Infinity and Olsent cable
The ACCC has renewed its call for electricians and builders to replace non-compliant Infinity cable.
Infinity and Olsent cable recall information for consumers
More than a year after the recall was announced, 60 per cent of the cable is still to be remediated.
The cables fail to meet safety standards due to poor quality plastic insulation coating. Tests have shown that the cable may become prematurely brittle from 2016 onwards, which could cause fires or electric shock if the cables are then disturbed.
“More than a year after the recall of Infinity cables, 62 per cent of the faulty cables are yet to be remediated, posing a serious and unnecessary risk to community safety,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“Electricians and builders have an obligation to inform the home owners and businesses where they worked that their electrical installations are unsafe and non-compliant.”
“State and territory regulators can issue rectification orders requiring electricians and builders to replace non-compliant cables, and will do so where Infinity cables are known to have been installed and contractors have simply ignored the problem. Such orders have already been issued and more are expected to follow,” Ms Rickard said.
The recall relates to all sizes and configurations of TPS and Orange Round Infinity mains power cables. Olsent power cables sourced from Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd are also included.
Electricians should contact any affected customers to advise of the recall. You may also receive calls from customers inquiring if this product was used at their premises.
The cable has been recalled because testing has found that it is non-compliant, with poor quality insulation that will deteriorate prematurely and may cause fires or the risk of electric shock.
The cables were sold in Victoria between 2012 and 2013 through Masters Home Improvement, John Danks & Son (trading as Home Timber & Hardware, Plants Plus and Thrifty-Link Hardware) Mitre 10, Go Electrical and seven smaller retailers:
- ABC Arian Electrical Suppliers
- Norcab Electrical Wholesale
- Titan Trading
- All 4 Tradies Pty Ltd
- Wholesale Electrical Supplies Pty Ltd
- Phoenix Wholesalers
While there is no immediate danger, the recall means that any affected cable installed in accessible areas or near heat sources must be removed and replaced. Inaccessible cable can be left in the installation if that circuit is protected by an RCD. If there is any infinity cable left in the installation a warning label must be affixed to the switchboard.
Cable suppliers that are recalling the cable are required to meet the cost of the rectification works under the recall and electricians who used this product should contact their supplier before commencing removal.
Any unused product should be returned to the supplier.
Is there government funding or other assistance with these recalls?
All voluntary or mandatory recalls under the Australian Consumer Law are undertaken by suppliers at their own cost.
As an electrician, who will recoup my costs as the Infinity cable importer is in liquidation?
The costs of the recall are being covered by the cable suppliers and they are making all of the arrangements for work to be done by electrical contractors of their own choosing. Electricians should therefore contact the cable supplier before doing any work that they hope to be reimbursed for. The taskforce expects that electricians and builders will co-operate with suppliers to achieve the best outcomes possible. If you want to pursue a particular cost with the Infinity cable importer you can look at being listed as a creditor.
I am an electrician, builder or supplier and I’ve incurred costs or lost money due to remediation work. Can I claim these as business expenses for tax purposes?
Expenses or losses you incur in carrying on your business are generally tax deductible. We suggest you consult your tax adviser about whether, in your circumstances, any expenses or losses you incur in relation to remediation work is deductible.
As an electrician, my records indicate I haven’t done work on a property, but the owner insists I have and is demanding an inspection?
You can ask to clarify the basis on which the owner makes the claim, and see if they have a receipt or other records. If you’re completely sure you didn’t do any work on that property, you’re not obliged to conduct a free inspection.
I am an electrician and although I don’t have records that show I did work on a particular property I can remember the work and I did use Infinity cable. What do I need to give the supplier to have this covered under the recall?
Suppliers have the right to check that they did in fact make that particular supply so electricians (and builders) should carefully check their records as credit card or debit card statements, handwritten receipts, lay-by agreements, or a confirmation or receipt number provided for a telephone or internet transaction are all considered proof of transaction.
I am busy with other jobs. Do I have to replace the cables within a certain time?
The taskforce has developed this recall to be conducted over a number of months. For some suppliers, this could take a couple of years depending on the number of affected customers and the availability of electrical tradespeople. As the degradation of cable insulation is related to elapsed time and heat exposure, suppliers have been asked to assess and work on the oldest and/or highest risk installations first as far as possible.
For further information, contact ESV on 03 9203 9700.