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Couple of issues here which may or may not be of interest..

 

1. you don't have to be qualified or licenced to fit a mains plug. It's classed as an appliance if it's plugged in to an outlet, so most of the restrictions don't apply.

 

2. you don't have to be qualified to do testing and tagging - only being considered "competent" is adequate. So if you know what you're doing, it's all good.

 

This is advice from our company's Electrical Contractor nominee, so I don't think he would stake his licence on bad advice.

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As far as replacing cords/plug of an existing certified appliance, I believe this is legal in most states for a unlicenced person to do.

It is still illegal to make your own devices and connect them to the mains supply without having them certified.

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Just some comments regarding testing and tagging and electrical safety.

The "test and tag" standard AS3760 was promulgated to cover testing of electrical equipment that is used in either a work environment (workplace) or where the public may be exposed to electrical equipment, such as a motel, school, hostel etc. It does not invalidate or bypass the requirement for any type of electrical equipment to comply with its relevant safety standards for design and construction.

The scheme provides for regular checking of "design compliant" equipment in the areas mentioned in order to minimise the chance of wear and tear, damage etc on such equipment leading to an unsafe condition.

Testing and tagging cannot take the place of certification of electrical safety compliance (design and construction) of any electrical equipment. For example, a DYI product may pass a test and tag test, but still be deemed to be unsafe (and potentially lethal) if assessed against its relevant product safety standard.

Of course performing a test and tag test will give some level of comfort, but would provide no defence if something unfortunate occurred due to he product not conforming to its relevant product safety standard.

Cheers

John

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Hi Steve,

Nearly all household appliances (apart from audio gear funnily enough) are required have local safety certification. It is illegal to sell household product without such certification. Ignore this requirement and Import at your own risk

Frankly speaking, buying non compliant electrical product of uncertain origin and construction and performance from overseas via ebay or the Internet and using it in your home is akin (IMHO) to playing Russian roulette with your family..... Just sayin.

I have been involved in electrical/electronic product design and manufacture for nearly 40 years (including Standards Committee representation for half that time) and sometimes there are no second chances when product safety is involved. Safety standards are written for a purpose, and it is not just to make compliant product more expensive.

Cheers

John

Edited by skippy124

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If you extrapolate this to people carrying out DIY automobile restorations, 

 

Straw man alert.

 

There are very clear rules associated with car modifications in each state.  At  certain points one must get licensed people involved.  

 

To pick an example  I cannot legally replace the exhaust system on five year old car/motorcycle with any old piping.  It needs to include the cat/con (or similar) plus noise management elements.

 

Now we do have a problem with policing of these sort of rules (particularly with a certain brand of American motorcycle) but it does not affect the legality

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Hi Steve,

Nearly all household appliances (apart from audio gear funnily enough) are required have local safety certification. It is illegal to sell household product without such certification. Ignore this requirement and Import at your own risk....

Cheers

John

Hi John,

I don't understand why audio equipment is exempt? Does this include HiFi power conditioning & power distribution products? There are USA products that are rated for our voltage supply but use US receptacles as outputs and IEC connector as input. Surely, these products are approved for use here?

How about consumers using imported product on step-down transformers? Eg, computer and office equipment, Hi-Fi etc. The expatriate that brings their house container here and plugs into the Australian supply. The enthusiast that imports vintage electrical equipment. Much of it USA 120v or Jap 100v... And what about all of that universal Hong Kong stuff flooding our ports?

The importer has declared the goods with Harmonized codes and country of manufacture origin, the electrical goods are allowed past customs into the country. The only thing customs seem to give a damn about is collecting the GST and any applicable duties. The exception being alcohol, tobacco, prohibitive or dangerous goods. So I can forget about that low powered laser pointer, cross-bow or depleted uranium rod, but electrical goods not rated for our supply and/or not approved with some sort of tick mark is OK. Vintage too. Jaycar or Dick Smith will sell me a big step-down transformer to run all manner of appliances. But once I've plugged the honking big heavy step-down transformer into the supply, it is no longer covered by any warranty should something go wrong... But I suppose my insurer will cover it because the step-down transformer was approved and sold by an Australian importer and retailer. Yes? I think it has some sort of compliance mark or two, whatever they represent...

We have lots of bureaucracy, state based electrical jurisdictions, Australian Standards guidelines, ACMA, A-Tick, C-Tick, and now RCM, the various recognised certification agencies, an ERAC database that is basically empty. EESS transitioning by the states except NSW because they want to trade fairer? How is the consumer supposed to know what the f# is what, when it comes to electrical equipment compliance and the regulation of electrical safety in this country. After all, basically everything is imported, nothing is Made In Australia anymore. It's a dog's breakfast.

I bet you the average Australian doesn't even know that we switched down to 230v nominal supply in year 2000 in an effort to become more compatible with the rest of the free world. But if I plug a voltage tester into my house's wall receptacle, I will get a stable 251v day in, day out. Much higher than the recognised 240v. I wonder how my new compulsory smart meter run by the electrical retailer rogue likes to calculate the charge for the above nominal voltage boost dissipation... All I know is that my power bill jumped by 33% the day they put that smart meter in.... Needless to say, the EM readings on the new WiFi box is higher than the old spinner. Not to worry, it's only hanging off the wall adjoining our bedroom and we are coping with the sleep apnoea. I understand how important it is for them to know what time of the day I use my toaster. Soon we will have a peak tariff to match toaster consumption, but they won't care about where I imported the trendy red toaster machine from. If it has eBay tape on the carton and costs less than $1,000, then it has the import tick of approval.

Consumers sell second-hand electrical equipment all of the time. Who polices that? How do they know I used it to make Australian toast? Do I need to test and tag my toaster before I sell it to my mother-in-law? I forgot to mention that my red toaster has a built-in radio.

To those of the general population who are reading this. Post an acknowledgement if you now have questions or concerns regarding the use of any electrical equipment whether that be for electrical consumption on or off grid. Do you think the Australian Federal Government should take complete statutory jurisdiction of all legislation and unify electrical use and safety in this country with a single set of regulations? A single Australian compliance mark that everyone recognises? Consistent Federal Legislation beyond Australian Standards that were written to guide the States with their independent legislation. By which the States would cede their jurisdiction control and allow for the complete Federalisation of a single unified Electricity Law. The application of Federal Electricity Law to encourage better public awareness and to promote other Federal Government initiatives, such as tighter importation and border control? Perhaps even go so far as to foster innovation incentive and rekindle "Made in Australia" once again?

Edited by myPal

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No arguments from me about safety Thoglette, it is of utmost importance.

However, the reality is you are either In the game or not in the game. You might as well tell the 200,000+ tinkerers on DIYAudio.com to stop tinkering or tell all the car hobbyists and home renovators to stop renovating. It's a hobby and the aim is to reach high without the commercial costs attached to such projects.

Steve

 

   most "hobbyists" stay well within the boundaries of the law in home renovation.   You particularly picked "car restorations" and I'm not aware of any legal issues relating to returning a vehicle to stock condition. 

 

 Modification of vehicles are another matter - particularly engine mods on post '88 cars - the legality of these are arguable.   And there's plenty of defect notices being issued to negate any argument that there is no policing of the rules regarding car modifications.  

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Guest myrantz

Steve

 

   most "hobbyists" stay well within the boundaries of the law in home renovation.   You particularly picked "car restorations" and I'm not aware of any legal issues relating to returning a vehicle to stock condition. 

 

 Modification of vehicles are another matter - particularly engine mods on post '88 cars - the legality of these are arguable.   And there's plenty of defect notices being issued to negate any argument that there is no policing of the rules regarding car modifications.  

Plenty of recalls with electrical items too: Linky.

 

And I don't mean those that don't comply to standards, but those that does but still pose a hazard.

 

While I applaud people's efforts in highlighting the safety issues, on the other hand the standards may lead people into a false sense of security. Just because something is approved doesn't mean it wouldn't hurt/kill you, or ignite.

 

Given there are at least 5 recalls per month for various reasons, personally I'm not sure the standards is effective. Much better to switch to UK standard and rely on the collective (AU/NZ is too small a market, safety is impossible to police as the numbers are too small, UK plugs are used in more regions)... The UK plug and receptacle is a much better design anyway and more durable for day to day use..

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Guest Muon

I found this interesting, Silicon Chip tried to help us have things changed for us back in 2001, but seems it was unsuccessful http://archive.siliconchip.com.au/cms/A_101731/article.html

 

I guess the title here is true :P

http://archive.siliconchip.com.au/cms/A_110635/article.html

 

Edit: I'm surprised they let us change light bulbs in QLD

Edited by ortofun

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Edit: I'm surprised they let us change light bulbs in QLD

Just make sure that you wear gloves so you don't leave any fingerprints :P

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Guest Muon

Just make sure that you wear gloves so you don't leave any fingerprints :P

Good advice, but I'll use my lips while standing in a bucket of water like any smart Aussie would  :)

 

Hehe....I could see it now if the regulations/law went a bit further, "how many Aussies does it take to change a light bulb? answer.....none! as they aren't allowed to.

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A rule worth remembering, if you selling a piece of mains powered equipment to ANYBODY, once you've demonstrated the the item is working, cut the mains plug off before you hand it over. It is then the buyers responsibility to have a suitably qualified and certified person to fit a new plug and then the responsiblity for the safety of the product falls on that person. It is important you cut the cord outer insulation and all and not remove the plug leaving bare wire ends. keep the severed plug and cord, you may need it as evidence if things go badly.

Remind me not to buy anything electrical from you, number 9.

Though hopefully you don't actually follow this advice.

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Plenty of recalls with electrical items too: Linky.

And I don't mean those that don't comply to standards, but those that does but still pose a hazard.

While I applaud people's efforts in highlighting the safety issues, on the other hand the standards may lead people into a false sense of security. Just because something is approved doesn't mean it wouldn't hurt/kill you, or ignite.

Given there are at least 5 recalls per month for various reasons, personally I'm not sure the standards is effective. Much better to switch to UK standard and rely on the collective (AU/NZ is too small a market, safety is impossible to police as the numbers are too small, UK plugs are used in more regions)... The UK plug and receptacle is a much better design anyway and more durable for day to day use..

Never had a problem related to our plugs.

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Hi John,

I don't understand why audio equipment is exempt? Does this include HiFi power conditioning & power distribution products? There are USA products that are rated for our voltage supply but use US receptacles as outputs and IEC connector as input. Surely, these products are approved for use here?

How about consumers using imported product on step-down transformers? Eg, computer and office equipment, Hi-Fi etc. The expatriate that brings their house container here and plugs into the Australian supply. The enthusiast that imports vintage electrical equipment. Much of it USA 120v or Jap 100v... And what about all of that universal Hong Kong stuff flooding our ports?

The importer has declared the goods with Harmonized codes and country of manufacture origin, the electrical goods are allowed past customs into the country. The only thing customs seem to give a damn about is collecting the GST and any applicable duties. The exception being alcohol, tobacco, prohibitive or dangerous goods. So I can forget about that low powered laser pointer, cross-bow or depleted uranium rod, but electrical goods not rated for our supply and/or not approved with some sort of tick mark is OK. Vintage too. Jaycar or Dick Smith will sell me a big step-down transformer to run all manner of appliances. But once I've plugged the honking big heavy step-down transformer into the supply, it is no longer covered by any warranty should something go wrong... But I suppose my insurer will cover it because the step-down transformer was approved and sold by an Australian importer and retailer. Yes? I think it has some sort of compliance mark or two, whatever they represent...

We have lots of bureaucracy, state based electrical jurisdictions, Australian Standards guidelines, ACMA, A-Tick, C-Tick, and now RCM, the various recognised certification agencies, an ERAC database that is basically empty. EESS transitioning by the states except NSW because they want to trade fairer? How is the consumer supposed to know what the f# is what, when it comes to electrical equipment compliance and the regulation of electrical safety in this country. After all, basically everything is imported, nothing is Made In Australia anymore. It's a dog's breakfast.

I bet you the average Australian doesn't even know that we switched down to 230v nominal supply in year 2000 in an effort to become more compatible with the rest of the free world. But if I plug a voltage tester into my house's wall receptacle, I will get a stable 251v day in, day out. Much higher than the recognised 240v. I wonder how my new compulsory smart meter run by the electrical retailer rogue likes to calculate the charge for the above nominal voltage boost dissipation... All I know is that my power bill jumped by 33% the day they put that smart meter in.... Needless to say, the EM readings on the new WiFi box is higher than the old spinner. Not to worry, it's only hanging off the wall adjoining our bedroom and we are coping with the sleep apnoea. I understand how important it is for them to know what time of the day I use my toaster. Soon we will have a peak tariff to match toaster consumption, but they won't care about where I imported the trendy red toaster machine from. If it has eBay tape on the carton and costs less than $1,000, then it has the import tick of approval.

Consumers sell second-hand electrical equipment all of the time. Who polices that? How do they know I used it to make Australian toast? Do I need to test and tag my toaster before I sell it to my mother-in-law? I forgot to mention that my red toaster has a built-in radio.

To those of the general population who are reading this. Post an acknowledgement if you now have questions or concerns regarding the use of any electrical equipment whether that be for electrical consumption on or off grid. Do you think the Australian Federal Government should take complete statutory jurisdiction of all legislation and unify electrical use and safety in this country with a single set of regulations? A single Australian compliance mark that everyone recognises? Consistent Federal Legislation beyond Australian Standards that were written to guide the States with their independent legislation. By which the States would cede their jurisdiction control and allow for the complete Federalisation of a single unified Electricity Law. The application of Federal Electricity Law to encourage better public awareness and to promote other Federal Government initiatives, such as tighter importation and border control? Perhaps even go so far as to foster innovation incentive and rekindle "Made in Australia" once again?

Do you really think a meter is causing your sleep apnoea? And that it has caused your consumption to go up 33%?

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I found this interesting, Silicon Chip tried to help us have things changed for us back in 2001, but seems it was unsuccessful http://archive.siliconchip.com.au/cms/A_101731/article.html

 

I guess the title here is true :P

http://archive.siliconchip.com.au/cms/A_110635/article.html

 

Edit: I'm surprised they let us change light bulbs in QLD

Rules are rules and they are there to comply with. Electrical wiring needs to be at the minimum standards set and no less. It's all about safety and staying alive. If there wasn't any rules or regulation you will have manufacturers and suppliers providing substandard products and services that can be potentially hazards. There are many in organisation who "don't give a rats" and will give you the cheapest substandard product or service with the don't care attitude. It's this attitude that Electrical Board and Work Safe Victoria are stamping out. And when there is an issue where it's lethal or in the case of property being damaged due to the work performed, you zero in on the cause and then we all realised it's all preventable. Look at the botch insulation scandal, there where no outline on standard of work so the results speaks for itself.

When I was at the HiFi show this year I notice one exhibitor having the cover off a valve amp with all it's 240 wiring and high voltage DC exposed plugged in an operation! Waiting to tell the exhibitor the issue at hand I lost concentration when I bumped and came across 2 people who took me outside the room. I can't believe the response of some posters here at SNA when I mentioned this and some of them have kids as well. This Show was a public event where kids enter for free and I'm sure if there was an incident these posters would be the first to arc up and sue accordingly. See my point, that's why we have to have regulation for electrical and plumbing standards.

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Guest Muon

Yeah I get all that, but not being allowed to change a damn plug on a jug cord is too far IMO.

 

I respect the opinions like yours, but as above.

 

Edit: It's all good here, my hifi is a no go zone for kids or idiots.......or pets.

Edited by ortofun

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Yeah I get all that, but not being allowed to change a damn plug on a jug cord is too far IMO.

 

I respect the opinions like yours, but as above.

 

Edit: It's all good here, my hifi is a no go zone for kids or idiots.......or pets.

You make a valid point but the problem is that there a lot of numbskulls that have not got a clue.

For Example you have a cord with  Red , Black and Green conductors. You buy a new plug with Terminals marked Blue , Brown and Green.So what goes where? And so on. You really need to know what you are doing and that is the problem. There are a lot of clueless people dabbling with lethal voltages.

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Guest Muon

You make a valid point but the problem is that there a lot of numbskulls that have not got a clue.

For Example you have a cord with  Red , Black and Green conductors. You buy a new plug with Terminals marked Blue , Brown and Green.So what goes where? And so on. You really need to know what you are doing and that is the problem. There are a lot of clueless people dabbling with lethal voltages.

You look at the relevant codes to know what is what :)

 

Point taken though, but it is a pity that idiots spoil it for everyone else.

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Guest Muon

Some don't even know how to change a light globe, yet a plug on a power cord. serious!

Really!

 

Keep them away from me, please!

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Guest Muon

As far as I know, lots of cords (jug and extension) sold here and that are approved can have the hot and neutral reversed.

 

So I have little faith in approval.

 

Or am I incorrect on the above?

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As far as I know, lots of cords (jug and extension) sold here and that are approved can have the hot and neutral reversed.

 

So I have little faith in approval.

 

Or am I incorrect on the above?

Yes you are incorrect. An extension cord must have the correct polarity. Polarity is one of the things that is checked during a Test and Tag.

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I have a client who is 29, when she moved into her own house recently on her own, she called the electrician to change a blown down light, had no idea had to do it because she never dealt with changing light globe, her folks did it all for her and there are no instructions on light globe packaging....

She also called a plumber to connect her dishwasher too.

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Guest Muon

Yes you are incorrect. An extension cord must have the correct polarity. Polarity is one of the things that is checked during a Test and Tag.

Then a hell of a lot are being sold when they should not be!

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Guest Muon

I have a client who is 29, when she moved into her own house recently on her own, she called the electrician to change a blown down light, had no idea had to do it because she never dealt with changing light globe, her folks did it all for her and there are no instructions on light globe packaging....

She also called a plumber to connect her dishwasher too.

Ouch!

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