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#165102 - 06/18/07 12:48 PM Plastics flame ratings on outlets  
electech  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 113
Northern Il
I'm trying, without much luck, to locate a source of standard NEMA 5-15 duplex outlets and GFCI outlets that have UL94 V-0 or V-1 flame ratings.

We have an application that requires V-1 or better plastic for ALL plastic materials. Our product happens to include a couple outlets. It seems UL 493 and 498, covering GFCIs and attachent plugs and receptacles, does not require as high a flame rating as we need in order to meet our more specialized requirement. So far we have only found V-2 ratings on outlets. Any help is appreciated. One million dollars worth of thanks to whoever can point me in the right direction:)

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#165108 - 06/18/07 04:53 PM Re: Plastics flame ratings on outlets [Re: electech]  
wa2ise  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 784
Oradell NJ USA
As a last resort, you may have to go with GFCI breakers in a panel outside the special environment. And use V-2 outlets. But then that would be a bit of a pain for the customer/user, as they'd have to find the panel and the breaker that tripped.

#165111 - 06/18/07 05:10 PM Re: Plastics flame ratings on outlets [Re: wa2ise]  
electech  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 113
Northern Il
This is for an outdoor electrical equipment enclosure - roughly Nema 3R equivalent (better in most respects) that can house a range of rack mountable assemblies. The equipment inside is connected via duplex outlet. One GFCI protected convienence outlet is required for technician use. I think the the "V-1 or better" requirement will be applied to anything we include as part of the overall solution. This is all driven by a Telcordia GR-487 requirement. I'm assuming other people have solved this before, but it is possible the solution is to fail this "requirement" and have noted in the lab report exactly what the failure is. Sometimes labs don't like to discuss how their other clients solved a particular problem - a position I appreciate more when I'm on the other side of the issue...

#165114 - 06/18/07 07:43 PM Re: Plastics flame ratings on outlets [Re: electech]  
LK  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
New Jersey
The V1- requirement was made to bring communications products up to a level, most electrical products have decent standards for flame, sounds like someone at that company has too much time on their hands, but might be a great time to offer him some audio grade receptacles, and a chrome kleenex dispenser for his car.

Your best bet would be, to call a manufacture applications engineer.

#165126 - 06/19/07 10:36 AM Re: Plastics flame ratings on outlets [Re: LK]  
electech  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 113
Northern Il
Unfortunately, I already got a reply from the big manufacturer starting with an L and ending with an N. All duplex outlets are rated UL94 V-2. I was hoping they would have some off-the-beaten-path line of products that were rated higher.

It does kind of suprise me that outlets are not rated higher, like V-0 or 5VA. Most of the wall wart type power supplies being plugged in will have better flame ratings than the outlet itself. This makes some sense, given the stuff in the power supply is much more likely to fail, and the outlet itself is mounted inside another box. Still, I would pay an extra dime for less flammable plastic in this application. But I can see how the manufacturer would lose their shirts if this extra cost wasn't marketable against cheaper alternatives.

#165128 - 06/19/07 11:49 AM Re: Plastics flame ratings on outlets [Re: electech]  
electech  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 113
Northern Il
I just got word from our testing lab that it is not uncommon to not pass ("not pass" sounds better than "fail") this V-1 requirement in its entirety. The offending duplex outlet will be listed as non-compliant to the flame rating test section.

Thanks all,

#186053 - 04/13/09 06:18 PM Re: Plastics flame ratings on outlets [Re: electech]  
electech  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 113
Northern Il
I hate to bump this a year and a half later, but I didn't want to leave the thread incomplete either.

We did eventually find a recep and GFI that had V-0 (or better) flame rated plastic. Turns out Hubbel hospital grade receptacles are made with UL 94 V-0 and 5-VA plastic. (at least I know the HBL8200GY is)

Just in case anyone is ever looking for this sort of info...

#186057 - 04/13/09 11:10 PM Re: Plastics flame ratings on outlets [Re: electech]  
EV607797  Offline
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
Fredericksburg, VA, USA
Wow, I'm sorry that I missed your original post. Telecordia is today's version of what used to be Bellcore. This company was funded by all of the major telephone companies (well the Bell ones anyway). Their job was to do everything from assigning area codes to testing/certifying products for the most extenuating environments. Their requirements were ridiculously restrictive, but at the time, the Bell System wouldn't settle for anything less. These were often more stringent than Mil/Spec.

Telecordia doesn't have nearly the budget that Bellcore had, so they've loosened up on new specs that they write. That doesn't mean that they aren't still recycling old specs, which is probably what you encountered.

There was a time when many electrical equipment manufacturers made special versions of their products to meet Bellcore requirements. Hubbell, Heinemann and Square D were the key players. These special runs were only sold to the Bell companies, so most electrical contractors never saw them unless they were part of an assembly contracted out by AT&T or Western Electric.


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."

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