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Repost Question (probably dumb) about UL safety

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by The little lost angel, Dec 13, 2003.

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  1. Repost with cross-post to sci.electronics in the hope that maybe more
    folks will see this and can enlighten me.

    I was referred to this NG by the good folks at sci.electronics.*

    This started off with me overhearing a sales pitch while visiting at a
    friend's office. What I thought I heard was the guy claiming their
    product Y is better than a competitor's brand X. The reason being X is
    certified for UL level 6 and is not safe for general consumer usage
    compared to their level 3 certified product Y.

    My intuition tells me that this might be sales puff and asked on the
    NG. The pitch was essentially debunked because I was told there's no
    such thing as levels for UL certification. But I could have misheard
    the conversation due to it being some distance off.

    Anyway, in the midst of delving for more info, I found that UL has a
    listing of certified stuff and searched for examples to use in my
    question. Doing so, led to more questions and I hope somebody could
    explain them to me :)

    I used these two because they are famous well known PC PSU brands...
    and because some of the others that I know of wasn't found for some
    strange reason despite their UL logo. (Enermax) (Antec)

    1) How do I tell from these things what exactly are they certified
    for? There are no code or reference to say UL-xxxxx standard.
    Searching on the web reveals that power supplies are normally
    certified to UL-1950 standards. But that number doesn't appear at all,
    unless QQGQ8 is some kind of encoded reference?

    2) Are there really no different "levels" of certification for safety?

    3) Are the information in those pages useful for an end user like me
    to figure out what's the correct way to use the product? E.g. one of
    the parameter appears to indicate spacings. Some models like
    EG465P-VD(T)says 950 and its brother EG465P-VD(V) says 60950. I have
    no idea what the units is supposed to be, but assuming millimetres...
    it sounds ridiculous that something like this need a 61metre or even
    60.9cm clearance... :p

    4) In the case of Antec, I see (bottom of page) the True480 and
    True550 lumped together with only one set of results. Does this mean
    the 480 model is capable of the same level of output as the 550
    despite Antec's official ratings being lower for the 480?

    5) I found this after dumping in the names of locally available stuff
    one after another. Quite a few didn't appear but this one did.

    The reason I noted it is because it carries a warning at the bottom
    about hazardous energy levels. How is it significant and is it any
    cause for concern?


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  2. Isaac

    Isaac Guest

    The QQGQ8 number may provide information as to what standard is used.
    The "8" on the end indicates that the product was recognized for use
    in Canada. Most likely there is also a QQGQ2 recognition implying
    conformance to US requirements.

    You should be able to research the QQGQ8 on UL's website to see what
    standards were used to evaluate products in that category.
    No, but manufacturers may chose different paths to comply and some
    paths may result in safer products than others. Products may be
    certified for different pollution degrees, different insulation classes,
    different degrees of resistance to water and weathering, etc.

  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Can't answer everything, but

    3), the 60950 is a European version of UL1950, the general standard for
    power supplies.

    4) maybe
  4. I read in sci.engr.electrical.compliance that
    Bass ackwards. IEC 60950 is the **International Standard** for the
    safety of ICT and office machines. UL 1950 is a US/UL approximation to
    the International Standard. UL 60950 is a closer approximation.

    EN 60950 is the European version of IEC 60950, and is technically
    identical AFAIK.
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