they may be subject to high or low temperature, to oils or chemicals, or to sunlight, for example. Where this information is missing from the specification problems may arise.
“It is the manufacturer who is best placed to ensure a cable meets a particular specification, but it is the responsibility of the designer/installer to ensure this is correct for their application. Manufacturers can advise on a particular cable’s performance and provide guidance where maybe a more tailored solution would be better”, continues Dr Hodge.