Rising copper prices have added to the problem of sub-standard and faulty cables. Manufacturers of cable may be tempted to cut corners and use less copper than is required.
Cable standards specify the maximum conductor resistance permitted, in accordance with the standard IEC 60228. Drawing down the diameter of the copper wire too much has the effect of increasing resistance (reducing conductance). Cables with resistance higher than specified may overheat or offer a reduced the level of safety. In extreme cases, this could result in fire or electric shock.
BASEC sometimes sees materials other than pure copper in use in cables, such as steel wire, copper-coated aluminium or badly recycled copper.
The problems don't stop with copper content, though. As BASEC has investigated some of these inferior quality products, we have discovered that some have incorrect cable construction, incorrect marking, use incorrect insulation and/or sheathing materials leading to cracking, and in some instances they have poor smoke and fire performance in supposedly fire and smoke rated cables.
All BASEC approved cables are regularly tested for conductor resistance (100% of samples selected are tested).