A special taskforce has been formed to oversee the recall of Infinity brand electrical cables, after it was discovered that the “poor quality” plastic insulation coating failed electrical safety standards. The ACCC said the cable was possibly used in as many as 40,000 homes and businesses for electrical wiring jobs, including installing appliances.
In a statement today the ACCC advised that 18 electrical retailers and wholesalers around the country recalled all sizes and configurations of white TPS and Orange Round Infinity mains power cables. Olsent power cables sourced from Infinity Cable Co and solely supplied by Masters Home Improvement have also been recalled.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said a taskforce of consumer agencies, building regulators and electrical safety regulators are co-ordinating the safety recall.
The cables don’t pose an immediate safety threat, however testing has found that the cables will degrade prematurely and if they are disturbed, the insulation could break and expose live conductors, resulting in possible electric shock or fires. The ACCC advised that 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.
Suppliers have been asked to assess and work on the oldest or highest risk installations first.
Consumers are encouraged to contact appliance installers, builders and electrical contractors to find out whether Infinity cable was used in any electrical wiring jobs between 2010 and late-2013.
If Infinity cable was supplied, the cable supplier will arrange for an inspection of the wiring and offer replacement cabling 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.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said consumers should not attempt to inspect cables themselves.
“The taskforce found there is no immediate danger but 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,” Ms Rickard said.
Sims issued a warning over the sourcing of cheap electrical products:
This recall serves as a reminder that companies sourcing or accepting products from less expensive overseas suppliers must have quality assurance processes in place to ensure the safety of consumers.
Consumers usually know that the better the bargain the more wary they need to be; consumers would expect companies selling such goods to be wary on their behalf.
Infinity cables were supplied in all states and territories, except the Northern Territory. The relevant periods of cable supply are: 2010-2013 (in NSW), 2011-2013 (in ACT), 2012-2013 (in Vic, Qld, SA & WA) and in 2013 (in Tas).
This recall covers the following cable suppliers:
NSW 2010 – 2013
Masters Home Improvement; John Danks & Sons (trading as Home Timber & Hardware, Plants Plus and Thrifty-Link Hardware); Mitre 10; Pioneer Electrical Supplies; Salmon Bros. Data and Electrical; United Electrical and Data Supplies; Alliance Electrical Wholesalers; Sydney Electrical Wholesalers; Ramax Electrical Wholesalers; Network Electrical Supplies; Go Electrical; Advanced Electrical Wholesalers, EZLEC Trade Supplies & Project Lighting
ACT 2011 – 2013
Masters Home Improvement; Project Lighting & Popes Electrical and Data Supplies
Vic 2012 – 2013
Masters Home Improvement; John Danks & Sons (trading as Home Timber & Hardware, Plants Plus and Thrifty-Link Hardware); Mitre 10 & Go Electrical
Qld 2012 – 2013
Masters Home Improvement; Mitre 10 & HEM Queensland
SA Mar 2012 – Oct 2013
Masters Home Improvement; John Danks & Sons (trading as Home Timber & Hardware, Plants Plus and Thrifty-Link Hardware)& Mitre 10
WA Mar 2012 – Sep 2013
Masters Home Improvement & John Danks & Sons (trading as Home Timber & Hardware, Plants Plus and Thrifty-Link Hardware)
Tas Jan 2013 – Oct 2013
John Danks & Sons (trading as Home Timber & Hardware, Plants Plus and Thrifty-Link Hardware) & Mitre 10