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#163812 - 05/17/07 08:39 PM Cheap Chinese gear
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Since I've retired as a FF, there have been a few calls that I've been called out to as an Inspector.
All the same light fittings, cheap rubbish fittings that don't comply with our Regulations.
These are either Downlights or Dichroics with the bare minimum in protection.
I sent a letter off to an importer recently via e-mail and are waiting for a response.
The bulk of the message is below:
Dear Sir,
I will start by notifying you that the lighting equipment you are selling poses a serious fire risk and a danger to life and property.
Regardless of the fact that you are an importer of such lighting equipment from China, none of the said gear complies with our local laws or compliance regimes.
The reason I say this is because I am an Electrical Inspector and have been a member of the NZ Fire Service, for 16 years before I retired.
Now, I ask that you pull these products from the market until tests can be done on them as to their suitablity for NZ conditions.
I have attended a number of calls from the local Fire Brigade after the product you have been selling has been incorrectly installed, causing a fire in the ceiling and consequent property damage, using a non-compliant fitting will often void your home insurance.
This could be because there are no installation instructions with the fittings you are distributing and when asking at the places that sells these fittings and lamps (retail DIY outlets) none could demonstrate any knowledge of how these fittings should be installed.
The fact that there are no installation instructions, scares me to be honest, these fittings put out a LOT of heat that has to be dissipated.
All I am trying to do is minimise the risk to the people that install these fittings from a safety perspective.
Could you please respond as I would like to know what you intend to do about this.

I'm still waiting........
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#163817 - 05/17/07 11:29 PM Re: Cheap Chinese gear [Re: Trumpy]
noderaser Offline

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 405
Loc: Portland, Oregon, United State...
Hope you're not the impatient sort...

#163837 - 05/18/07 11:00 AM Re: Cheap Chinese gear [Re: Trumpy]
trollog Offline

Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 273
Loc: San Diego California USA
I am with you all the way on this one. Cheap stamped mounting hardware. Wobbly threading. I know folks outside the USA might not see the problem with it, but METRIC THREADS! -or maybe some Chinese aproximation of metric- at any rate these fixtures don't accomodate industry standard thread pitches/bolt sizes common in the U.S. such as 6/32 or 8/32. The groundscrews appear stamped as if they were produced in a nail factory, and if lost, broken or removed, won't even accomodate as a replacement, the standard 10/32 groundscrew that is industry standard over here. Fixture wiring of dodgy quality, size and insulation material. Undersized wirenuts included with the fixture- usually the stubby orange ones which are wide enough but hardly deep enough to accomodate the fixture wire and a #14 wire. I wish we could get some standards over here as well, since I am only seeing more and more of these as architects go looking for more and diverse types of stylish florescent lighting to comply with the (semi) new California energy regulations
and speculators building on the residential side try to help the bottom line by choosing the chinese cheapies. It also seems odd that these lights seem to carry a UL label, yet the quality of the materials and workmanship clearly aren't up to snuff.

I am surprised this hasn't caught the eye of more people over here- specifically safety regulators in various agencies because from what I have seen of a lot of Chinese stuff the build quality is atrocious. I can't imagine the install Joe homeowner must come up with getting some of these lights up.

#163851 - 05/18/07 07:50 PM Re: Cheap Chinese gear [Re: trollog]
32VAC Offline

Registered: 06/28/04
Posts: 203
Loc: Alice Springs, NT, Australia
Some people try to use M3.5 screws in pressed metal brackets amd mounting blocks when the correct screw should be 6/32 thread.

The worst part about this imported gear is the manufacturers try to make it look like accessories that are made by local companies i.e near copies of HPM "Excel" and Clipsal "2000" series are commonly found on Ebay.

A trained eye can pick up the difference fairly easy but where people get let down is in 12 months time when the switch mechanisms break off one side of the dolly or the rear part of the outlet comes adrift.

#163871 - 05/19/07 10:48 PM Re: Cheap Chinese gear [Re: 32VAC]
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
What I meant with the original post was more of a safety issue, to do with heat dissipation not a problem with functional things.
The more qualified people that complain about this, the better.
If you find a fault with a fitting or so forth, by all means report it, we have all this cheap rubbish coming into this country with no back-up of quality or even a paper trail of where this crap comes from.
I agree with what Darren says about wrong threads and the like, but it goes far deeper than that.
The dollar rules here, if you can make a light fitting so much cheaper than your competition, but it dosen't comply within your target market, what have you achieved?.
There seems to be a disparate gap between us registered people here and the Homeowner.
If you are doing Prescribed Electrical Work for a living, you are required to not only have a Practicing licence and work within the laws of NZ as they pertain to Electricians.
Home-owners on the other hand have no such requirement to do so and can flout the laws as they see fit.
Add into the fact that places like Mitre 10 and others never stipulate that a registered Electrician is required to install a LOT of the gear they sell.
Add to this that the people they employ have NO idea what they are talking about.
One place I responded to as a Faultsman had a guy that wired a circuit with 3mm Automotive cable (2 Core).
When asked why he never had an Earth conductor or 600V/1000V cable, I was told that the guy said "It would be enough to get it working".
Bugger me!.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#163880 - 05/20/07 05:13 AM Re: Cheap Chinese gear [Re: Trumpy]
kiwi Offline

Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 347
Loc: christchurch new zealand
G'day Trumpy. I agree that our Govt. is abusing the "Self Regulating" philosophy. Self regulation will only work if qualified people have a legitimate avenue to veto dodgy practises and imports.

Please email me the name of the importer of the crappy lights you mentioned so that I can keep my eye out for them. I would also join you in petitioning the cowboy importer.

#164179 - 05/26/07 06:34 PM Re: Cheap Chinese gear [Re: kiwi]
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Well didn't that open a can of worms.
I sent the guys details off to the ESS here and they shut him down.
Got an email back from the guy and for some strange reason it wasn't all that pleasantly written.
Oddly enough,
I was in at one of the local supply houses here the other day and I overheard a conversation between the manager and an obviously Homeowner "customer".
The H/O was asking the guy why all of his fittings were so much more expensive than Mitre 10 down the road.
One thing that made me nearly burst out laughing on the other side of the aisle was, the H/O asking the guy if that price included installation?.
Was talking to the Manager after the guy left and he said that was it, no more cash sales for his branch, siting folks that come in asking for things they have no idea how to install.
There is now a sign above the door at this place stating:
We only sell electrical equipment and lamps to those in the Trade, sorry no cash sales either, we only deal with those that have an account with us.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin


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