ACT News

Infinity electrical cable recall sparks wiring fears

Canberrans who had electrical work done in their homes or businesses between 2010 and 2013 are being urged to check with their builder, electrical contractor or appliance installer after the safety recall of an electrical cable.

The "Infinity" cable has been recalled by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission after failing electrical safety standards due to poor-quality plastic insulation coating.

Tests found that the cabledegrades prematurely and, if disturbed, could break and expose live conductors, potentially causing electric shocks or fires. 

The defective cabling was sold through hardware stores and has been fitted in 40,000 premises nationwide. In the ACT, it was supplied through Masters Home Improvement, Project Lighting and Popes Electrical & Data Supplies from 2011 to 2013, but may have been used in 2010, with cabling available from suppliers in NSW at the time. 

ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell said Canberrans should heed the warning.

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"The ACCC has advised there is no immediate danger, however stressed consumers should not attempt to inspect any electrical cables themselves and should engage a licensed electrical contractor to do so," he said.

The recall applies to all sizes and configurations of Thermoplastic-sheathed cable (TPS) and orange round mains power cables sourced from Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd and marked and supplied under "Infinity" and "Olsent" brands.

"While there is no cause for immediate concern in relation to Infinity cable, it is best in these circumstances to be safe and avoid potential issues in future," Mr Corbell said.

"I urge property owners not to get into roof spaces or under floors themselves to check for the presence of Infinity cables; use the services of a qualified electrical contractor.

"Households and businesses that have had electrical wiring work carried out between 2010 and 2013 should contact the responsible builder, electrical contractor or appliance installer to confirm whether Infinity cable was used."

The cable supplier should arrange for an inspection of the wiring and remediation of any installed Infinity cable that they supplied, free of charge to the consumer.

The ACCC has advised that any affected cable installed in accessible areas or near heat sources must be removed and replaced or sleeved in an appropriate conduit under the safety recall. 

"Cables will age at different rates, depending on the ambient temperature and the load placed on them. The current expert advice we have received is that this cable may become brittle from 2016 onwards, and suppliers have been asked to assess and work on the oldest or highest risk installations first," Mr Corbell said.

"If you are uncertain who installed the electrical wiring, you can arrange for a licensed electrical contractor to inspect your wiring. However, inspection costs are not recoverable from cable suppliers if Infinity cable was not installed or if the cable installer and supplier cannot be determined."

Any unused or removed Infinity cable may be returned to the cable supplier for refund or replacement.

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