Additional Infinity electrical cable safety recalls announced

31 October 2014

State and territory safety regulators have announced additional recalls of Infinity cable. The cables do not comply with electrical safety standard, AS/NZS 5000, and expert advice is that they may become prematurely brittle and break if disturbed, exposing the internal conductors and potentially causing electrical shock or fires.

It is estimated that around 40,000 households and businesses may have been affected. The relevant periods of cable supply are: 2010-2013 (in NSW), 2011-2013 (in ACT), 2012-2013 (in VIC, QLD, SA and WA) and 2013 (in TAS).

The recalls cover:

ACT

  • George Brown Electrical
  • Voltair Electrical and Airconditioning

VIC

  • ABC Arian Electrical Suppliers
  • Phoenix Wholesalers
  • Titan Trading
  • Wholesale Electrical Supplies.

A further two suppliers have already remediated the cable they supplied - one in QLD and one in VIC

“While the majority of this cable was supplied through the electrical retailers and wholesalers covered by the national recall on August 27, some cable was supplied in small quantities by a number of smaller suppliers. State and ACT safety agencies have now been in contact with those suppliers and have announced further recalls today,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“This is an additional reminder to homeowners and electricians to be aware of the Infinity cable issue. While consumers should not attempt to inspect cables themselves, careful steps should be taken by a licensed electrical contractor to avoid electric shock or fires from occurring in coming years. Homeowners and tradespeople are urged to turn off all the main power switches at the switchboard before heading up into the ceiling space at all times.”

“We also urge electricians and builders to alert their consumers and their cable supplier if they have installed Infinity cables,” Mr Sims said.

Householders and businesses that have had electrical wiring work carried out during the relevant periods need to contact the responsible builder, electrical contractor or appliance installer to confirm whether Infinity cable was used. If Infinity cable was supplied, the cable supplier will arrange for an inspection of your wiring and remediation of any installed Infinity cable that they supplied, free of charge to the consumer. Any affected cable installed in accessible areas or near heat sources must be removed and replaced under the safety recall.

All cables will age at different rates subject to ambient temperature and the load placed on them.  Current expert advice is this cable may become brittle from 2016 onwards, and suppliers have been asked to assess and work on the oldest or highest risk installations first.

If you are uncertain if Infinity cable was installed, the original electrician or appliance installer, or whoever they have nominated as the cable supplier, should be given the first opportunity to arrange an inspection of your wiring. If you are uncertain who they were, you can arrange for a licensed electrical contractor to inspect your wiring. Inspection costs are not recoverable from cable suppliers if Infinity cable was not installed or if the cable installer and the supplier cannot be determined. If you have any unused or removed Infinity cable, return it to the cable supplier for a full refund or replacement.

In addition to the safety recall by wholesalers and retailers, state or territory building or electrical safety regulation may also apply in relation to the quality of the installed Infinity cable.

“The consumer guarantees of the Australian Consumer Law may also apply. While it depends on the circumstances, consumers could be entitled to a broader remedy involving additional replacement or refund from builders or electrical contractors,” Mr Sims said.

See also: National Infinity electrical cable recall

Product Safety Recalls Australia: INFINITY & OLSENT branded Infinity TPS & Orange Round Electrical Cables

Questions about the most recent recall should be directed to the relevant state or territory regulator.

Electrical safety

ACT

ACT Planning and Land Authority, Construction Services Branch

NSW

NSW Fair Trading, Energy and Utilities, Home Building Service

SA

Office of the Technical Regulator, Department of State Development, Energy Markets and Programs

TAS

WorkSafe Tasmania

VIC

Energy Safe Victoria, Equipment Safety and Energy Efficiency

WA

Department of Commerce, EnergySafety Division

Release number: 
MR 270/14
ACCC Infocentre: 

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