Master Electricians warning over non-compliant building products

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Use of non-compliant building products is a cause for concern across all trades — and, in the case of electrical goods, could pose a fire risk or risk of electric shock, Master Electricians say.

Master Electricians chief executive Neville Simpson says the “grey market” in “dodgy products”, highlighted by the National Plumbing and Pipelaying Standards Committee, and Master Plumbers, is a growing problem.

Master Electricians advises its members against installing any electrical product that does not have a provable Supplier Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) to show it meets New Zealand standards.

“Unless you use a licensed electrician and New Zealand-compliant products, then you may find that, in the event of an insurance claim, it could be declined,” Mr Simpson says.

“Increasing amounts of these products, including some electrical items and lights, are being sold, often online or through ‘pop-up’ type shops.

“Unless a product has bonafide supporting documentation, it’s impossible to tell if it complies with New Zealand standards,” he says.

“Reputable retailers are unlikely to sell them because they recognise the implications of doing so. Problems or faults with these products may not manifest until some time after installation — by which time the ‘pop up’ vendor has long gone.”

Mr Simpson says if a home owner chooses to supply their own products for installation by an electrical contractor they must realise that the warranty for the product is their responsibility, and provide an SDoC.

“The home owner should check with the supplier that the product has a correct SDoC and that it meets the appropriate New Zealand standard.

“The contractor and home owner should ask themselves ‘does this product comply with New  Zealand standards?’ If it doesn’t, it should not be for sale here and should not be installed.”

Mr Simpson says Master Electricians supported a call by Master Plumbers chief executive Greg Wallace for urgent talks with government to begin the process of investigating how certification could be introduced and improved across the entire building sector.

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