Vital Resource—CETA Technical Committee


Vital Resource—CETA Technical Committee

By Diane M. Calabrese / Published February 2020

Manufacturers have been readying for the transition from UL 1776 (ends March 1, 2021) to its replacement UL 60335-2-79 (published January 14, 2016) for several years. Consequently, there’s not a thing to be concerned about regarding the transition, true?

“In my opinion, UL 60335-2-79 is and will be the major technical challenge for the suppliers and manufacturers in our industry, as a lot of them don’t really understand the new requirements,” says Jimmy Welch, the chairman of the CETA Technical Committee and a member of the team at American Pressure Inc. in Robbinsdale, MN.

Although industry members understand the scope of UL 60335-2-79, including the requirement for testing by an NRTL [nationally recognized testing laboratory], some members remain unaware of the differences between UL 60335-2-79 and IEC 60335-2-79, explains Welch. Clarification is key. And that’s just one of many roles the CETA technical committee fills.

Since we have pegged the introduction of this article to important standard UL 60335-2-79, let’s explore it a bit more. To do so, we will back up and remind readers about the multiple entities that develop standards.

A non-profit organization formed in the United States in 1894, UL (originating as Underwriters Laboratories) now has locations in 104 countries. The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) was established in England in 1906 as a non-governmental organization (NGO). The CSA [Canadian Standards Association] was established in Canada in 1919.

Member countries follow standard IEC 60335-2-79 and add national differences. UL 60335-2-79 overlaps with the IEC 60335-2-79, but the two standards are not identical. Welch wants members to understand that there are differences.

For instance, UL 60335-2-79 incorporates the U.S. requirement established by NEC® (National Electric Code of the National Fire Protection Association) that a pressure washer with 250 volts or less single phase must have a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) as well as 2014 NEC addition of 3-phase, 208Y/120 volts and 60 A or less.

IEC is in part a standards consolidation and promulgation organization—similar to ANSI (American National Standards Institute). As such, IEC notes country-specific differences in standards for the benefit of all.

Welch cites several differences (in addition to the GFCI) requirement that IEC tabulates. For example, in the United States there is no requirement for sound and vibration markings. In Germany there is regulation of losses (efficiency) from burners. Canada requires different power cord type and size (wire gauge and cover) and subjects connections to water mains to regulation.

One freely accessible document that lists (page 4) some of the differences between UL 60335-2-79 and IEC 60335-2-79 is published by the IEC, and can be viewed at www.sis.se/api/document/preview/567066. (Note: Edition 2.1 2005-1 current is Edition 4 2016.)

(Standards documents are also sold by many groups. Herein, of course, is another advantage of CETA membership. Members can get expert advice from the technical committee and colleagues regarding which documents and advisories to purchase.)

Many members of CETA are in the process of becoming or are certified by ISO (International Standards Organization). Policies and procedures are the domain of ISO, but the certification process helps many manufacturers bring cohesion to compliance.

On any list of elusive things, harmonization must be near the top. Harmonizing standards has long been a goal of standard-setting entities. It has also been a goal of CETA. Gary Weidner and Dr. Marlo Dean, each a former chairman of the technical committee, began the intense focus on ensuring UL and IEC standards would be harmonized to the fullest extent possible. The focus continues.

The concern of Welch and members of the technical committee is that there may be manufacturers or suppliers still unfamiliar with differences between UL 60335-2-79 and IEC 60335-2-79, such as the cord type and size requirement in Canada. It’s the sort of issue that could disrupt a sale already in progress.

Another area of concern with UL 60335-2-79 is that some manufacturers may not yet have contacted an NRTL to schedule the mandated endurance test of 96 hours. NRTLs, such as Intertek, are prepared to provide testing. UL and CSA also offer testing as NRTLs.

CETA does not recommend a particular NRTL. Discretion is an expectation for an NRTL. Should something be amiss with equipment, the recipient of the information is restricted to the maker, who can then make a correction or modification.

Choosing an NRTL by location is not a bad idea. It is easier to get results and make corrections if travel distance is minimal.

Ask and Tell

Questions, concerns, comments? The CETA Technical Committee wants to hear them.

CETA members know best what their needs are. Let the technical committee provide support by asking for assistance and sharing accounts of technical issues.

Reciprocally, members of the technical committee want to keep members one step ahead of impending regulations. Consider the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulation that took effect January 1, 2020.

CARB 2020 applies to most diesel-fueled trucks (and buses) weighing seven tons or more. (Yes, that puts some pickups in the category.) In short, in an effort to reduce particulate and NOx emissions, the vehicles must all transition to 2010 or newer model year engines by January 1, 2023. The phase in includes restrictions on registration of vehicles, so that vehicles model year 2004 or older will not be able to obtain a registration unless they met the engine change rule by the first of this year.

Will CARB 2020 for diesel engines affect other states? Not immediately, as the current administration does not seem likely to use them as a template for national policy.

Yet many Golden State regulations, including CARB directives, do serve as a model for national rules in time. Small engine rules established in California served as a model for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And CARB plans to find ways to augment its small engine rules—and further reduce emissions—in 2020.

In addition to serving as a starting point for other regulators, many rules that begin in the nation’s most populous state carry across states because they require those who do business in California to be compliant. Perhaps the best-known among those regulations to date derive from Proposition 65, the expansive initiative designed to alert consumers to the presence of carcinogens. Products being sold in California must meet Prop 65 labeling requirements. In effect, then, the rule affects everyone.

The CETA Technical Committee never loses sight of its core mission: to serve members of the pressure washer industry. As such, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the initiative that resulted in the CETA CPC 100 Performance Standard.

CPC 100 designation indicates to an end user that a pressure washer has met the specifications used to advertise it. A CPC 100 pressure washer must meet four criteria. (The criteria include 90 percent of advertised pressure and 90 percent of advertised flow.) NRTL testing must verify a machine meets all criteria. Uniformity allows everyone to have the same reference point, which benefits not only buyers but also industry members as they work to react to pending regulations.

Visit the CETA website at www.ceta.org to get the latest on regulations, pending legislation, and other technical news. Also watch this column. In the interim, most definitely let members of the technical committee hear from you regarding questions and concerns.

Committee members in addition to chairman Jimmy Welch are Jay Hallaway (Alkota Cleaning Systems), Bryson Sharp (Northern Tool & Equipment), Brad Van Otterloo (Mi-T-M Corporation), Ben Hagemann (American Pressure Inc.), Delany Johnson (Wayne Combustion), and Calvin Rasmussen (Royce Industries). 

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