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Are UL or CSA approved wall warts enough?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], Feb 25, 2006.

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  1. Guest


    The subject more or less says it all, my question is: "Is using a UL or
    CSA approved wall wart considered a safe, legal, and relatively
    liability free way to create devices for retail to end users?"

    The background to this, is that I've been asked to research the UL
    requirements for some friends who are looking to import low power
    electrical devices from overseas. The devices are not currently
    certified or tested to any North American standard. They are low
    power; however, so I am wondering if it is a good idea to switch the
    power supplies to UL listed wall warts.

    I've done a quick survey of gear around the house, and with the
    exception of my laptop, I have not found any wallwart powered devices
    that have a UL or other stamp directly on the device -- they all seem
    to rely on the safety (and implied reduction in liability) offered via
    external power supplies.

    Thanks in advance for the insights!



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  2. Dan H

    Dan H Guest

    I would certainly us a UL/CSA/CE approved wall wart. That takes care of
    the major saftey issues. Some devices require FCC approval if they have
    a risk of radiating RF and devices that connect to the phone lines have
    other requirements that must be met.

    The US does not require UL for consumer items but I would certainly
    want anything plugged in the wall to be an approved device though I
    just looked at my cell phone charger and it doesn't list any approvals.

    In the European Union any electronic device must be tested and to some
    very rigorous standards to justify the CE mark

    Dan H
  3. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    ** Better find out if that is even possible first.

    Using an internal PSU allows unlimited possibilities with voltages, number
    of voltage rails etc while wall warts offer a very restricted range.

    .......... Phil
  4. Eric R Snow

    Eric R Snow Guest

    One of my customers builds machines for industry that contain
    electronics. It's a pretty big company. They try to have all the
    voltage levels low and use UL approved power supplies whenever they
    can. One of the owners told me the cost of the power supplies was
    miniscule compared to insurance costs and liability exposure. Bear in
    mind that the machines they make are all operated by well educated men
    and women and the insurance companies still like that UL approval.
  5. Guest

    Thanks Dan.

    So a listed wall wart should prevent stupid things like short circuits
    and over/under voltage situations from developing into bigger problems
    (i.e. fires)?

    Yes, from some of the other threads I've read on Usenet and a couple
    forums, I've gathered that most US jurisdictions don't technically
    require UL. However, in practice, I'm sure it makes a big difference
    when you're trying to get retailers on board! As an aside, it seems
    that here in Canada, CSA or cUL is legally required in some provinces.


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  6. Guest


    Thanks for the reminder. For the particular product at hand, I'm
    pretty sure it'll be possible.


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  7. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    ** Here is another one:

    When replying, hit "options" first and then "reply".

    That way, we can see who you are replying to and the previous text .

    Googlegroups is set up for Googlgroups users, not usenet.

    ....... Phil
  8. Guest

    Thanks for that! I realized the lack of quotes a few minutes after I
    posted. =(

    I'm so used to Free Agent doing some reasonable quoting for me. Since
    I don't post much on Usenet, I still haven't quite gotten used to
    GoogleGroups. Now if only I could get GoogleGroups to auto-"star" my
    own threads...

  9. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    That's almost trivial - go to advanced search, and search on yourself as
    author. ;-)

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